When American Apparel, a brand known for making all of its clothing at factories in Los Angeles, was sold to Canadian clothing giant Gildan, it was obvious that some clothing sold under the brand would be Asian or South American Apparel instead. The company told investors this week that American Apparel will sell both U.S.-made and foreign-made merchandise.
“Our Made in the USA supply chain is in place, and we’ve started to ramp up production across our manufacturing system to support overall demand,” Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Rhodri Harries said during a conference call with investment analysts this week.
For now, Gildan has lined up outside companies to make clothes in the United States, to keep the “Made in USA” label that the brand’s customers expect. However, Gildan is a global company, and it anticipates growing the American Apparel brand around the world to places that don’t necessarily care about American manufacturing.
“A lot of the growth that we will have with American Apparel will come from other markets outside the United States,” CEO Glenn Chamandy said in response to a question on the same conference call this week. He cited Europe and Asia as examples of markets where Gildan plans to take the brand, and where “Made in USA” is less of a priority.
Another intriguing option is something that Chamandy shared with reporters this week. He said that the brand’s website will return, and customers will have the choice to buy American Apparel merchandise that was made in the U.S. or made abroad, with a price difference of about 25%.