American Apparel Bankruptcy–What We Know

American Apparel Bankruptcy

Courtesy of American Apparel

UPDATE 4/21/2017

Limited stock for select styles is now available for drop ship from the American Apparel warehouse! Drop shipped items will take 24-48 hours to process prior to shipping. Items included in the new stock wave are the infamous kids raglan tee BB253, the 8369 Sleeveless Crop Top and the women’s tri-blend TR301.

The American Apparel wholesale website is back up and revamped, giving anxious buyers a sneak peek into what the future holds for the collection. Ordering is disabled for now but some popular items host a “Coming in May” title.

The popular 2001, BB401, F497, TR401 and BB453 all made the cut! And with new stock available, you’ll want to order ASAP.

Categories for US Made, Unisex, Kids, etc. show a scaled-back version of the line, featuring only the top heavy hitters that customers know and love.

UPDATE 2/27/2017

In a conference call on Feb. 23rd, Chief Executive Officer Glenn Chamandy announced that the American Apparel brand will begin production soon using a mix of contracted US producers and Gildan’s own manufacturing plants outside the country.

The new owners plan to continue producing some key wholesale styles in the US, while other items offered in the line will be produced at their facilities in the Caribbean and Central America. Distribution will be handled via Gildan’s vast network of warehouses.

Chamandy, the head of the company, is optimistic about the future of American Apparel, and looks forward to expanding the brand into new international markets. “We have huge interest from all of our international customers to carry this brand,” he said. “We’re going to continue to support our core Made in the USA business, but we’re also going to offer product where they couldn’t compete before.”

In a statement released on the brand’s wholesale website, Gildan elaborates:

“Gildan and American Apparel share a vision that owning the factories and building responsible practices and sustainable solutions into the manufacturing process is the way to do it right.”

“We anticipate [the transition] to be completed late February.”


If you haven’t noticed, the American Apparel Bankruptcy has put production on a temporary hiatus. The iconic brand has filed for bankruptcy and is in the process of being bought out by another company. Manufacturing of all items has been suspended for now and with no ETA on when production will pick up, there’s still a lot of questions left unanswered. But here’s the good news–American Apparel will still be around for all your screen printing needs going forward, and stock is still available for the time being.

The popular US-Made brand sold the company in January after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in November 2016. With over $177M in debt, the company was unable to turn things around after persisting legal battles and another bankruptcy back in October 2015. The sale brought retail giants Amazon and Forever 21 to the table, and in the end a bid for $88M was accepted from Canadian-based Gildan Activewear.

American Apparel Bankruptcy

Courtesy of the Center for Latin American Studies

Gildan, another big name in the wholesale market, has indicated they will assume some of the current manufacturing operations. The company recently acquired Alstyle apparel and has since kept the brand’s manufacturing in Los Angeles. More specific plans are set to be released during a conference call on Feb. 23rd. They expressed no interest in purchasing the company’s retail stores, and with no other buyers on the horizon, doors are closing for good at brick-and-mortar locations across the globe.

With industry experience spanning spanning 30+ years, Gildan is expected to fully pivot the brand towards the wholesale market and dedicate it’s resources to serving that consumer base. It’s unsure how much of the current line will remain after the American Apparel Bankruptcy, but if you’re a wholesale buyer or screen printer who’s had trouble buying American Apparel in the past, things just might get a little easier.

American Apparel Bankruptcy

Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Warehouse closures for both retail and wholesale products have already begun in Southern California–including massive layoffs at the famous American Apparel factory in Downtown Los Angeles. Because of this, stock levels represented on your distributor’s website may not be 100% accurate or up-to-date. Only one thing’s for sure–if you need popular shirts like the 2001, BB401 or BB453–be sure to stock up now while you can!

Stay Tuned for more Updates on the American Apparel Bankruptcy!


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Gildan will Continue Manufacturing some American Apparel Lines in the US

American Apparel Wholesale

Forbes: American Apparel Agrees To Gildan Activewear Acquisition

Fortune: Bankrupt Retailer American Apparel Begins Laying Off Thousands of Workers

Gildan: Company Overview

Embroidery: Customization for Everything


As much as we love our t-shirts, even we Southern Californians have to admit there are some occasions where short-sleeve cotton isn’t going to pass muster. But just because you’re dressing up, you don’t have to forgo customization. When you’re looking to personalize items other than t-shirts (polos, bags, button-downs, hats), your best option is to consider an embroidery quote.

Image above: the Barudan Embroidery Machine at Embroidery Classics Calgary Alberta

closeup_bone needle

Unlike the majority of customization methods that rely on applying ink to textiles, with embroidery, you simply sew the logo or design of your choice onto anything from baseball caps to golf shirts and jackets. And this isn’t a new concept. In fact, needlework can be traced all the back to the earliest human civilizations when prehistoric bone needles would be used to sew together skins and furs in order to make clothes, shoes, tents and blankets. Since then, elaborate and intricately embroidered textiles have been a sign of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, China, Japan and Europe.

Image above: Bone Needle with yucca thread from the American Southwest Virtual Museum

punchtapeFor thousands of years, all embroidery was handwork, until in 1828 (before the invention of the sewing machine!) Josue Heilmann in France invented small hand embroidery machine. He wasn’t able to make a go of the business side of things, but his invention inspired numerous others to create and sell similar machines.

It would be another 150 years before the next embroidery revolution took place in 1980, with the invention of the first computerized embroidery machine. Prior to modern computers, most machine embroidery was completed by punching designs on a paper tape or group of cards that ran through the machine. But this modern machine utilized a design that had been pre-programed by the computer into the sewing machine.

Image above: An early punch-card embroidery machine at the German Museum of Technology

These days it’s all about the software. Contemporary embroidery is created using a computerized embroidery machine that translates the design into a digitized embroidery pattern. The machine holds the fabric taut using a hoop and the pattern is then applied to the textile using different types of fills to add texture and design to the finished piece. You can apply embroidery decoration to nearly every type of fabric.

Image above: Ricoma Embroidery Machine