American Apparel Made in India/Pakistan/Sri-Lanka

I brought a few cool T-shirts from Threadless.com and their competitor DesignByHumans.com. I am a sucker for Unique/Cool looking T-shirts I love designs that are abstract/artistic. I was a bit disappointed with the DesignByHumans.com T-shirt not by the fact that the T-shirt was made in Pakistan (which was a big surprise for me), the T-shirt wasn’t that great and definitely not worth the 20+10$ I spent. The Threadless.com T-shirts were better but nothing I couldn’t buy here except that they were limited edition designs.

What put me off about the Threadless T-shirts were that the labels inside had been snipped off with scissors. Unlike DesignByHumans.com they didn’t want their customers/buyers to know that the T-shirt were most probably manufactured in India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka.

But hey its so UnCool to wear a T-Shirt made in INDIA isnt it?

I remember when my dad brought me a few things when he went on a trip to the US. He got me a pair of Rebook shoes made in China and a windbreaker jacket made in Sri-Lanka all from the USA.

American Apparel buys spun yarns in U.S. but imports organic yarn from Turkey, Pakistan.

Cotton Ginny uses certified organic cotton grown in India; the T-shirts are made in India.

Gap grows and spins its organic cotton in India. Fabric is cut and sewn in Sri Lanka.

Joe Fresh T-shirts are manufactured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and the cotton is sourced in China.

New Organic spins its U.S.-grown organic Pima cotton in Switzerland.

You can read more about it here More here.

Most of the T-shirt made in India come from Tirupur. Its a T-Shirt Fanatic’s heaven, but you’ll need to know the right place to go, also it would be helpful if you knew someone there, its easy to get lost there and its hard to determine the quality of stuff unless you are a fabric expert. There are endless shops piled with T-shirts/Garments of every kind. During my college days I made a trip there after a few of my friends from Tirupur told me how Big Companies like Nike, Reebok were ripping off customers here in India. Apparently the T-Shirts were all manufactured in Tirupur and exported to US/Europe etc, where the labels were snipped off or removed, then exported back to India with a 1000% extra price tag.

Tirupur is the center of Tamil Nadu’s cotton knitwear industry and successfully markets its products in India and overseas. It is called the Knits Capital of India as it caters to famous brands and retailers from all over the world. Nearly every buyer of knitting in the world comes to Tirupur.

Some of the world’s largest retailers including Walmart, Switcher, Diesel, ARMY, Tommy Hilfiger, M&S, FILA, H&M, Pink Lemonade, HTHP, Whale, Reebok, VALUE, PitStop, RESPECT import many textiles items and clothing from Tirupur.

You can read more about Tirupur from the Wikipedia.

19 Responses

Good to hear that at least in sometime Pakistan, India will be recognized as one of the coolest Textile Producer in the World, Proud to be a Pakistani.Pls don’t mind ^_~

@Ehsan Thanks for dropping by this wasn’t a Pakistan Vs India debate ;).

Cool. Must check out your threadless tshirt!

I didn’t say it was a Pakistan/India Debate but it certainly is a matter of pride for both that the textiles are being exported to Europe and America

true ,what u said about tirupur.We get all our college tshirts from there,cheap and great !

What did you not like about the shirt from DBH vs. Threadless? I have a couple of DBH shirts and they are super soft and fit nice. They have a “made in pakistan” neck label but I know the company printed them in California. Why is that bad? I don’t really understand your point.

Give us the snaps Arpit. Let’s take a look :)

@Ehsan I was just kidding :)

@Taggy yeah we did the same when we were in College

@Richard I didn’t say it was bad I was merely pointing out the facts. By the why is it called American Apparel then? Just because it is printed in the US? Also why do the Threadless guys need to snip off the labels at the back?

@Mani I’ll once I get some decent shots ;) I am kind of reluctant to put my photos up.

Its not just t-shirts which are sold by the BIG brands with a 100% price hike, even shirts and trousers from Louis Philippe and others are made in India by local vendors, which is then graded according to quality and sold with the brand tag “Louis Philippe” at a bigger price. You get the same quality at the local vendor with 1/10 price.
I know a person working with one of the BIG brands who told me that they buy materials from local textile manufacturers in bulk and sell at a price 10 times more.

@Aj: This is what the big labels in the US do right? Get it all done from here, snip the labels and sell it elsewhere. You mustve seen the GAP story the other day in the news. Exploitation of young children to get their clothes made. I’m sure GAP is going to deny any knowledge and if they do that raises the question of how low will these big guys go to making a quick few bucks at the expense of others.

@Taju: Long time no see :) And yes i bet its the same for most items including stuff like shoes and other such stuff

My previous comment got caught in your spam thingie. Rescue please

@Taju yep you are right.

@Ben yeah I saw it in the news.

Hey, where exactly is this place Tirupur and how does one get there? I could’ve looked it up on the net but am too lazy… Info wud b much appreciated. ;-)

Threadless.com cuts the labels out of the shirts because they use American Apparel shirts but dont want to advertise the other brand or give them a percent of their profit. And most US companies outsource to Asia because it costs so much less. Asian countries don’t have high standards of wages for their workers, therefor the US takes advantage of the cheap labor so that the American companies can make a profit. You shouldn’t be offended, it’s basic business. The object is to make a profit and Asian countries inexpensive labor allows that to happen.

emily » Companies need to balance profit and ethics, I don’t think snipping off the label is the right thing to do. Plus what makes you sure they are aren’t using a t-shirt directly from an Asian country like DBH.

“profit and ethics, I don’t think snipping off the label is the right thing to do.”

I agree. I think that hiding the fact is worse,

the threadless t-shirts are aa, i think most people can tell when you compare the two

Threadless cuts the tags off their shirts because that’s the whole thing about being “threadless” – lots of people who wear t-shirts dislike the whole tag inside thing because they can be itchy. Also, if I’m not mistaken – if the shirt was actually imported from a supplier that is from another country, Threadless would be obligated to ship the shirts with the tags still intact — they use AA (and anyone who has ever worn an AA shirt knows that there is a distinct size/fit/feel that is different from other manufacturers – some prefer this, some don’t – I personally love AA), so they can cut out the tags without violating any sort of trade thing.

It’s such a pity that we dont officially get brands like AA in India. I emailed them earlier and they said that they dont ship to India !WTF !!?!

PS: I clicked on a Adsense link … i hope that helps .. in a small way …

Cheers :)