Outstanding Mission Statements: Fifth In A Series

American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer of T-shirts and related products. All of our garments are cut and sewn at our 800,000-square-foot facility in downtown Los Angeles.
We are trying to rediscover the essence of classic products like the basic T-shirt, once an icon of Western culture and freedom. Our goal is to make garments that people love to wear without having to rely on cheap labor.
Every aspect of the production of our garments, from the knitting of the fabric to the photography of the product, is done in-house. By consolidating this entire process, we are able to pursue efficiencies that other companies cannot because of their over-reliance on outsourcing.
Our downtown Los Angeles factory, now considered the largest sewn-products facility in the United States, is a design lab where creative ideas, efficient manufacturing techniques, and concepts for designing and selling T-shirts are developed and put to the test. The challenge for companies like American Apparel is to establish new ways of doing business that are efficient and profitable without exploiting workers.
While apparel is a universal necessity that transcends almost all cultural and socioeconomic boundaries, most garments are made in exploitative settings. We hope to break this paradigm.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.