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Gawker article on Unionmade and it's "non-union made" products

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

 

I recently read this article on Gawker reporting the majority of products carried by Unionmade are in fact, non-union made.

 

Quote:
If you want to have an attractively curated store that sells insanely overpriced clothes designed to mimic the clothes that poor people wore a century ago, fine. But calling your store "Unionmade" (and modeling your logo on the AFL-CIO's) while not selling union made goods is just as asinine and insulting as calling your store "Americanmade" while selling things manufactured in China. It's blatantly misleading.

 

I personally have no experience with Unionmade because it's little over my usual price range, but I always admired quality items that they handle. Other than that, no other thoughts really, although there was this one time that offended even me when they were selling a $500 rip-off of Bill Cunningham's signature blue jacket

 

After reading this article, however, I do agree with the arguments made by the author. I have no problem with items that they sell with prices they ask for--if there are people who would pay for such price, fine, it's their money.

 

But when they name their shop and design their logo as "Unionmade", you do get the impression of false advertising. I have no doubt of great quality of items that they carry, and I don't know the way Unionmade market themselves, but it's just weird to see such irony.

 

Any thoughts? Now, I don't really want to get any political argument about American labor, unions, etc. I've heard enough of those during the election time. I just like to share this story to those who haven't read it yet, and like read some thoughts of other SF members.

 

P.S. Salon also has an interesting followup column to the original article:

 

 

Quote:

It’s the latest example of faux-workerism — akin to Levi’s “We are all workers” campaign — (UnionMade’s logo even copies the AFL-CIO’s) while unions remain under threat and retrenched in the United States.

This story reminded us of “30 Rock” protagonist Liz Lemon and her brief love affair with the fictional Brooklyn Without Limits clothing store. Lemon believed her derriere-flattering, overpriced jeans were ethically “Made in the USA” — as the label promised.

“Oh, Lemon,” responded Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack, “it’s not ‘handmade in USA,’ it’s pronounced ‘hahnd-made in Oosa.’ The Hand people are a Vietnamese slave tribe, and USA is their island prison. They made your jeans. Do you know how they get the stitching so small? … Orphans.”

post #2 of 10
I live three blocks away from this place. I love it. Since it's so crazy expensive, I can only shop there once a year during their annual sale, but they have really, really nice stuff.

As far as the name? 7-11 isn't really open from 7 to 11. Much ado about nothing, I say.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyhandsome View Post

I live three blocks away from this place. I love it. Since it's so crazy expensive, I can only shop there once a year during their annual sale, but they have really, really nice stuff.
As far as the name? 7-11 isn't really open from 7 to 11. Much ado about nothing, I say.

I would love visit the shop too if I ever get to visit San Francisco which I originally planned for this Thanksgiving but had to cancel.

 

And good point on 7-11. But they did open from 7am to 11pm back in 40s according to wikipedia...

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I would also like to point out that a great deal of items at Unionmade are in fact, made in USA by small brands that are different from the corporate infrastructure.  

 

I also know the fact that majority of garment factories in U.S. are non-union and that unions might not be sustainable option in competitive global market for most businesses.

post #5 of 10
I always took "Union" in their name as a reference to the USA. Like "Not Confederate Made."
post #6 of 10
Amusing. I like how their website doesn't show you the price until you checkout. happy.gif
post #7 of 10
I visited their store last month when I was in San Fran. Lots of beautiful clothing and (more rare) sales people who are knowledgeable about the stuff they sell. Was hoping to buy a pair of their 2-tone Alden Longwings, but they didn't have my size.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post

Amusing. I like how their website doesn't show you the price until you checkout. happy.gif

Wait, what? The price is right there...
post #9 of 10
The AFL-CIO even getting on their case now:

http://gawker.com/5964644/afl+cio-tells-non+union-store-unionmade-to-stop-with-the-unionmade-crap
Quote:
Earlier this month we told you about Unionmade, the upscale San Francisco menswear store that sells expensive clothes that are not, in fact, union made. The cherry on top of that particular style-over-substance outrage was the fact that Unionmade's logo bears a suspicious resemblance to the logo of the AFL-CIO. And now, the AFL-CIO's lawyers have sent them an angry letter demanding they change their name and logo.

The full letter, which can be found here, demands that the company yank its handshake logo, and "change the name of your store to a mark that does not deceive the public into thinking they are purchasing items that are actually made by union workers." Of course, it's hard to tell initially whether letters like this represent serious legal threats, or are just meant to make a statement. But the AFL-CIO's letter was worthwhile for this line alone:

The AFL-CIO finds your use of the UNIONMADE mark highly misleading as the dictionary definition and understanding amongst the public is that "union-made" means "produced by workers belonging to a labor union." See Dictionary.com.

By god they're right!

We've emailed Unionmade for a response and will update if we receive one. For more on Unionmade's background, see this Peter Dreier piece.

[AFL-CIO; Previously.]
post #10 of 10
comments:
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OLD NAVY!!!???

They're not even OLD! OR, IN THE NAVY!!!
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this clears things up i was confused why when i went into the Unionmade store there weren't 6 clerks standing around every one clerk who was actually working. i was doubly confused when the clothes didn't have an extra 70% markup to cover labor costs. i was triply confused when one of the clerks got caught smoking weed and drinking during lunch and was fired.
Quote:
Like your dumb ass could afford anything in the store.

Guess you should have joined a union.
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