A Made in USA Fail found at the GAP uncovered a slew of misleading labels throughout mall stores. Patriotic labels, branding and graphics can pull at the heart strings of consumers. But checking labels carefully remains vital to finding out where a product is actually manufactured.
Item Found: After a disappointing run through the clothing in the Old Navy and GAP stores, we found a “Bobble” water bottle for sale by the check-out that is American made.
Most Common Countries: China, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Indonesia
Corporate Info: The Gap Inc.’s ethical stance is a bit perplexing. Despite past child labor scandals, the company has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most ethical companies by The Ethisphere Institute. After a BBC reporter captured footage of forced child labor in an India factory making clothing for Gap Kids, the Gap took quick action. The GAP also participates in the Product Red campaign, supporting the Global Fund to fight AIDs, Malaria and TB.
Overall: The Gap may have a shady past, but it seems they are doing what they can to work towards an ethical business model. I suppose that when a company outsources the manufacturing of all their clothes to take advantage of cheaper labor, there is only so much they can do to monitor it from overseas. To me, this makes the importance of buying locally even more obvious.
Some time ago I ran into a funny post on The Consumerist about the Gap’s latest PR snafu involving their promotion of American made “FEED” bags supporting American hunger projects. It turns out some of the mentioned FEED USA bags were actually made in China, and a cyber-scandal ensued.
Here are some other “Made in USA” fails I’ve come across, the first courtesy of Old Navy.
Fourth of July Shirt made in Indonesia.
USA Flag Pin made in China.
B&BW soap “Made in the Heartland” in Mexico.
What misleading patriotic labels, graphics or other types of “Made in USA Fails” have you come across? How does the information that these seemingly patriotic products are actually made overseas make you feel as a consumer?