Dov Charney Crazy or Genius?

After implementation of the team manufacturing model, American Apparel production tripled with less than a 20% increase in staff.   American Apparel now says it can produce over 1 million t-shirts per week.

With their 800,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in downtown Los Angeles paying employees over $12 per hour, American Apparel claims to have the “highest earning apparel workers in the world”.   And since most of our clothing s made in China, by workers making less than $1 per hour, that is likely very true.

Even in Los Angeles, where the average apparel worker makes $30 – $40 per day, compared to American Apparel workers’ $120 per day average, American Apparel sets the bar for the industry a little higher.

The company also has a track record of being very socially aware.   American Apparel is large supporter of immigration reform.   The company founded the advertising and advocacy group, Legalize LA to help bring about awareness of flaws to the current immigration system.

American Apparel also maintain the exclusive contract with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, due to American Apparel product being made domestically and cruelty free.

In 2005, American Apparel hosted a bikini car wash to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.   Not only did American Apparel donate the money from the car wash, but they also packaged up 80,000 brand new t-shirts to help cloth those who lost so much.

And as an underwriter to Farm Aid, all the t-shirts are of course donated from American Apparel.

American Apparel has also taken on a number of environmental policies.   30% of their manufacturing power now comes from solar panels on the roof of the facility, and they start recycling their fabric scraps, saving 30,000 pounds of cotton per week.


  1. Those things are very small in comparison. Sued by Woody Allen? If he can’t take a joke, screw him. Charney holding meetings in the nude is a well know (and FALSE) urban legend cooked up in some lawsuits. The pure logistics of someone pulling that off and being sued only once is ridiculous. It’s funny but at the same time, a very serious charge that is affecting the stock price without justification.

    Great piece.

  2. @Andy Thanks for the comment. I agree that the whole ‘meetings in the nude’ thing sound crazy. It reminds me of the Po Bronson book, ‘The Nudist on the Late Shift’.

Leave a Reply