“Make America Great Again” is majorly unappealing to one West Coast-based brand.
American Apparel released a press statement that expressed disapproval of Donald Trump after learning that the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign was using its products for merchandise at the Cleveland convention.
“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,” said a spokeswoman. “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.”
The spokeswoman further expressed how it was possible for Trump’s campaign to use American Apparel T-shirts, without knowing about the overall mission of the brand. “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,” she said.
Considering that a majority of American Apparel’s workforce is composed of immigrants, it’s an ironic decision for Trump’s campaign to incorporate the brand’s T-shirts as its own propaganda. In 2009, American Apparel was forced to fire 1,800 illegal workers as a result of the Obama administration’s illegal immigration crackdown. After this issue, American Apparel wanted to change the scope of labor rights in the United States.
Today, in addition to advocating for immigration reform, American Apparel has also partnered up with Human Rights Campaign and The Ally Coalition to support LGBTQ equality with its “Make American Gay Again” initiative, a cheeky play on Trump’s own slogan. In June, American Apparel printed T-shirts and tanks labeled “Make America Gay Again” and “Make American LGBTQ Again” for customers to support this cause.
In regard to the American Apparel statement, no comment was available from Trump and his campaign.