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Ethical Clothing Companies

American Apparel vs. Toms Shoes: Do CEOs Affect Your Buys?

The struggles of American Apparel's woes have been splashed across the press, and we've all heard about CEO Dov Charney's sexual harassment suits and bad money practices. The firm's appeal used to be that it was different from the other retail giants because of its strong ethical values. Charney's image is fraying away lawsuit after lawsuit, and I'm wondering if this will make you think twice about making a purchase at American Apparel.

I must admit, I admire companies that embrace a strong moral core and are doing social good. I bought my first pair of Toms shoes two weeks ago, and I felt good about my purchase. The company was founded on a premise that for every pair of shoes you buy, another pair will be donated towards a less fortunate child.

Founder Blake Mycoskie started Toms because he was inspired by his trip to Argentina, where he saw children without shoes to protect their feet. It seems that the public is supportive of the message he's sending — Toms will be fitting its millionth pair of donated shoes on a child this September.


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Beauty Beauty 6 years
I've bought one thing from American Apparel -- sweatpants that I needed while on vacation in 2004 -- and I wish I hadn't given a dime to Dov Charney. Like Lilkimbo, I don't like the way he views and treats women. It's unfortunate, because I prefer to buy American-made products (and that's increasingly hard to do).
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
CEO's don't really affect my purchases (as far as what they do in their personal lives, their personalities, etc.) However, business practices do (to some extent). I recognize that it's not possible to boycott every single store/company that has done one thing that I disagree with (the recent Target boycott comes to mind). However, I do try to look at a company's overall practices regarding issues that are important to me. I don't like to shop at American Apparel because of their hiring practices, the alleged frequent sexual harassment, and the extreme objectification of women in many of their ads. And, I love TOMS! I'm so glad the company has really taken off. (And, I got my first pair of TOMS about 4 years ago and they're still in good shape, so obviously it's a quality product.)
minxa25 minxa25 6 years
love TOMS shoes there so comfy & doing a little good.
lotuslight lotuslight 6 years
Absolutely. That's why I'm not buying clothes this year!... . Companies like American Apparel just make me sick...Dov seems like a total creep. It is too bad because I like the idea behind their clothes. Maybe someday it will change...
suzieleung suzieleung 6 years
I LOVE TOMS SHOES TOO!!! Blake is so awesome! Great post!
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