Why I Finally ‘Get’ American Apparel

I used to be one of those people. I’m not at all judgemental by nature, and very open minded when it comes to fashion, but there was one brand that I literally used to scoff at. And I mean literally – I once walked into this particularly store and said, without thinking who was around me, “Who actually buys this crap?”. I can safely say that I look back on that and feel like a total spanner.

I’m talking about American Apparel. The land of staple pieces made from shiny nylon and patterned spandex. Items that I used to think were grossly overpriced, as dull as dishwater and worth little more than the £5 something similar would be at Primark. But I’ve had a change of heart.

Why I Finally Get American Apparel

I started to notice the ‘Made in the USA’ claim appearing every time I saw the brand mentioned. I didn’t really think too much about it – I’m sure there are awful, probably illegal sweatshop-style factories all over the States. Not that I imagined American Apparel would operate in that way, but I didn’t really dwell on the matter. Simultaneously, my love for brands like Black Milk started to develop even more. After chats with people like the awesome Laila K, Sonic Boom Six singer and fellow Black Milk-lover, I started to see more and more of the value in well-made, good quality clothing.

So then, I guess, things snowballed. I noticed the ‘Sweatshop Free’ tagline just below the brand logo on the American Apparel store in Manchester – now that got my attention. It made me want to research the brand more, find out a little about what they do and how they do it. And I am very glad I did.

American Apparel Why I Get

There’s more to explain than I could fit in this post, but as a snapshot – American Apparel are committed to things such as decent wages and benefits for their staff, totally making their own products, looking after the environment and investing in the future. There’s lots more to read on their company website HERE. Ok, so some of their advertising is a little odd – and leaves me feeling a bit weird afterwards – but like any company I guess they’re just trying to make their mark.

Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Chyaz, all of that is great but it doesn’t mean you suddenly like the clothes?!”. Well, I guess I’ve had a change of heart about that too. After my research I went into the store and took a look with fresh eyes. I touched and felt the clothes (not in a creepy way, although it’s going to sound like that however I put it) and looked closer at things like the stitching and design. Some of the pieces are not really my thing, but some of them really are.

I ended up buying a pair of leggings, these ones – obviously the image is taken from their website. The quality and feel is divine and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them!

American Apparel Why I Get

Granted, I’m not going to be replacing my whole wardrobe any time soon – I see American Apparel as a brilliant place for staples like leggings that you want to LAST. I’m glad that I finally understand where they are coming from, and will genuinely be making the store a stopping point on my shopping trips. Nice one, American Apparel. You’ve won me over.

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox



  1. January 16, 2014 / 10:01 am

    I almost always feel differently about a brand once I know the positive story about it. Like, I don’t really get H&M but when their conscious collection came out I, like you and AA, went im with fresh eyes.

    The AA thing still doesn’t work for me though. I know it’s great quality basics, and I know it’s sweatshop-free.. But I can’t break away from the awful adverts and the MD’s alleged attitude to women. He’s a bit of a PR carcrash,

    • January 16, 2014 / 10:48 am

      I have to agree that the advertising is a bit of a weird one for me too – it makes me feel quite uncomfortable, and I basically try my best to ignore it! But I guess from a pure clothing perspective I get it all more xox

  2. Alice M
    January 16, 2014 / 5:36 pm

    You say the sweatshop thing bothers you, as it would anyone, but I was wondering how you justify buying from Primark if that’s the case? I did a (very brief) Google search and found that they have been linked to sweatshops both abroad and in the UK. I’m not judging (I will buy cheaper brands if I can right now because I’m on an extremely tight budget), but I was just curious about your thoughts on Primark?

    • January 16, 2014 / 7:31 pm

      To be honest, when I was younger I totally boycotted Primark based on this very thing – however, when I was a poor student Primark was mostly my only option. I had read reports saying that they have vastly improved their standards which made me more willing to shop there, although it does still bother me as I feel that no one knows the whole truth. I guess I’d say I’m still undecided xo

  3. Rachal
    January 16, 2014 / 6:22 pm

    I’m most definitely not a fan of theirs. American Apparel is apparently racist, sexualises their female models (including some younger underage models) to sell their clothing, their founder was involved in sexual harassment lawsuits, they’ve had an employee apparently fired for having cancer.
    They’re really not somewhere I want to spend my cash!

    • January 16, 2014 / 7:32 pm

      Blimey! That definitely is the other side of the coin, and thanks for posting the link my lovely. It’s always good to get both perspectives and I appreciate your comment xo

  4. Ericka
    January 16, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    I don’t like their clothing because I find it boring. I don’t want to just freely advertise their brand (because you cant buy anything without their name on it). I find that the crowd that wears their stuff tends to be like snooty and all “look at me with my brand name stuff”. That being said, if you are genuinely looking for like good quality leggings like you or like their sweaters because they are soft. But I would never buy their clothes just because of the brand.

    • January 16, 2014 / 7:33 pm

      That’s totally fair enough – to be honest, it wasn’t really the brand that drew me in (as it had never really interested me) but the production ethics and quality. I’d never make a point of wearing their stuff, I just don’t want my leggings to fall apart in 5 seconds 😉 hehe xo

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