Meaningful Purchase - July - american apparel tank

OK, let's talk about American Apparel for a minute. On one hand, I love that they are made in the USA, sweatshop free and embody a simple, easy fitting, casual style. On the other hand, I abhor their marketing that exploits and objectifies women to an alarming degree (just Google it and you'll see what i mean). So, while they don't exploit workers in third world countries, they do exploit young women (and some of the women in their ads look really young) in this country, contributing to the increasingly problematic standards women are given for beauty and sex.

So which is worse? I suppose you could argue that the women in the American Apparel advertisements at least have a choice in their exploitation, while the workers in third world countries are given very few, if any choices. But that doesn't really sit well with me (not to mention the fact that the CEO has been hit with multiple sexual harassment lawsuits over the past 10 years, which doesn't exactly suggest the promotion of female empowerment).

In the end, what it comes down to for me is awareness and willingness to speak up. Getting American Apparel to change their marketing tactics sounds like a lot easier job then, say, getting The Gap to move all of their production to the United States. I know of various petitions floating around the web to be signed that denounce AA's marketing, or you could send an email to the company. Of course, for many, boycotting probably feels like the best option, and I don't disagree with that either. There's a lot about the company to celebrate, and a lot to be disappointed with, for sure.
In the meantime, you can check out this floaty, flowery top I bought from them last month. I hope it will be a very versatile piece that I can wear alone in the summer, under a blazer for teaching in the fall, and even with a chunky knit sweater in the winter. I like how it mixes an 80's color palette with a vintage - almost 'old lady' style - print, but the cut is fresh and modern.

I think I'll go send that email now...

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