Rise and Fall in the Fashion Industry

with Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel and Keith Fink, Litigation Attorney
790 KABC, September 30, 2017

Dov Charney (born January 31, 1969) is a Canadian businessman. He is best known for founding American Apparel, where he served as the CEO from 1989 until 2014. He is now the founder of Los Angeles Apparel, a new vertically-integrated apparel manufacturer.

At American Apparel, Charney was involved in nearly every part of the business process from design and manufacturing to marketing. At a time when the US garment industry had largely shifted to outsourced overseas manufacturing, Charney built American Apparel into a vertically-integrated fashion company—the largest clothing manufacturing operation in the United States—where every aspect of the business, from design and manufacturing to distribution and marketing, was done from American Apparel’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Charney was also responsible for American Apparel to be an early adopter of RFID tags on garments in 2007 in an effort to reduce theft and improve inventory control. In addition, Charney pioneered the Made in USA sweatshop-free model of transparency, fair wages and a refusal to outsource manufacturing. He is also a vocal

Under Charney's stewardship, American Apparel took a leading role in the promotion of a number of prominent social causes. Legalize LA was an immigration reform campaign conceived by Charney and promoted by American Apparel beginning in 2004. The campaign featured billboards and full-page ads in national publications as well as t-shirts sold in retail locations emblazoned with the words "Legalize LA." Proceeds from the sale of the shirts were donated to immigration reform advocacy groups. The campaign called for the overhaul of immigration laws so as to create a legal path for undocumented workers to gain citizenship in the United States.

n an interview with Vice.tv, Charney spoke out against the poor treatment of fashion workers in developing countries and refers to the practices as "slave labor" and "death trap manufacturing". Charney proposed a "Global Garment Workers Minimum Wage" and discussed in detail many of the inner workings of the modern fast fashion industry practices that creates dangerous factory conditions and disasters like the 2013 Savar building collapse on May 13, which had the death toll of 1,127 and 2,500 injured people who were rescued from the building alive.[