American Apparel is crowdsourcing new ideas for made-in-US products

American Apparel is crowdsourcing new ideas for made-in-US products

Troubled US retailer American Apparel is using a crowdsourcing campaign to look for new ideas for made-in-US products such as footwear that it can sell in its stores and online.

The Los Angeles based business, which makes all of its branded fashions in the US, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a private company earlier this year, and as part of its reorganisation plan said it would focus on designing new products.

And last month it revealed plans to potentially outsource the production of more complicated garments, and focus its own factories on basics such as T-shirts and casual wear.

Its new 'Made In' campaign is an open call for ideas that American Apparel can purchase and sell, such as leather goods, canvas goods, footwear, jewellery and small home furnishings.

The products must be made in the US, and retail for $100 or less. Vendors must ensure they can produce and deliver 500 units to the company's distribution centre within a 30-day period.

"Cutting and sewing 100% of our garments in America is at the core of our DNA. We want to continue to support manufacturing in the US by giving small businesses the opportunity to thrive and succeed," explains Cynthia Erland, senior vice president of marketing at American Apparel.

"We are very excited to launch our Made In crowdsourcing campaign by soliciting ideas for third-party accessories and small home goods made in America and giving these vendors the opportunity for distribution in our stores and online globally."

To submit a proposal, vendors are required to make a 90-second video discussing their proposed products by 17 June. The retailer will then make a decision by 30 June on which vendors to select.

For American Apparel, which operates 202 retail stores in 19 countries, the 'Made In' campaign follows a decision last month to lay off about 500 workers, as well as its possible plans to outsource some garments.

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