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When the news broke that Ralph Lauren’s U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony uniforms were actually made in China, many people were understandably outraged.
Given the political firestorm about corporations outsourcing U.S. jobs to cut costs, this is a very hot button right now. Just ask Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is being accused of being in charge of Bain Capital until 2002 and having knowledge of the corporation outsourcing american jobs to use cheaper foreign labor.
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Understandably not wanting to get into the whole outsourcing quicksand, Romney simply called the matter “extraneous.”
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even went so far as to say these Made in China uniforms should be “burned.”
But the designer himself has been strangely mum about the outsourcing and about the criticism of his oh-so French berets and the super-sized promotional Ralph Lauren polo pony emblazoned on the navy jackets that will surely be visible from the nose-bleed seats during the Games.
But now the company has released this statement:
“For more than 45 years Ralph Lauren has built a brand that embodies the best of American quality and design rooted in the rich heritage of our country. We are honored to continue our longstanding relationship with the United States Olympic Committee in the 2014 Olympic Games by serving as an Official Outfitter of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government addressing the issue of increasing manufacturing in the United States and has committed to producing the Opening and Closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.”
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To put this into simple understandable english, there is no apology, no excuse, no contriteness. All the US athletes’ China-made navy blazers, white bottoms and berets will be worn at the Olympics. There’s just nothing to be done about that now.
But Ralph Lauren promises to make sure the uniforms are made in the good old U.S. of A next time around. That is, If Ralph Lauren gets a next time around.
What do you think about Lauren’s statement? And how do you feel about our Olympic uniforms being manufactured in China? Tell us in the comments.
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