Manufacturing the Olympic garments in America would bring $1 billion into the U.S. economy.
It's too late for London, but U.S. Olympians in 2014 will be clad in Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms made in the United States, the fashion firm and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) said. The announcement, made Friday, came in the wake of bitter criticism from U.S. lawmakers over the fact that the uniforms that U.S. Olympians will wear at the opening and closing ceremonies in London are made in China.
"With athletes having already arrived in London, and the apparel distribution process beginning this weekend, we are unfortunately not able to make a change for London," USOC chief executive officer, Scott Blackmun, said. "We are absolutely committed, however, to working with our sponsors to ensure that the concerns voiced are addressed. To that end, Ralph Lauren has agreed to domestically manufacture Team USA's apparel for opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games."
Last week, an offer was made by Hickey Freeman, a leading American suit company located in New York, to remake the red, white and blue uniforms and have them available for distribution before the opening ceremonies. The uniform jacket is made from a 100-percent wool fabric. Northwest Woolen Mill's Sam Brickle held a press conference to announce similar availability for his company to make wool berets to replace those built for the athletes in China.
Reprinted in part from industryweek.com