In case you hadn’t heard, Ralph Lauren is the designer of the US Olympic teams uniforms for the upcoming games in London. Yes, the American designer, who many feel embodies Americana, was selected for this assignment and has come up with a red, white and blue collection to be worn by the athletes, but to be sold at Bloomingdale’s and on a Team USA website. But here’s the surprise glitch in this whole patriotic marketing blitz: the clothing is made in China. All the Team USA uniforms were outsourced and manufactured outside of the United States. Last night ABC News featured a great story on this, featuring commentary by designer Nanette Lepore. The story featured New Yorkers’ reactions to the news of the outsourcing, and it was not favorable. Those interviewed expressed shock that the Olympic uniforms would not be made in the US and employ US workers in the manufacturing process. Designer Nanette Lepore weighed in saying that the uniforms could easily have been made in the states–and probably for less. “Why shouldn’t we have pride not only in the American athletes, but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country?” Lepore said to ABC News. “Why? What’s wrong? Why was that not a consideration?”
I couldn’t agree more. I certainly don’t recommend purchasing from this mass marketing souvenir like collection. I encourage all my readers to send a strong message to Ralph Lauren and other brands doing this type of work, hire American citizens and keep some work here, especially when is bears the label Team USA. It’s Team USA, not Team USA Made in China, right?