Team USA's Olympics gear made entirely in America, Ralph Lauren says
Reuters in New York
Ralph Lauren Corp unveiled its Team USA designs for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on Tuesday, emphasising that – “from yarn to dye” – they were made in America.
The US fashion designer debuted the red, white and navy uniforms on NBC’s Today Show and in a five-minute company video featuring its 40 American production partners in an attempt to redeem itself after drawing heavy criticism for manufacturing US gear in China for the last Olympics.
Days before the start of the London Olympics in July last year, six senators introduced the “Team USA Made In America Act of 2012” after news reports that Ralph Lauren had outsourced its work to overseas factories.
In response to the outcry, the company issued a statement vowing to design, source and manufacture all future Olympics outfits in the US.
Video: Ralph Lauren ad for US Olympics team's outfits
The film on the company’s website shows the production of the athletes’ American-flag sweaters, starting with a 142-year-old Oregon family-run sheep farm and moving eventually to the California husband-and-wife team’s high-end knitwear company where the sweaters are made.
Ralph Lauren, licensed by the United States Olympic Committee, has been making Team USA’s apparel for the opening and closing ceremonies for each of the Games since 2008. This year, the designer has made 65,000 items for the 650 US athletes, including navy pea coats and boots with American-flag emblems, according to the website.