After Health Dept. Closure, L.A. Apparel’s Charney Answers Critics

Los Angeles Apparel Founder Dov Charney sought to defend himself, answer critics and reassure customers during an Instagram live talk on July 14.

In a 27-minute Instagram live session at his company’s Instagram profile @losangelesappparel, he addressed the recent closure of his blanks company by the Los Angeles County Department of Health.

The department ordered his company closed on June 27 after 300 of his employees tested positive for the COVID-19 virus; four had died from the disease in early June before the investigation started. On July 10, the department continued the order because Los Angeles Apparel had not satisfied requirements to reopen.

On the Instagram Live session, Charney said that his company had been proactive in testing workers. It had regularly disinfected machines between shifts and required its staff to practice social distancing. He said that one reason infection numbers seemed high at Los Angeles Apparel is because the company had followed through in testing workers. Charney said that the workers who were infected, and those who died from the disease, may have not caught it at the Los Angeles Apparel facility located south of Downtown Los Angeles.

“You can’t control what employees do at lunch or Friday night when they crack open a beer with friends,” he said.

During the Instagram Live session, Charney walked through the Los Angeles Apparel facility. He passed by training sessions where workers were being given a class on pandemic safety protocols. Workers attending the seminar were seemed to be seated six feet away from each other. Charney did not indicate where the safety instructor came from or who accredited the instructor.

Charney also talked with staff who had been infected with COVID-19, but seemed to be healthy, and did not show signs of sickness.

A couple of times during the session, Charney reassured customers that Los Angeles Apparel goods were safe to use. The COVID-19 virus does not survive on surfaces, such as fabric, for more than 24-hours, he said, which according to this claim, would mean any possible virus would have expired before being shipped.

Charney took questions from people messaging him during the session. He defended manufacturing during the pandemic.

“Our industry is fully open. Beside that 85 percent of products we make are PPE related. Someone has got to make the masks. Someone has to work at Ralphs. Someone has to work at the hospital. Most of what we do is mask making. You can say it’s irresponsible, we can’t shut down the whole planet,” he said.

He pledged that Los Angeles Apparel would be fully operational soon. He did not indicate a date when the factory would be given a green light to be fully operational.