Women’s Wear Daily recently spotted some Trump campaign merchandise at the Republican National Convention with American Apparel labels. This struck many as odd, since American Apparel has marketed itself on liberal values; additionally, AA employs a large (if shrinking) immigrant workforce in its Los Angeles factory—although the company has hinted it may begin outsourcing some manufacturing, another concept Trump purportedly rejects.
American Apparel also sold a line of “Make America Gay Again” merchandise to mark this year’s Pride month:
In response to WWD’s report, American Apparel issued a statement on Wednesday distancing itself from the Trump campaign and emphasizing that they did not have control over the products. Via WWD:
“American Apparel is a company that stands for inclusiveness, as is evidenced by our campaigns tackling issues such as immigration reform, discrimination, marriage and gender equality,” a spokeswoman said.
“Because we believe in free trade, we sell our American-made T-shirts to thousands of screen printers across the country, allowing them to sell to any customers they choose,” she added in an explanation as to how the campaign could have ended up using American Apparel T-shirts without the company’s knowledge.
“Since we cannot control our wholesalers’ business practices, we want to emphasize that our core values do not always align with the messages printed on the end consumer’s product,” the American Apparel spokeswoman said.