Even though most – if not all – of the clothes we wear every day is made in some place other than the United States, when it comes to the Olympics, suddenly it matters that the uniforms to be worn by our athletes in the Opening Ceremonies July 27 were made in China rather than here.
Ralph Lauren outsourced the manufacturing to China and politicians and some citizens are up in arms. The reaction has been so strong, the company has pledged to manufacture uniforms for the 2014 Winter Games in the U.S.
Rhode Island Rep. James Langevin co-authored a letter with colleagues Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Jon Runyan (R-N.J.) challenging the U.S. Olympic Committee to do even more to ensure uniforms will be manufactured domestically in the future.
"... while we applaud the announcement that Ralph Lauren will domestically manufacture Team USA apparel for 2014, we would urge you to consider additional steps that can be taken to address this matter ... " the letter read.
The Providence Journal reports Rep. David Cicilline thinks the situation could be made better by engaging a manufacturer in Woonsocket to make the berets for the Opening Ceremonies.
However, some argue we shouldn't be worried about where the uniforms are made.
According to Business Week, "garment manufacturing is a low-cost commodity business. Most of the value in the apparel industry comes from design, technology, sales, marketing, and distribution—not manufacturing. The successful players in apparel, such as Ralph Lauren and Nike, figured this out long ago."
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