Americans are also becoming more aware of the way clothing manufacturers treat employees in factories across the globe and hope by purchasing American made products, they can avoid supporting allegedly cheap and sometimes abusive or unfair labor practices.
As manufacturers become aware of consumer buying habits, they may be falsely labeling their clothes Made in the USA in order to give their reputation and their sales a lift.
Made in the USA Product Labeling Laws
California law, which is stricter than federal law on this issue, strictly prohibits products to feature Made in the USA labels if its components are not all American made.
Federal law, on the other hand, states that in order to hold a Made in the USA label, “virtually all” of its components should come from the U.S. Federal law also states that only the final product assembly must be held here. Other stages of assembly can occur elsewhere.
Made in the USA Lawsuits
The latest companies involved in the Made in the USA scandal are designer jean brands Citizens of Humanity and AG Adriano Goldschmied. These American made clothing lawsuits were filed in the San Diego federal court in June, and plaintiffs have ask the courts to hold these and other companies accountable to California’s strict Made in the USA laws.
A small North County firm called the Del Mar Law Group has brought at least six Made in the USA claims against companies on behalf of consumers. One of Del Mar Law Group’s founders, John Donboli, says that these cases have always ultimately resulted in getting the label changed.
Some buyers believe that purchase prices of these designer Citizens jeans are high because they are buying products made in the United States. These buyers are willing to pay high prices for denim jeans made in the U.S. in order to support the nation’s jobs and economy. If foreign components are involved, some say, the American products are no longer worth the purchase price.
A pair of women’s Citizens of Humanity jeans can run between $168 and $258 when at full price.
The strict California Made in the USA labeling law has been on the books since 1962, said Donboli.
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Lawyers for the Citizens of Humanity company argue that federal law trumps state law, and since federal law is in this case more lenient, the case should be dismissed.
The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act further complicates the issue, especially regarding clothing such Citizens of Humanity designer jeans. The TFPIA requires fiber processed or manufactured in the U.S. to bear a Made in the USA label – specifically stating that this applies even if some component parts are not made in the USA.
Many American made clothing brands combine these two laws by labeling their products with this or similar lines: “Made in the USA of imported fabric.” Citizens of Humanity and AG both include this label, which should have solved the problem for their companies as well. However, both companies also use Made in USA labeling in other places on the jeans, without the “imported fabric” caveat.
Donboli has suggested another phrase, which is: “Made in USA with globally sourced component parts.” The main thing, he said, is to offer consumers the truth so that they can make an informed decision.
If you or someone you know has purchased a Citizens of Humanity or AG clothing product in the last few years, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit.
Join a Free Citizens of Humanity ‘Made in the USA’ Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
If you purchased one or more Citizens of Humanity apparel products in California in the past four years based, in part, on a “Made in the USA” label, you may be able to seek compensation by joining a class action lawsuit investigation. Fill out the form HERE.