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American Apparel
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American Apparel

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One of American Apparel’s most eco-friendly attributes is in how their products are made: in Los Angeles by workers who are paid a fair wage. At a time when the vast majority of manufacturers outsource their production to third world countries where labour standards can be sketchy, this in itself is a big deal. Factory workers also receive subsidized health insurance (a big deal for Americans), public transportation and lunches.

Their Sustainable Edition line is made from 100% organic cotton, and estimates are that soon 80% of the cotton they use will be organic. Solar panels on the roof supply 30% of the power used in the factory, and scrap material is used to make smaller items.

It also supports the Cleaner Cotton Campaign, which buys California cotton that uses fewer chemicals and non-GM seed. On the business end, American Apparel’s downtown L.A. factory houses solar panels and contains retrofitted light fixtures to help save more than 1 million kilowatt hours of energy each year, and it cuts down on waste by donating and recycling its excess materials. To encourage a more sustainable workforce, the company lends out bikes and provides employees with subsidized bus passes.











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