West Elm’s “Made In Brooklyn” Hat Is Made In China

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Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself today: Is everything a lie? Is there nothing to believe in anymore? Is there nothing I can trust? And why is everyone freaking the fuck out over a little ass-play? Well, ok. Forget that last one. But the rest of the questions still stand! My faith in basically everything has been shaken today, because I just discovered that West Elm—a company with which Brooklyn Magazine once shared a building—has been lying to me, and to all of us. And if I can’t trust brands, who can I trust?

Well. Ha. Obviously kidding because I don’t trust anybody and never have, least of all brands. But still, it was a little surprising today to see that The Brooklyn Paper reported that “Dumbo home-furnishing store West Elm, mother ship of an international chain, is hawking a line of Brooklyn swag in its online and brick-and-mortar outlets that includes hats, growlers, and T-shirts bearing the phrase ‘Made in Brooklyn’… but closer inspection of the head-warmer reveals that not only is it not made in Brooklyn—it is not made in the United States. The online store describes it as ‘imported.’ The tag on the actual item is more descriptive: ‘Made in China.'”

Shocking, right? Eh. Sure! Ok. Shocking! Well, it turns out that only the hat is made outside of the US, while the still available shirts bearing the words “Made in Brooklyn” are, in fact, made in the country, if not actually in the borough. A spokesperson for West Elm told Brooklyn Paper that the whole “Made in Brooklyn” thing isn’t meant to be taken literally or whatever (words don’t mean anything, duh), but rather that “The messaging on these specific pieces was designed to be a fun nod to the potential contents… You can fill the growler with lager from Brooklyn Brewery, and the shirt and hat refer to the person wearing them.” Oh, ok! That makes… so much more sense? I guess? I mean, whatever, right? If your biggest problem with the West Elm shirt that you bought is false advertising and not that you’re buying your clothes at West Elm, than you and I have different definitions of what constitutes a “problem.” Happy shopping, everyone.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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