On Monday, The Detroit Free Press published Susan Tompor’s article titled “Kid Rock’s clothing line says ‘Made in Detroit’ — but isn’t”.
Today, Kid Rock has fired back via a long statement at his website defending “Made In Detroit”.
As one might expect, Kid Rock’s statement holds nothing back. It opens:
Dear Susan Tompor,
Let me first start off by cordially inviting you to go f*** yourself.
Kid Rock goes on to talk about how he purchased Made In Detroit out of bankruptcy, has created jobs, and talks about the money that Made In Detroit gives back to the community through charities and scholarships.
Kid Rock also says:
…98 percent of all clothing sold in America is not made in America. It’s very difficult to even find quality and affordable USA made products, lord knows we have been looking from day one, not only for the MID brand but also for the Kid Rock merchandise we sell on tour. A simple phone call to my KR merchandise company FEA or calls to our suppliers or any other clothing company in America would have told you this. The majority of the clothes that are made in America still import the cottons and other parts needed to make these items from outside of the country.
In addition, we have NEVER laid claim to our items actually being made in Detroit…
The Detroit Free Press article mentions that some Made In Detroit shirts have no label at all. They spoke with Tommy Dubak who runs operations for Made In Detroit out of Clarkston:
Dubak said he has cut out labels from some T-shirts that are bought from suppliers as part of the design choice.
He wanted to use an imprint near the neck that lies flat on the material and uses a screen-print process. Why cut out the tag?
“I hated tags in my shirts,” he said.
I don’t like tags either, but I couldn’t find a shirt in my closet that had one taken out before I bought it. I did find a Yesterdog t-shirt which was made in USA and assembled in Mexico, an ArtPrize t-shirt made in USA, and just about every other t-shirt was made in another country. Made In Detroit does a high volume of sales, so having clothes made in other countries likely saves more money and makes more sense than it does for smaller companies who make fewer shirts.
Kid Rock said it is “very difficult” to find “quality and affordable USA made products” for Made In Detroit. It’s difficult, but not impossible. Ultimately, it is a business decision. The foreign companies might be faster or cheaper and sometimes you have to make those decisions to keep a business running and keep the workers at Made In Detroit working.
Kid Rock and Made In Detroit should use foreign companies if that’s what it takes to run a profitable business. Besides, the Made In Detroit brand isn’t about where the clothes are made, it’s about the pride that the clothes give to those who wear them.
Kid Rock has a right to defend Made In Detroit, but the Detroit Free Press has a right to report the facts too.
Regardless of where the shirts are made, Made In Detroit is still a solid brand. Let’s just leave the tags in so everyone knows exactly what they are buying.