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'Sweatshop free' clothes coming
Baltimore Business Journal
March 4, 2005

Federal Hill is known for its boisterous happy hour joints and eclectic restaurants. Soon, it will get its first national clothing store.

Los Angeles-based American Apparel LLC just signed a lease for a new store on Light Street, which it expects to open within 60 to 90 days, said Cynthia Semon, a company spokeswoman.

The company, which sells trendy casual clothes, currently operates 43 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe. Store sizes range between 2,500 to 3,000 square feet.

American Apparel touts its "sweatshop-free" policy. All of its clothes are made in downtown Los Angeles, where it employs more than 3,000, rather than overseas. Officials claim that by keeping manufacturing, customer service and other operations under one roof, the company gains better oversight over all of its functions and fill orders more quickly, Semon said.

Are more Maryland stores on the horizon? Quite possibly, Semon said. The company is opening new stores at a rate of three to four stores per month, Semon said.

"I envision more stores coming to Maryland," she said.