I've been a fan of American Apparel for years. Its founder, Dov Charney--as everyone under the sun knows--is something of a maniac--and a sex maniac, at that. But I don't fault him too much--he's wide open about his "interests," exhibiting a transparency we can only wish for in our political and economic sectors.
More important to me is that fact that AA, almost alone among fashion lines, makes its stuff in the good ol'US of A. Downtown LA, as a matter of fact. They got solar panels on the roof, free ESL classes for employees, they pay remarkably well and their clothing ain't shipped halfway across the world from shady sweatshops that may or may not be well-supervised. While they weren't pioneers in using organic cotton (Patagonia wins that title), AA does offer the best organic men's briefs (and I'm sure lots of great women's stuff), and blank tees for you or your business to print on. My business, elephant journal, has printed on AA for 5 years, now, and because of their progressive practices I've been an evangelist for their blank tees with my friends in the green industry.
But, of course, most importantly to their success...their style. They're out of control--in a good way. Their fashion sense is personal, retro, preppy, cute, disco, outre...whatever their designers want to wear, it seems, they figure we'll want to wear. And most of the time they're right.
Click here to check out a bunch of their saucy, cheeky, clean, modern ads.
This sexytime for eco folks video details, in scantily entertaining fashion, just how eco, progressive...er, wow....solar American Apparel...what was I...recycling ESL free bicycles and...vertical integration, Made in Downtown LA--what an amazing body...what was I talking about? Video:
Dov Charney talks a good game:
Bonus, the Hipster Olympics video, a Youtube sensation: