Organic Consumers Association

OCA earns major victory in Clothes for a Change Campaign


Four year plan could double organic acreage in California

Little Marais, (MN) - The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a national grassroots network of over 500,000 consumers, announce the largest victory to
date in their national Clothes for a Change Campaign. Through a process of
collaboration and support, the OCA has encouraged American Apparel to commit to
a four-year sustainable fiber plan blending 80% of the company’s cotton
consumption from certified transitional and organic cotton. Since American
Apparel is the largest sweatfree t-shirt manufacturer in the U.S. and is
working to source all organic cotton from the United States, this commitment
will have lasting effects on organic cotton production in this country.

Today, American Apparel begins the first step in this plan with the
introduction of the “Sustainable Edition” made from luxurious certified
transitional organic combed cotton. American Apparel will offer three of the
company’s most popular styles—Girly Basic T (4305), Girly Fine Jersey T (2102),
Thong (4313) and Standard American Fine Jersey T (2001) will be available in
the Natural color of this environmentally friendly fabric.

By purchasing organic cotton in the U.S., the Organic Consumers Association
expects American Apparel’s efforts to at least double organic acreage in
California and greatly impact overall organic cotton production in the country,
leading to more healthy environment and safer surroundings for farm workers.
Pesticides and other chemicals used on cotton cause acute poisonings and
chronic illnesses to farm workers. The pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
used on cotton routinely contaminate groundwater, surface water and pollute the
water we drink. The movement of these chemicals through the ecosystem also
affects fish, birds and other wildlife. Genetically-engineered cotton
varieties, 71% of all cotton grown in the U.S., have furthered cotton’s
disturbing reliance on monoculture farming and increased chemical use.

By 2004 American Apparel’s Senior Partner, Dov Charney expects that over 20% of
the company’s cotton consumption will be derived from environmentally
friendlier sources. “We are working closely with the Organic Consumers
Association,” Charney states, “to obtain their endorsement of our overall
plan.” "With the launch of the 'Sustainable Edition,' and commitment to
convert 80% of all cotton to organic over 4 years, American Apparel is becoming
one of the most environmentally responsible businesses in the industry," said
Chris Treter, coordinator for the Clothes for a Change Campaign with the
Organic Consumers Association.

The OCA is a grassroots nonprofit organization concerned with food safety,
organic farming, sustainable agriculture, fair trade and genetic engineering. ###

55614 USA
Telephone: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652· email:

CONTACT: Chris Treter 231.256.966
Cynthia Semon 818-788-4468


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