Rock star Kid Rock’s devotion to his home city of Detroit is well-documented. He and fellow musician Eminem have done much to promote a sense of pride and boost the economy of the once-floundering Motor City. Rock even wrote the song “Times Like These” to bring attention to his hometown. But now the awkward part. Kid Rock’s “Made in Detroit” T-shirts were not made using Detroit labor.
Made in Detroit resurrected
One of Kid Rock’s undertakings as part of his task to help revive Detroit was to bring back the clothing label Made in Detroit. The label is owned by the Detroit apparel company Buddy Moscow, which went under in 2005. Rock saved the company from bankruptcy.
Not so much made in Detroit
But Susan Tompor of the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that, although the silk screen printing is done in Detroit, the shirts themselves are made in places such as India, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Some were made in Ohio.
City pride as sales pitch
The brand’s website uses city pride as its main selling point. The site proclaims:
“It was hatched in 1991 as a spark for a city that’d long been left for dead. It was a nod to the backbone that made this place unlike another.”
Then, after the business became a victim of its city’s economy, Kid Rock stepped in. The site continues:
“It’s no wonder that an artist who stands for Detroit wouldn’t stand by when another bit of his city was taken down.”
According to Tompor, the company gets its shirts from 8 to 10 different suppliers. Often, the staff at Buddy Moscow are not sure themselves where the shirts were made.
Tompor implies that the labels are removed on some shirts in order to obscure their origins. The company, however, says that often the tags are legally removed to facilitate silk screening on the collar.
A matter of economy
Tommy Dubak, operations manager for the company, told the Detroit Free Press that the company is not able to afford having its shirts made by more costly U.S. labor at this time. He says, however, that it is working toward that goal.
“We’re a small company, and we’re trying to do good for Michigan.”
Kid Rock has not publicly commented on the matter at this time.