A Web Site I'd Like to See
Late last summer I ordered two pairs of chino trousers from L.L. Bean and a couple polo shirts, which arrived a day or two later. I clothed my upper and lower halves with the new merchandise, and both pieces fit my dreadful flesh-case beautifully.
Where Land's End trousers seem to slip off the spare tire of my middle and threaten to drop down around my ankles just when I'm carrying a heavy sack of groceries in one hand and a gallon of Stoli in the other, these marvels from L.L. Bean look and feel custom tailored. I was thrilled.
When it came time to wash them, I looked at the label to see what the settings should be and discovered the polo shirts were made in Thailand. On the chino trousers label, a line of copy made my blood run cold.
"Made in China."
The Chinese government is brutal, repressive and vicious. In China, a nation of polluters, a new coal-fired plant comes online every 10 days. The brown cloud over Beijing is disgusting. The Chinese are also state-sanctioned killers of girl babies. In addition, they kill other babies (poisoned milk), American children (lead paint in toys), beloved dogs (poisoned pet food) and Tibetan monks, as well as being jailers of dissidents and the press. China's blatant counterfeiting of luxury and everyday products—together with massive theft of intellectual property—is responsible for billions of dollars in losses the world over.
I resent L.L. Bean making me an unwitting accomplice to criminal behavior.
The Besmirching of an American Icon
Old L.L. Bean was a gent as well as a very savvy inventor and marketer. "I never consider a sale complete," Bean once said, "until the merchandise is worn out and the customer is still satisfied." There's a guarantee for you! From Bean's AP obituary of Feb. 7, 1967: