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Unionmade Isn’t

Unionmade Isn’t

If there were fact checkers for corporate advertising, this would get four Pinocchios. Unionmade clothes aren’t. Unionmade is the San Francisco clothing company where those with way too much money and far too little common sense can spend $565 for a pair of “vintage” Levi Jeans or a $258 “work shirt.”

Hamilton Nolan at Gawker.com exposes Unionmade’s deceptive presentation of its products. Some might say dishonest, after all its website is Unionmadegoods.com.

You could call it "clever marketing" because, as Nolan writes, union members and union allies “make up quite a committed support base.”

If they think they have found a fellow traveler—a popular retailer that supports the cause—they will make it a point to support that retailer.

But several shoppers who thought Unionmade actually meant union-made have spoken out. One would-be purchaser of Unionmade clothing told Nolan:

As a member of a union household, I was initially excited to learn about the store, as I try to buy union-made goods as much as possible. Unfortunately, when I inquired by email whether the store called Union Made Goods does in fact sell union-made goods, I was disappointed to learn that the name is merely an "homage to a time in our history when products were crafted with care, quality, longevity and respect to the people who made them." 

When pushed, Unionmade admitted “some of the brands we carry are union made, many are not.” But as Nolan writes:

But calling your store "Unionmade"….while not selling union made goods is just as asinine and insulting as calling your store "Americanmade" while selling things manufactured in China.

Read the full story. You also can find actual union-made products at www.unionlabel.org and www.labor411.org.  

Read "Wear Jeans? Why 'Made in America' Matters to You," a cross-post from the Youth Monument blog, by Celeste Drake, trade and globalization policy specialist at the AFL-CIO. 

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