Huff Po: On the heels of the recent tragedy in Bangladesh, American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has a message for the rest of the retail industry: It's time for change.
"The apparel industry's relentless and blind pursuit of the lowest possible wages cannot be sustained over time, ethically or fiscally," Charney wrote in a recent message. "As labor and transportation costs increase worldwide, exploitation will not only be morally offensive and dated, it will not even be financially viable."
Charney's message accompanied a company email over the weekend urging people to buy American and reminding them that American Apparel is “sweatshop free." (You can scroll down to see the full email.) This is nothing new: American Apparel always has produced clothes in the U.S. and reminded shoppers of its sweatshop-free pledge on tags, in emails and in ads. But the recent Bangladesh factory collapse that killed more than 600 has brought renewed attention to Western retailers’ reliance on cheap clothing producers they can’t closely monitor.
“We emphasize this because it actually makes a difference,” the company email sent over the weekend states. “Thousands of industrial workers making our clothing at our state-of-the-art factory in downtown Los Angeles earn an average of $12/per hour, plus medical and other comprehensive benefits for themselves and their families, wh