Looking for the Union Label

We’ve got a bad case of Ohrwurm, a German expression translated as “earworm” and used to describe a song stuck in your head. Our earworm came after a search for union made socks and underwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here).

We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company called Union House which carries a functional, if unexciting line of apparel. Unless hipsters take to golf shirts in an ironic fashion judo move, these offerings will never be cool like the domestically made clothes made by the union busting folks over at American Apparel. The socks and underwear we ordered from Union House arrived promptly and are of superior quality. Homegrown Revolution hecklers will, no doubt, shout us down for not sewing our own underwear and socks, but we’ll save our time for more complicated sewing projects such as the shirt we sewed a few years ago.

We’ve all got a lot of moral geometry to perform in this globalized world–the keyboard we’re tapping this missive out on was assembled in Malaysia by workers who, it’s safe to say, probably don’t toil in the best of conditions. But, taking out the moral ruler, we’ve got to draw a line somewhere and last week that was with the clothing we chose. It’s better to mark that line somewhere than not to mark it at all.

Though we prefer this more soulful rendition, we feel the need to spread the earworm around and here’s another version of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union song (with a few inexplicable bleeps):

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  1. This is awesome! I didn’t think anybody made anything anymore here. and union too?! I’ve seen some Carhartt clothes in a store in TX — looked like really good stuff — manly man clothes for punchin doggies or whatever ranchers do – coats & jeans – had no idea it was union made in usa! coinkydinkly I need a new coat and jeans (moving to Twin Cities area, brrr!), so I’ll be getting Carhartt (and maybe some longjohns) from that site! Thanks for posting this.

  2. I remember the good old days when we in Australia had a great apparel industry…but alas the companies got greedy and started outscourcing work overseas….I will admit some, not all unions, did price themselves out of the market..giving the companies an excuse to put the prices up… I was a proud unionist (and still in my mind despite being unemployed proud to have been in the union) in the auto industry…and quite often got into trouble with my commonsense views…if you ask for too much in one go, the companies will put their prices up…meaning customers of the company are going to go elsewhere..(despite the high quality of the product made)…maybe scource a similar product from overseas…whether it be cars, apparel or whatever other products…don’t price yourself out of the market when the wages cases come in…or as has happened..you will end up out of a job…
    I try my best to buy produce locally and sadly I see jars of whatever food with the label “made from local AND IMPORTED ingredients…well I suppose people here despite that are still being employed, but would prefer to see the label as being “Made from local ingredients” only. Sadly the shareholders of a company are getting too much control..they, sadly, jump for joy when someone gets the sack from their job…”more money for me” forgetting that the very people that may have been sacked had worked there for 30 and 40 years and were instrumental in the beginning of helping that company to success…Good workers on the floor of a factory are the golden egg of a company…once that is forgotten we are headed for bad time…and we will not only be sowing shirts together…we will be so poor the shirts we are sewing are very old ones…because of greed…we ended up out of a job…

  3. I forgot to add…I took a package from the autor industry..so am a bit better off…but still feel sad, make that totally annoyed, everytime someone through not their own fault are thrown to the scrap heap… I also get totally p****d off when some idiot higher up in the company makes an absolutely stupid decision which wipes out the whole company…and that lately is happening too often…not only doing that but putting everyone in his office out of work as well as the shop floor!!

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