Ugly American Apparel

Image courtesy of

How can you hate American Apparel?

How can you hate American Apparel?

That’s what an acquaintance of ours asked recently. “It’s just t-shirts, t-shirts can’t suck, they’re just t-shirts,” he maintained.

Something about it being overpriced, bland, and enshrouded in hipster mystique and social activism really pisses our pants off.

So then we were pleased as punch-drunk love to get Holly’s anti-American Apparel letter, especially because it advocates slave labor and child abuse.

Read it, after the jump…

Holly wrote a letter to American Apparel and posted it to her personal journal:

Dear American Apparel,

I have purchased three shirts from you. They were quite expensive as t-shirts go, but I paid your outrageous prices because I am a virtual giantess and yours is one of the few companies that makes long shirts (or at least, was at the time because I bought these shirts a while ago).

I would like to let you know that while I think it is admirable that you pay your workers a decent wage and provide them with humanitarian working conditions, I will probably in the future buy shirts that are not only cheaper, but made by small slave children. You see, of the three shirts that I purchased only one is still intact. The first of them (not to mention the most expensive one) started coming apart at the bottom seam the very first time I wore it. Then I had the misfortune to wash it. That little hem around the bottom is now but a distant memory. The second shirt lasted approximately three wears (and washes)longer; although on this shirt it is the seam on the left sleeve that has now departed.

I think maybe you don’t need to buy a group of children to make a better quality product, but instead perhaps just make your current workforce fear for their lives a little. Possibly removing any ventillation to the work area and providing severe beating for poor performance will do the trick.

I understand you may disagree with these sentiments, but my other, cheaper, shirts that are in all likelihood put together by children who were sold by their parents for a couple of bowls of rice have all lasted much longer than yours.


I thought that that would be the end of it, you know, one more consumer screwed by shoddy products.

To my great surprise I received a reply from a complete stranger:

Dear Holly.

You should forward your letter to our customer service people. Sounds like your shirts were from a bad batch… It’s unlikely that we will introduce draconian methods of quality control, but we might send you some new T-shirts.


Weronika Cwir
American Apparel

I visited Weronika’s journal to find this as her bio : I work for American Apparel and I created this account so that I can respond to livejournal entries about the company… What can I say, I am an American Apparel nerd. Hopefully this isn’t too good to be true. (I googled her name and she has several posts at the American Apparel site)

So I did as she said, with a brief explanation to the company that I don’t actually condone the abuse of small children. It occurs to me now that maybe I should have mentioned that I don’t want American Apparel to abuse their adult employees either, but what’s done is done. There are a few more details and pictures at my journal which is (an embarrassing)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.