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more dangerous clothing

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The following three paragraphs I took from the British publication The Guardian. Seems to me that the USA press has no interest in this very important news story. The problem has been taking place with airline uniforms for 9 years now.

A 2018 study done by the independent Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study Group of more than 600 flight attendants found that the skin issues, breathing problems, insomnia and other health concerns faced by flight attendants at Alaska Airlines increased dramatically after the introduction of new uniforms in early 2011. The study found that the problems only decreased three years later, in 2014, after the union at Alaska Airlines demanded that new uniforms be implemented.

Dr Irina Mordukhovich of the Harvard group said that Delta had refused to allow the group to come in and study its problem. She said she saw parallels with how Alaska Airlines and American Eagle first responded to concerns over uniforms.

“I flew a two-day trip and have been coughing and clearing fluid from my throat all day today. And my voice went last night,” wrote one Delta flight attendant in an email. “But the only way this will change is when the traveling public demands it.”

The above paragraph was an interview with a Delta Airline employee in the UK.

Delta Airlines employees allege uniforms made by Wisconsin-based clothing company Lands' End are causing multiple health problems, including rashes, respiratory issues and low white blood cell counts, according to a federal lawsuit.Case 1:19-cv-04717 Document 1 Filed 05/22/19

The lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million dollars from Lands’ End for negligence. Delta is not named as a defendant in the suit. Bruce Nagel, an attorney for the Delta employees, said bringing a case against Delta would be handled through Worker's Compensation.

So the responsibility is not Land’s End the company that had the uniforms made outside of the USA when as I have been told they told Delta the uniforms would be made in the USA. land’s End I suspect never tested any aspect of the uniforms fabric from the get-go. But they are not responsible unless a judge tells them they are and then they will appeal the case. The cost for an appeal is far less than paying out at minimum $5,000,000.00 or more. Land’s End has a very big problem.

Of course Delta is not responsible for making sure they were dressing their employees with nontoxic uniforms, especially after the first few cases were reported to them. They had a responsibility to immediately have the uniforms examined. But as we now know that did not happen. Did someone from Delta contact Land’s End to tell them about what appeared to be a problem, if yes then Land’s End probably told Delta it was not something to worry about. Delta now has something to worry about. What if people who book flights on Delta do not want to be on the same plane as airline employees wearing these uniforms? I think Delta has a problem far bigger than they would like.

And of course the Delta lawyer is imposing this problem on the Workers Compensation insurer. I ask why are they responsible for the negligent behavior of Land’s End and Delta Airlines?

More from the article.

“Still, Delta informed some flight attendants that if they did not want to wear the new uniforms, they "would need to request a disability job accommodation with the option of going on short-term disability leave," according to the lawsuit. Under short-term disability leave, they would only make two-thirds of their pay and would have to either return to their jobs or quit after a year, according to the lawsuit.”

Isn’t that great. It still shows Delta is not taking responsibility. Will Delta pay them or pass it onto Workers Compensation?

“Airline uniforms have been an ongoing problem”.

If airline uniforms have bee an ongoing problem, why? Uniforms are clothing items, not rocket ships. Whatever the problem it can be corrected quite easily unless of course you have no knowledge of what it takes to make a clothing item from the fiber up. Not only are the Delta employees in charge of buying the uniforms devoid of textile knowledge so are the Land’s End employees. If they had knowledge this problem would never have surfaced in the very first place. It is obvious that they are Land’s End knew of the problem since its history goes back to 2011. It is also obvious they did nothing about it, because they did not know what to do except go to the manufacture who probably said I’ll take care of it. Obviously, the manufacturer did not take care of it or even try.

I also find it hard to believe that the problems expressed by Alaska Airlines and American Eagle were unknown in the industry, and who did they get their uniforms from, Land’s End.

“In December 2018, about 40 American Airlines employees sued the company and uniform manufacturer Twin Hill, alleging multiple health problems from the uniforms”.


“The health problems detailed in that lawsuit were similar to what is being alleged by the Delta employees. At the time, American Airlines said employees would begin wearing uniforms by Lands’ End”.

The fact that the Delta employees had the same complaints as the American employees who were wearing Land’s End uniforms apparently did not register with them because they still went to Land’s End for uniforms.

“On Thursday, a spokesperson for American Airlines said the company is confident in the uniforms that are in current development with Lands' End.

"In partnership with our unions and team members, we have created a uniform suiting fabric that is unique to American Airlines," the spokesperson said via emails. " Every single garment in American’s new uniform collection will hold the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certification, the highest garment safety certification in the apparel industry. We have set the highest bar for safety so that our team members can wear the new uniforms with confidence and comfort."

OEKO-TEX is nothing more than a joke. You pay them to tell you what you want to hear, just like bluesign. The American Airlines personnel in charge of buying uniforms have no more knowledge of uniforms than the Delta employees. When they speak of the highest bar do, they mean the one at 35000 feet? Team members suggests a team like a football team. The employees are individuals and should be treated as such.

Lands’ End is a well-known and respected brand in Wisconsin. Fallout from this lawsuit could be damaging to the company’s reputation said Felicia Miller, who chairs the marketing department at Marquette University.

"For Lands' End, because there is litigation pending, a lot will depend on what the outcome is," Miller said. "If they are found to be guilty, or even if they settle out of court, the consumer will look at that as maybe they did do something wrong, and that could further damage the reputation of the brand."

"I don’t think it’s quite as extreme with Delta and Lands' End, but it’s certainly something they are going to have to work extremely hard to regain the consumers’ trust."

Consumers who are aware of what has thus far happened should absolutely now know not to trust Land’s End. The outcome of this situation IS definitely going to show that Land’s End is guilty in my opinion. History dictates that. Also, if they make a settlement out of court doesn’t that strongly suggest guilt? I think so. If they weren’t at fault why would they settle out of court. Their reputation deserves to be damaged.

Land’s End like so many of the corporate giants in the clothing industry at the executive top ranks leave it to the no nothing goffers to get products made that will make the corporations money; you know the bottom-line stuff. It irrelevant if the product is a good product or not just so long as it sells and there are profits. If it doesn’t, they go on to something else or a newly developed product. As an example a few years ago I read about a new continuous filament product that North Face was using in a “new” model sleeping bag. I spent $185.00 at the local REI store and made a video taking it apart which is on the web site. There was some continuous filament fiber in the bag and otherwise mostly chopped staple. The sewing construction could have come out of a sewing class. I do not know how many of those bags sold, I suspect very few because it had no chance of performing as a 0-degree bag. That said it was never produced again after the first season or it was produced under a different model name.

Upper management at these well-known brands knows they can get a way with producing trash and it will sell because of a long history of brand identification, not quality of product. People who support many of these companies unfortunately are ill informed so they buy into the brands.

I like to think that more and more people will become educated to learn how the clothing they buy is made and learn the difference between buying garments from brands that get the garments made in countries that are basically unregulated such as China versus the United States of America. 

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