The New York Times says that sales of women’s apparel, usually a staple of the holiday season, are down 6% so far this season.
This Old Navy boys windbreaker has a waist drawstring, a big “no no” according to the CPSC’s children’s clothing safety guidelines. You can either cut the drawstring out, or return the jacket to Old Navy for a full refund and get a $5 gift card for your trouble, meaning you’ve essentially been paid $5 to let your kid to wear a jacket.
An Express in New York City charged a sharp-eyed reader tax on a belt that cost $34.50. Neither the city nor state levy tax on items costing less than $110.
The Gap has pledged $200,000 to to improve working conditions in India, where only some forms of child labor are outlawed, and it also promised to tighten its own standards. The retailer canceled half of its orders with the vendor in India that was responsible for subcontracting the workshop in which children who had been sold to the factory were working off the debt by embroidering clothing for Gap Kids.
With the Gap embarrassed this week by reports that Indian children as young as 10 were making Gap Kids clothing, a lot of people are asking, just how frequently and to what degree do large U.S. companies like Gap and Wal-Mart monitor their foreign manufacturers? According to Slate, “anywhere from six months to once every several years.” Unfortunately, because the visits are usually announced ahead of time, factories can hide violations, coach employees on what to say, get rid of the child workers, and forge records. In China, there are consultants who will prepare a factory for inspection, going so far as to fake missing records.
According to OK! magazine, Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live and husband, Will Arnett, from Arrested Development are the latest celebrities to attempt to save the GAP by wearing its clothing in advertisements.
Macy’s and designer Tommy Hilfiger have reached a deal that will make the store Hilfiger’s exclusive “department store” retailer.
“British musician-turned-designer Keanan Duffty” has designed a line of David Bowie-themed mens wear for Target, according to a press release that reads like an acceptance speech:
Southwest Airlines has finally condescended to apologize to the mini-skirted customer that it tried to kick off a flight…
You don’t have to spend $30 at Petco to gussy up your small dog in embarrassing winter wear, says the MAKE blog. Just find an old argyle sock and follow their simple, six-cut pattern. Warning: it makes a hat, too! [makezine.com]
Sometimes it seems like thrift stores are on the verge of extinction. What used to be a necessity for college students, “alternative” types, artists, and practical moms have mostly been replaced by “super-low prices” at big box stores, or dirt-cheap fashions from retailers like H&M, Steve & Barry’s, or Old Navy. Still, if you’ve got the time and the right attitude, and you’re okay with that vintage/hand-me-down look, you can find some good bargains at thrift stores.
The New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs is investigating claims made by a New Zealand television program that Chinese-made children’s clothes are contaminated with formaldehyde. The consumer watchdog program tested woolen and cotton clothes after receiving a complaint that a child had suffered an allergic reaction.
A while back we asked the readers to tell us what was wrong with Gap, INC. Since we asked, they’ve sh*tcanned their CEO, closed a chain of stores, launched new ad campaigns featuring celebrities, rethought their merchandise and…nothing has has helped.
Let’s face it. Your average body-type does not look good in tapered-leg skinny jeans. We’re not even saying “average body type” as code for “fatty.” We actually mean it. Regular people look bad in these fashions and do not want to purchase cheap Walmart versions of them. People want to buy socks at Walmart. Big bags of socks.
- “When the bikini first arrived, its revealing cut scandalized even the French fashion models who were supposed to wear it; they refused, and the original designer had to enlist a stripper instead.”
GapKids recently featured a white, crocheted string bikini you’d likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The bikini was for a 12-month-old.
It’s actually very easy to unshrink a wool garment you shrank in the wash.
Several clothing makers, including Steve Madden, Asics and Columbia Sportswear are suing the government over discriminatory gender-based tariffs. For example, Congress levies a 28% tariff on men’s bathing suits, but only a 12% tariff on women’s bathing suits.
If the clothing companies prevail, they could reclaim close to $1 billion worth of tariffs based on gender differences. For example, the lawsuit claims that the government earned $2.5 million last year from discriminatory tariffs on underpants (penalizing women), $93 million for cotton shirts (penalizing men), $16 million for silk shirts (penalizing women) and $71 million for shoes with leather tops (women again).
Tariffs are the quiet cousin of taxes; you seldom see a charge for tariffs, though they are factored into the cost of a wide array items manufactured overseas. To make the suit moot, the government may equalize tariffs at the higher level, which would hurt clothing makers and consumers alike. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER