When you shop in some stores, you are looking specifically for goods made in other countries. With brands like Armani you might assume you are paying for high-quality clothing made responsibly in Italy. Armani Exchange is apparently the more causal, “affordable” line of Armani clothing designed specifically for the American market.
Item Found : Jeans
Most Common Countries: Turkey, India, Thailand, China, USA
Knowledge of Store Personnel : Poor
Corporate information: Surprisingly for such a large corporation, Armani’s website does not have any corporate responsibility information. A little research dug up a few interesting tidbits. According to Sourcewatch, in 2005 a managing employee lost his job with Armani after sharing his HIV positive status. Interestingly, Armani did participate in the (Product) Red campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. In 2006, a large supplying factory in China was targeted by the Clean Clothes Campaign for gross labor abuses including forced overtime, non-payment, and psychological and physical abuse. Armani was also targeted in a PETA campaign to end the use of rabbit fur in his collections after breaking his pledge to do so.
Overall: On the positive side, the company is apparently attempting to move more of their manufacturing in-house to increase their number of items made in Italy. I could not locate any item made in Italy in A/X, but was able to find jeans made in America. Currently 18% of their high-end line “Armani Collezioni” is made in Italy. As owner and only stakeholder in the business, Giorgio Armani is in a key position to retain decision making responsibility for all aspects of the company. He must be held accountable for the actions of suppliers he chooses to outsource to for manufacturing. He would also be wise to follow in the footsteps of other top designers and stop using fur.
When you pay more for a high-end designer good, do you expect it to be made ethically?