“Everything Must Go” at American Apparel

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Image via @americanapparelusa

By Adzaan Muqtadir

Yes, you read that right—the ever so infamous American Apparel is set to close all of its remaining stores by the end of next month. Making waves within the world of fashion, the brand released its going out of business announcement in mid-January after being bought by Gilden, a Canadian clothing company. This comes after months of gradually shutting down stores abroad.

While the brand is not shy of making its name through controversy over the years with its plastering of blatantly objectifying advertisements and CEO legal entanglements, the main thing that sets American Apparel apart from other brands was its boasted Sweatshop Free tagline. Central to its image, American Apparel managed to make that a possibility by operating under a vertically integrated business model, all run through its factory in Los Angeles. A “Made in USA” label is quite a rarity in the current landscape of the fashion world, as most businesses outsource labor overseas to keep up with the overwhelming demands of fast fashion that are based on a consumer’s need of buying clothes for cheap.

For those who’ve attempted to minimize their consumption and contribution to ethical and sustainability issues resulting from fast fashion, American Apparel has become a viable solution to achieving that goal. Although to some, the price for a basic t-shirt may seem outrageous, others who take the “sweatshop free” factor into consideration justify the expense. However, now since the store is closing, will avoiding fast fashion still be a viable option?

While certainly American Apparel’s closing means one less sweatshop-free business, there’s still some great alternative options. My personal favorites include thrifting and buying vintage pieces from Etsy, but for those wanting to stay trendy one can search “made in USA” on clothing sites such as Lulus, Nordstrom, and even TJMaxx to find domestically produced products. Nevertheless, even though American Apparel’s closing may be causing some upset, being able to score 50% off with its closing sale prices can help lessen the tears.

Source: SF Gate

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