American Apparel now has 10,000 employees, only three of whom have sued founder Dov Charney.

Via on Sep 23, 2008

This morning a longtime barista buddy of mine asked me if he should avoid printing his cafe’s shirts on American Apparel, “Because of that crazy perv founder dude.” It’s a real concern—the stylish ecoish fashion line may be fair-labor (paying all employees a living wage, not getting their stuff made overseas but rather making it in downtown LA, offering ESL classes and many other benefits) and all, but founder Dov Charney (above) has famously had sex with as many employees as he could get his hands on, it seems; he (in)famously masturbated repeatedly in front of a female reporter for defunct mag JANE, he’s being sued by three (as of last year) former employees, he’s whacko and wild, etc. 

But here’s why I print elephant on American Apparel. They were fair-labor, and made in USA, back when that wasn’t cool or popular in the business world. They have been among the pioneers, or at least second wave, of fashion co’s going green (Patagonia was the first wave). And finally, whacky founder Dov’s always been open about his sexual appetites. Wide open. No shady backroom dealings here. And when all’s said and done, if 99% of the company is 200% better than 90% of other companies, that’s good enough for me in this imperfect world.



American Apparel Billboard with Woody Allen

Bonus: Hipster Olympics:

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


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8 Responses to “American Apparel now has 10,000 employees, only three of whom have sued founder Dov Charney.”

  1. lina says:

    i miss old AA! now it’s just cheesy and, yes, fair-labored, American giant. let me get this straight: Dov hasn’t anything to do with his company or its image for couple years or so now, when he sold his shares. and those years when he was involved with AA were the best ads wise: the skimpy dressed girls were the girls he actually shagged (hence, if you work at AA and want to be in its ads, sleep with Dov, he will photograph you and here you go. lots of fame driven girls would consider that), and i thought those raw pics were the coolest ads ever. now however, spotty and imperfect (therefore, perfect) girls were replaced with strike-the-pose models, which sucks and is plain boring. it’s just not the genuine thing anymore. but wacky men with moustaches – rock on for ever!

  2. [...] in the past about the things I love about American Apparel. Waylon has too, highlighting their fair labor standards and vertical integration (and I’ve heard he’s a fan of their underwear but I can’t verify [...]

  3. [...] have all been in line at a cafe/American Apparel/AmCo show and seen these AltPeople with their brightly colored tee shirt & glasses [...]

  4. [...] details, in scantily entertaining fashion, just how eco, progressive…er, wow….solar American Apparel…what was I…recycling ESL free bicycles and…vertical integration, Made in Downtown [...]

  5. Endless Mike says:

    Great post! ..and Lina's comments are spot on. Diana pulease.

  6. [...] what, but here’s her first ad, just up on AA’s site—and hopefully on this site, soon. I love AA—making doing it right (progressive, Made in USA) look sexy—and elephant loves Tara, who [...]

  7. [...] of our yogarific readers, we’ve come to regret that American Apparel represents (and treats) women in a consistently sexualized manner. Given their widespread rep, the unending controversy, [...]

  8. [...] of course, they’ve been one of America’s most controversial companies given founder Dov Charney’s unashamed exposure of his bits and tackle, the occasional sexual harrasm…s, his hiring of thousands of illegal immigrants, and most infamously perhaps this advertising, [...]

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