Citizens of Humanity Scandal: Where Do You Stand?

I just learned that, this week, Citizens of Humanity, the jeans-maker located in Huntington Park, California, was targeted in a class action lawsuit over the accuracy of its “Made in USA” labeling. The plaintiff in the case is a San Diego resident named Loiuse Clarke, who contends she was defrauded by the company because the Boyfriend Jeans she purchased included “fabric, thread, buttons, and/or rivets” made outside the United States. The suit also targets Macy’s, where the jeans were purchased. (You can read the entire document here.)

My initial reaction was to scoff at the lawsuit. When I see “Made in USA,” I assume only that the final “making” takes place here: the clothing is sewn and finished; the car is assembled, the chair is built. If the product is more American than that, the maker usually brags about it: “Made in the USA from 90% USA-made components” OR “Sewn in the USA from American-grown cotton.”

In the jeans industry, this is even more prevalent, with some manufacturers going so far as to cite the farm where the cotton was grown, or the mill that made the thread or produced the denim.

If I have any doubts or questions about an item, I simply call the company and ask. Most are forthcoming with the information. So, Citizens Of Humanity didn’t violate the rules as I see them, but I thought I’d check what the government has to say on the matter.

I went to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, which revealed that a product bearing the simple “Made in USA” label must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S.  They give the following example: “If the gold in a gold ring is imported, an unqualified Made in USA claim for the ring is deceptive.” So, if an American jeweler hand-making a gold ring can’t say it was made in America when foreign gold is used, can a jeans maker call its jean “Made in the USA” if foreign denim is used?

The FTC gives another example, saying that a lamp with an American body and an American shade cannot carry the “Made in USA” label if its base was foreign-made because the base is “a significant part of the product.” This was a more stringent definition than I expected to see, though all the FTC asks is that the label provide more information, such as “60% U.S. content,” or “Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts.”

So, perhaps Citizens of Humanity should have sewn a more descriptive label into its jeans. I’m sure we’ll see more of that now.

Still, I’m sad to see this lawsuit, which will may result in little recompense for jeans-buyers and lots of wallet-lining for lawyers. Personally, I would prefer to deal with an incident where I felt defrauded in a clothing purchase in a different way; a more old-school, “Made-in-USA’ way if you will.  I would demand my money back, tell all my friends and family about my complaint and spread the word online. If other people were as outraged as I, the word would spread, complaints would be made and the company would change its labeling. If the aforementioned groundswell did not occur, I would just assume that most people didn’t give a hoot and maybe I should pick another battle. Then I’d go have a piece of pie.

How about you? Leave your comments below.


20 American-Made Necktie Brands: Tie One On!

This post was updated on November 9, 2017.  
We’ve rounded-up twenty Made-in-USA tie brands, from traditional to wildly creative. Take your pick!
Disclosure: If you buy through our links, we may get a small commission. Please do!

Ted BakerHillsideTies by The HillsideklVineyard Vines ties

Feather Ties from Brackish & Bell

beautiesBeau-Ties of Vermont has both neckties and bowtiesMountain and Sackett

HighCottonHigh Cotton TiesDonahueDavid Donahue TiesNeckties by General Knot

Gitman Tiescyberoptix Cyberoptix Ties are some of the most creative around; made from vintage graphics.FoxBrie_tiesFox & Brie Ties.David Hart Ties

hanauerR. Hanauer TiesolchAlexander Olch Ties

Ties from Blade and Blue

Hawaiian Style Ties from Hawaiian ClothingToddTodd Snyder usually has a few ties among his American-made goods.

Psycho Bunny Ties

14 Manly Soaps: Made in the USA

Alright guys, we’ve talked about shaving soaps, but this is the first posting on facial and body soap. Summer is here – and hot sweaty exercise needs to be combatted with something to keep us attractive to the ladies. There are hundreds of people making soap, from small batches in the kitchen to full on operations. Many of these products, with their carefully-crafted scents and really great feeling suds just feel better than the old generic bar of brand X. So pick up one of these bars and lather up!

You Dirty Dog Soap from Owen and Fred
Unionmade Soap from Baxter of California


Los Poblanos Man Bar Gift Set from the Farm Shop
Cabin Fever Soap from the Soap Shed
Sports Blend and Degreaser soap from the Oregon Soap Shoppe




A Dozen Delicious Sources of Summer Sleepwear for Women: Made-in-USA

Bedhead has a selection of pajamas for every season. Here are a few of their short-sleeve sleep sets.

Sleepy Jones has lots of adorable, made-in-America pajamas. Check them out here.

The Cat’s Pajamas has some cute summer sleep sets. Their sushi pattern always gives me a smile.

We found Araks boxer and shirt sleep sets at Saks.

From Between the Sheets, bamboo boy shorts and camisoles with coordinating robes.

Simple Pleasures has a wide selection of pretty pajamas.

Breezy Harlow PJ top and Presley PJ pants by Xirena at Steven Alan.

The ‘Runaway’ Charmeuse & Lace Short Pajama is typical of the soft, sexy style of Flora Nikrooz.

Women’s loungewear from Mettler’s American Mercantile

Wittman Mills” Savy Soy Tiny Strap nightgowns are made from a combination of cotton and soybean fiber.

Japanese Weekend offers d&a maternity and nursing pajamas and other sleepwear.

Back in 2012, Paddi Murphy announced that manufacturing of all of its moisture wicking pajamas would be moved back to the USA, to a factory in South Carolina. Their Spring 2014 catalog, however, has only 4 outfits pictured here tagged as USA-made. The items at left are from the Carla collection; at right is the Chloe collection.

A Visit to the SOWA Artisans Market

Recently, while in Boston, we had the opportunity to visit the inspiring SOWA Market. As we walked up and down the aisles of vendors, checking out their wares, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many were selling 100% American-Made products.

From tote bags made from old sails to clothing, candles and fine jewelry, there were a lot of items that would make great gifts for family – or yourself.

Some of the vendors had Etsy or Kickstarter accounts; others were very small garage operations – but they were all very proud and willing to walk you through their processes of creating. Here is just a small sampling of what we found:

The makers of the Hop Box home brewing kit just completed a successful funding on kickstarter.

In talking with Sasha Walsh we were really impressed that not only is she making all  her jewelry here in the USA, but she’s making sure that her chains and other supplies are also American-sourced.

I have to admit that I have a candle or two in my man-cave (for the record they’re leather-and tobacco-scented, if that makes it any better). When I saw these candles from Liquor Wicks, made with recycled beer and liquor bottles, I thought they might add a touch of manliness to my hideaway.

One of my favorite vendors was Hoist Away Bags, not just because her business card was a bottle opener but because the use of old sails to make one-of-a-kind bags is just so cool!
So go on out there and check out your local artisans!


One couple's search for a Made-in-USA lifestyle