(Not So) American Apparel Is Back

After seven months of planning, restructuring, and rebranding by new parent company, Gildan, American Apparel’s new e-commerce site is officially live.

If that feels fast, it should. Gildan acquired the embattled brand this past January, but thanks to “Gildan’s scale and vertically-integrated manufacturing model,” as Retail Dive notes, the Canadian wholesaler was able to start production in Southern California just six weeks after the deal.

Sticking to their bread-and-butter, the new AA is still offering their well-loved basics — t-shirts, tanks, hoodies and more — in addition to a collection aptly dubbed “The Archive,” which features “iconic” (their words) AA designs alongside old campaign photos from the Dov-fronted days of the company, even pulling shots from the controversial years.

The main difference — because they’re hard to find: the site looks familiar, it trumpets an “Ethically Made-Sweatshop Free” slogan, and features backwashed campaign imagery — between this iteration of the brand and the original is that now, there’s only eight made-in-the-USA styles and they live under their own separate vertical.

Those styles, for the record, cost roughly 20 percent more than the otherwise-identical globally-made version of the same product. But, also for the record, Gildan doesn’t contract production out to sketchy factories, because they own all their own production facilities.

“By owning the facilities [Gildan is] better able to ensure that ethical and sustainable practices are in place, effectively assuring American Apparel will always be Sweatshop Free,” Gildan VP of Corporate Marketing and Communications Garry Bell told Retail Dive.

Also, also for the record, however, is that Gildan’s own factories have faced myriad allegations of worker abuse. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You can read more about it at Retail Dive and Business of Fashion.

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