Store Fails: Aeropostale, American Eagle and Ann Taylor

I like the new direction my blog is going in, so I’m going to wrap about the rest of the “A” store reviews. Instead of giving each store it’s own post, the stores that fail and don’t have a lot of information will be summarized together. These are the remaining “A’s” that my challenge failed at! Next up, the latest winners from a recent positive mall visit, a product review, and a special guest post!


Item found: None

Common Countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Cambodia

Knowledge of Store Personnel: Fair. Associate provided information that the company is headquated in US, originated in Canada, and uses third party suppliers.

Corporate information: Corporate “About” page gives a quick explanation of their use of third party contractors for compliance monitoring. Has several charitable programs, donates clothes to shelters throughout the country.

Overall: Relies exclusively on third world factories for production. Has compliance monitoring in place, and I was not able to find any information on any scandals or abuses. The company is active in philanthropy.

American Eagle

Item found: None

Common Countries: China, Bangledesh, Pakistan

Knowledge of Store Personnel: Poor. Many tags did not list country of origin. Asked associate for assistance, manager was summoned. She seemed annoyed, said the items in question are made China like she was admitting a dirty secret.

Corporate information: Corporate responsibility page details a code of conduct, their factory inspection procedures and organizations they work with to ensure responsible labor conditions.

Overall: Although the company seems to be open in their disclosure of compliance violations in their supplier factories, many of their garments labels fail to state their country of origin. In 2007, a UNITE campaign entitled “American Vulture”  inspired a boycott of the company after they failed to enforce their code of conduct at a distribution warehouse in Canada where workers were harassed for initiating a union.

Ann Taylor

Item found: None

Common Countries: China, Indonesia, Phillipines, Vietnam

Knowledge of Store Personnel: Poor. I spoke with the store manager, who seemed a bit annoyed by my inquiries. She explained that they have factories “all over the world” and therefore some of the clothing “must be made in the US.” A floor associate spent a few minutes looking at labels with me, and they all revealed items made in Asia.

Corporate information: Separate website called “Responsibly Ann” details the companies policies on sustainability, ethics and “green” initiatives. The ethically produced products section features a full description of their auditing procedures using third party consultants, a rating system, and a map of their sourcing suppliers.

Overall: Despite the manager’s optimism, I was unable to find anything in Ann Taylor that was made in the US. The company does have a large amount of information on their conduct policies available on-line, and I give them props for being an early adopter of a fur-free policy.