The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
As one of the major suppliers of nailcare products and salon equipment in the United States since 1987, Skyline Beauty Supply Corp provides both businesses and individuals with affordable aesthetic solutions. Although it specializes in nail accessories, including polish by China Glaze, Zoya, CND Shellac, and Orly, the company also offers a growing selection of products for hair and skin. It distributes one of the most popular pedicure spas in North America—the Whale Spa—as well as a variety of other furniture and decor. The team can outfit stylists with hair dryers and straighteners, or point cosmetology students toward rubber practice hands that are ideal for state-exam prep or sending someone a belated high-five.
With the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and Lauren Conrad sporting their attire, Lucca Couture’s created an e-boutique that churns out fresh fashion pieces that fuse everyday street wear with high-end trends. The intricate collection of chic, effortless pieces cater to any fashionista’s physique and personality while exuding their inner diva essence, sans the purple stains usually associated with leaked diva essence. Wrap waists in a casual, slouchy pocket tee ($40), bare beautiful shoulders in a one-shoulder peplum ($62), or replace an ungainly solar-panel frock with a silver brocade dress ($70).
The therapists at Alvardo Acupuncture Clinic know that freely-circulating energy can do more than facilitate wellness—it can also brighten complexions or boost metabolism. The clinic offers other approaches to weight loss, too, such as holistic-diet regimens that address factors that commonly undermine weight-loss efforts—such as stress, gremlins, and insomnia—rather than focusing exclusively on food intake.