There’s a company in the US called ‘American Apparel‘. They’re well known for being a ‘non-sweat’ shop business that gives everyone who works for them a better deal than possibly other T-Shirt Manufacturers. Google them to connect to links that describe some of who they are. From their web site…

“We offer the following benefits to all of our employees, sewers and administrators alike, as a matter of policy: paid time off, affordable healthcare for them and their families, company-subsidized lunches, bus passes, free ESL classes, on-site masseurs, free parking, proper lighting and ventilation, and the most up-to-date equipment (be it the latest cutting machine or software). We are continually striving to improve the work environment.”

But when it goes wrong in a connected world it aparently can go very wrong indeed. The blogosphere has attached itself to them and resulted in the following stories breaking on The Consumerist Blog…

* The story that American Apparel may be selling rubber flip flops built in a Thai sweat shop (check out CherryFlava for all the links)
* The resignation letter of one of their employees (check out CherryFlava for all the links)

I can’t tell how true any of this is? American Apparel’s web site doesn’t mention anything. But the point of this post is how things can go wrong, all over the place, in a connected world. If your dirty washing gets out there, and someone thinks it’s blog-worthy, then there’s no telling where it can go. And in that world, what kind of PR do you use to protect yourself?

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