American Apparel, LLC is a clothing company based out of Los Angeles, California. It has over 155 stores in 11 countries. Its claim to fame is sweatshop-free clothing made in Downtown Los Angeles, where it pays its employees an average of US$13 per hour. Employees also receive benefits such as paid time off, healthcare, company-subsidized lunches, bus passes, free ESL classes, on-site masseurs, free parking, proper lighting and ventilation, and the most up-to-date equipment. It is currently in the process of large retail growth, opening stores in the United States, Israel, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, the UK, France and Mexico.
The company, along with its founder Dov Charney, have also garnered some scandal and critism for its highly sexualized ads and work environment. Along the way, Charney has been sued three time for sexual harrassment, with one suit still in litigation as of August 2006.
It was recently ranked 218th in Inc. magazine's annual list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country, with a 525% three-year growth and revenues in 2004 of over US$124 million.
- I love the American Apparel long-sleeve waffle shirt. You can't do it too much. If you wear a long-sleeve black T-shirt every single day, nobody's going to say, "That guy wears a long-sleeve black T-shirt too much." If you're wearing a sweatshirt that says "Gap Est. 1969" on it, you've got a couple days of wearing that before someone goes, "Why don't you do some laundry?"
- American Apparel, Charney’s clothing company, is going against the trend of globalization in clothing manufacturing; he’s making mad cash with unbranded T-shirts, all locally produced in his downtown L.A. factory.
- Alexandra Spunt, [(2003). "Mr. No Logo" MontrealMirror.com (accessed August 7, 2006)]
- There are garment factories in the U.S. where employees have union contracts, get full family health benefits, decent wages, three and four weeks of paid vacations, a decent pension and respect from their supervisors. When you buy a shirt, a dress, a suit or a T-shirt from these companies, you can shop with a conscience. This isn't the case at American Apparel.
- Richard Applebaum, [Ellenson, Ruth (2005). "Unfashionable Crisis" The Jewish Journal (accessed August 8, 2006)]