Friday, December 30, 2011

American Apparel - Open Factory

Do you have one of those friends that seems to be anywhere and everywhere, doing everything? No? Allow me to introduce you to Mike. Concerts, Art Galleries, Sports games, pillow fights in downtown LA - he's there. He should  WILL be updating the site from time to time sharing his adventures. Without  further ado:

This post is a few months late, but on 11/11/11 I had the opportunity to check out American Apparel's “Open Factory,” program in which they showed how their employees manufactured AA organic cotton t-shirts from scratch.  While American Apparel is mostly known for being the official uniform of the US hipster movement (and quite comfy), American Apparel is a great example of a business being successful and socially/environmentally conscious at the same time. 

Instead of out-sourcing parts of their manufacturing, AA uses a vertical integration business model which means the entire process (from the yarn being sewn, to the dyeing, to the printing, and finally to the marketing/distribution) all takes place under one roof…locally with American workers.  Having the entire manufacturing process contained in-house means that AA has direct control over their environmental footprint, instead of out-sourcing work and turning a blind-eye to waste disposal and pollution which may go un-checked in third-world countries.  In addition to championing various social causes, AA also pays living wages to their workers, which means you're investing in your community the next time you pick up some sweet neon pink tights and green leggings.  

Pics of the process after the jump.