American Apparel is one of the fastest-growing and well-known apparel manufacturers in the U.S. Based in downtown Los Angeles, the vertically
integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer, is distinct because it produces all of its apparel in the U.S. The firm currently employs
approximately 10,000 people globally (about 5,000 in LA), and operates more than 285 retail stores in 20 countries. In addition to its retail
stores, American Apparel operates a leading wholesale business supplying high quality t-shirts and other casual wear to distributors and screen
printers, and an online retail e-commerce website at http://www.americanapparel.net
To fulfill its growing demand for both the wholesale and retail markets, American Apparel invested in five Brother direct-to-garment printers: four
Brother GT-541s and one Brother GT-782 beginning in November 2010. These machines were installed in the firm’s Los Angeles headquarters and are used
daily to produce direct garment printing such as t-shirts, dog apparel, accessories and custom labels for the firm’s shoe products. The Brother printers
also provide American Apparel with the freedom to test printing on fabrics such as water-base to leather.
To continue setting itself apart from its competition and responding to its loyal customers, management decided to recently begin a test project
using the Brother GT-541 printer in which customers can produce their own designs on apparel in the store in a quick turnaround system.
States Marty Bailey, American Apparel’s chief manufacturing officer "Our Brother printers are providing our customers with the ability to create
and design their own printed apparel at our flea market."
The Brother GT-782 digital garment printer is primarily used to provide a quick turn around and to produce samples and custom short order,
but it also doubles as a CYMK production machine.
"We have introduced the custom design station to only one of our stores in Los Angeles and sales are increasing steadily.
This plan is in its infancy and growing quickly," says Marty Bailey, American Apparel’s chief manufacturing officer.
"The Brother digital garment printers give us the ability to quickly move from one project to another without changing screens.
It is an advantage. We do not have costly set-up times or delivery disruptions with the Brother machines. Continues Bailey,
"Our Brother machines are work horses because they are well maintained and serviced. They work best in a production environment with a belt dryer.
We use our Brother printers daily! We use them for our wholesale items as well as retail and private label orders, custom orders,
and samples. Our Brother machines are very dependable and we place a large demand on these machines daily. Having our Brother printers
has allowed us to develop ways to print on cut panels, leather, and custom platen shapes on various applications."
"Brother provides us with a knowledgeable and supportive sales staff. Our Brother printers add value to our apparel—our products."
Bailey further states, “We are no stranger to Brother products since our manufacturing facility uses Brother industrial sewing machines.
We have found Brother equipment to be quite reliable and it adds to our overall positive experience. Brother has a very reputable name."
The Brother digital garment printers give us the ability to quickly move from one project to another without changing screens. It is an advantage.
We do not have costly set-up times or delivery disruptions with the Brother machines. We are impressed with the Brother printers'
ease-of-use and soft-hand on the print. That is, we are able to produce a high quality design on the apparel with a very soft feel.
Plus the Brother printers allow us to provide a quick turnaround on our samples and production."