"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why I won't be getting that shirt for Christmas

I am a self proclaimed music junkie. Like many people with my condition, I own quite a few band tee shirts. back in the day, you could expect to find a "fruit of the loom" or "Hanes" tag on your shirt, but know when you check the collar, chances are you will find a narrow tag that reads "American Apparel". The loom is a thing of the past, and Michael Jordan won't be getting his Hanes on nobody anymore, because American Apparel seems to be the new tee to print on. And apparently, for good reason. First, lets face it...their clothes are dang comfy, and heck! They look good! Second, they are made in the U.S. No Sweatshops. To a generation that is perhaps more socially aware then ever before and eager to fight for social justice, this seems like a pretty good deal. Hip, cheap, clothes that look good, feel good and don't exploit the third world. Sweet.

...to bad they exploit women. I won't be buying any American Apparel clothing ever again.

If you have a Facebook or MySpace Account, chances are you have seen an American apparel ad. American Apparel has garnered a reputation for its sexualized advertisements, but now they have taken it a step further--American Apparel now advertises with nudity.

I am not a fan of blog rants, but for this case, I will break my own code, and let the steam fly. How any company can be irresponsible enough to have their web page laid out in such a way that any random person can stumble upon nudity without a single written warning is beyond my comprehension. How they can get away with it is even more boggling. But this is what really stokes my fire--why is it that so many Christian bands, causes, organizations, and schools are printing on these tees? Granted, American Apparel hasn't always used nudity, but they have always had sexualized advertising, and it only takes a quick Google search to see that American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is a bit of a shady character. In an effort to make this blog less uncomfortable then it already is, I'll give a couple links for those who would like to read up on this guy.

So, I end with this question; what kind of message are we sending as Christians when we buy clothes from a brand that identifies them self in such a way? What behavior are we condoning by buying a shirt with an American Apparel tag? No one may know its an American Apparel shirt, but they are still making money. Price, comfort and fashion...even "American-made" ethics cannot balance the scale when the exploitation of 50% of the human race sits on the other side. So, I encourage you to take off your American Apparel clothes....that's what their models are doing.


chrish said...

Please feel free to rant any time you like. I appreciate hearing/reading your thoughts, especially when you're passionate about the issue.

I'm disappointed too. But! Fear not! I bring you glad tidings of great joy, and it will be for all the people! Gildan ALSO does not use sweatshops. That's right. So, look for the Gildan label!

Might I suggest that, while you have the passion in you, get in touch with STUCO and with Student Development about this? Recall that they order their hoodies in American Apparel.

ty said...

Thanks Chris, I plan on doing that. As well as a Christian ministry or two that print their shirts on American Apparel.