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Friday Favorite: American Apparel

June 24th, 2011

I’m a huge fan of American Apparel t-shirts. Why? For one, they’re made in the USA – no sweat shops here. They have 100% organic cotton shirts and they use as much organic cotton as possible in their non-organic shirts. That means no GMO’s, which is a big deal to me.

Of course all the above things are fine and dandy – but if the product isn’t good quality or comfortable it doesn’t matter. The main reason I love their shirts is because they’re super comfortable. We’ve all had that perfectly comfortable shirt: it’s old, it’s soft and you find yourself wearing it whenever it’s clean (and sometimes when it’s not). That’s how American Apparel shirts feel from day one! I also appreciate that they line dry beautifully. No crispiness here, they come off the line just like they come out of the dryer, soft and ready to wear.

If you peeked in my shirt drawer, you would find the majority of shirts in my drawer with their label. The ones that don’t are older shirts that will be replaced with American Apparel shirts when the time comes. I’ll warn you though, they are cut on the small and slim side, so if you come across a site that sells their stuff order a size up. You can guarantee if I ever have Chiot’s Run shirts made the’ll have the American Apparel label!
This is my newest addition to my collection, I purchased this lovely shirt from Wire & Twine, a small design shop in SE Ohio. It’s my current favorite shirt to wear. I’ve always been the type of person that has a favorite item of clothing and I’ll wear it all the time for a spell. I can distinctly remember specific dresses and shirts from my childhood that I loved and wore so much that my mom would have to pry me out of them to wash them. I have especially fond memories of a t-shirt with a mouse on it.

Do you have a favorite article of clothing?

19 Comments to “Friday Favorite: American Apparel”
  1. on June 24, 2011 at 6:14 am

    While they may not be a “sweat shop” per se, their factory in downtown los angeles looks like a sweat shop and the workers going in and out look like illegals (im not saying they all are). In 2009 an ICE raid on their facilities proved 25% of the workers were illegals. That pretty much sucks when there is such high unemployment rates in America today and just blocks away there are thousands of homeless people on skid row who would probably enjoy any job they could get.

    American Apparels “Legalize L.A.” campaign also doesnt sit well with me. Their gigantic billboards and impressive sides of entire buildings requesting the legalization of illegals does not bode well for many living in the Los Angeles basin here. We have a serious immigration problem here in this state and in the country now.

    Immigration By The Numbers (this doesnt even cover illegals)

    I realize you are probably far disconnected from the troubles here in Los Angeles so purchasing those products isnt a big deal for you. Since I live here, Im choosing not to purchase American Apparel products.

    Reply to's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Thanks for the info! One of the reasons to buy local because you can actually see what’s going on. Too bad we don’t have a shirt company around here. Do you have any great ethical clothing companies you’ve found that you’d like to recommend?

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • keane on August 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

      “look like illegals”…? wow. they have a lot of immigrants, if that’s what you mean, and all are given total health benefits, free english classes for ALL employees plus ALL their family members, and they are the highest paid garment workers in the entire fashion industry. i do believe i read once that the average garment worker makes more than most store managers with the company.

      they did fire a lot of illegal immigrants who had forged their paperwork, but it was a very grey issue. the factory told them, as well, that if they can get actual paperwork, the company would take them back in a heartbeat.

      Reply to keane's comment

      • Susy on August 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

        Thanks for this great info.

        to Susy's comment

  2. organogold on June 24, 2011 at 6:15 am

    That pretty much sucks when there is such high unemployment rates in America today and just blocks away there are thousands of homeless people on skid row who would probably enjoy any job they could get.

    Reply to organogold's comment

  3. Melissa on June 24, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I usually have favorite pairs of jeans that I will wear until I’ve worn holes into them! Love that shirt’s message, might need to get me one of those!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

      I have some of those too – it’s so hard to get rid of jeans when they’re so comfortable though isn’t it! I usually compost mine when they’re no longer decent enough to wear!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Jace on June 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Stock up now-looks like they could be gone soon.

    Reply to Jace's comment

  5. kristin @ going country on June 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

    In the winter, my flannel-lined jeans. Ugliest item of clothing ever, but I care about that not at all when it’s 35 degrees in my bedroom.

    In the summer, the thinnest white t-shirt I have. That has now become a work shirt because of all the various stains that have accumulated on it. Doesn’t matter though–I think I paid three bucks for it originally at the Salvation Army. Benefit of shopping at thrift stores: You don’t care if something gets ruined. And my somethings ALWAYS get ruined sooner rather than later.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  6. on June 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Yikes. I surely hope I didnt sound angry in my first message! Everyone I know (and most people) who drive by downtown LA and sees the huge “Legalize LA” on their building gets fired up. We have a sweet friend we know from Uzbekistan who literally cries when she sees that sign knowing how hard it was for her to make it to this country legally.

    We all want a better life, Im not against that or against immigration. Just do it the right way like all of the previous immigrants have had to do.

    Finding quality clothes is becoming more and more difficult. Most of the online retailers (cafepress, zazzle, etc) where you can find the most interesting shirts are all using American Apparel now.

    With the economy really tightening its belt these days Ive been visiting a newly opened thrift store near us. A good pair of jeans are $5 and a t-shirt is $2, many of them new or almost new.

    Reply to's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Nope not angry – passionate! Love hearing the info from you first hand who live near the company!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. iris on June 24, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I’m really questionable about American Apparel. The CEO is majorly sketchy, with a decent amount of sexual assault cases against him. ‘Dunno. Just a little leery of the brand.

    Reply to iris's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks for the info – haven’t heard that before. Have you discovered any great alternatives in your research for ethical consumption?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Candie on June 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Im not sure that there is a good answer to this problem… i have a friend that is making allot of her own cloths. Her goal is to have over half of her daily cloths be made by herself or her mom. They do run into problems with finding fabric though….

    Reply to Candie's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      True, finding fabric that’s not made in a sweat shop or with GMO cotton & toxic dyes is also a huge problem and when you do the selection is limited and the prices outrageous!

      Limiting the amount of clothing I keep buy and wear is one way to help. I do purchase clothing from Prana & Horny Toad – they’re supposed to be producing items in ethical ways – but one never knows unless you visit their factories in person. The clothing can also be expensive – but buying non-GMO cotton is a big thing for me!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Alyssa on June 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Hi there, really don’t want to sound like a negative nancy but I also can’t get behind American Apparel. I’ve heard about the sexual assault charges against the CEO of the company and quite frankly I find their advertisements lewd and inappropriate. When I walk down the street and peek at the advertising I can’t help feel disturbed. I’m sorry though, because I don’t have anything better to recommend! I can appreciate that it is at least made on the right continent!

    Reply to Alyssa's comment

    • Susy on June 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Yep, it’s like choosing the lesser of two evils usually when it comes to products like this. If I had better second hand stores here I’d try to buy more second hand – but usually the items there are way overpriced and of questionable quality.

      The biggest issue for me is finding clothing made of GMO free cotton, which is incredibly difficult at times. Then if you add trying to find made in the USA it’s nearly impossible.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. MAYBELLINE on June 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm


    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  11. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm on June 26, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I like organic and local too! I do have favourites and wear the same ones all the time. I, also, appreciate clothing that dries well on the line. I never use the dryer unless I have to, -20 mid winter, even then I hang things in the house to dry.

    Nice colour!

    Reply to Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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