Made in the USA
May 15th, 2002
To the Editor:
The recent opinions article by Alec Schierenbeck entitled "Stuy's Sweatshop Connection" brought to light a matter that has concerned the School Store management for some time. While it is true that many Stuyvesant clothing articles bear labels that say "Made in El Salvador" or other countries known to employ minors, Mr. Schierenbeck presents the store in a manner which alludes to its deliberate participation in support of such sweatshops. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.
Throughout the past few years the School Store management has been making every attempt to secure business with American clothing companies. This has been far from an easy task. The cost of textile production in the United States is notably higher than in many other industrial nations and thus it is sold to retailers at a higher price. As you know, the store itself keeps none of its profits and is forced to purchase merchandise within the limits of its allocated budget. This presents a difficult decision: should we sell the remainder of our imported items while we change our suppliers or should we simply end the sale of all Stuyvesant clothing? In our attempt to better serve our students, their parents, the administration, and alumni, we have opted to sell our current clothing stock as we search for new distributors.
Our more recent clothing shipments have come from American companies with factories based in the United States. At great effort and cost, we have updated our store to be what we believe is a morally and politically acceptable business. We fully intend to continue our pursuit of affordable American distributors so that we may assure our customers competitive prices without any moral or political concern over the origins of our products.
School Store Management