Olympic Uniforms Now Made In USA

Manufacturing Done Outside US For 2012 Games

USOCAfter controversy erupted during the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. team uniforms made by Ralph Lauren for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics are now all made in the USA.

Both the iconic fashion company and USA Olympic governing bodies drew criticism from Congress and others last year for the fact that the manufacturing of the uniforms was done outside the U.S.

"We have worked incredibly hard as a company to go across America to find the best partners to help us produce the Olympic uniforms at the highest quality for the best athletes in the world," David Lauren, an executive vice president of Ralph Lauren, told the Associated Press.

Ralph Lauren used more than 40 vendors from across the U.S. to create the uniforms, which were unveiled Tuesday. The uniforms will be worn in the opening and closing ceremony by the American athletes in Sochi, Russia. There is no Made in America guarantee for the gear worn by the athletes during competition. However, The North Face, the maker of the uniforms for the U.S. Freestyle Skiing team, also switched to USA-manufactured products.

The controversy last year dovetailed with a much-discussed resurgence in American manufacturing as well as a renewed interest in Made-in-USA goods, despite their typically higher price tag. "During the recession, corporate buyers saw their spend decrease, so country of origin went out the window," says Tim Vadney, president of RaceReady (asi/74894), which produces running and sports apparel that's Made in the USA. "Now that the economy is recovering, there's a lot more interest in buying a higher quality U.S.-made garment. And we've seen our sales increase as a result."

In fact, Vadney says his company, which has been in business for 20 years and is based in Torrance, CA, has seen a 30% year-over-year spike in sales in the promotional market.