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FTC Says Clothing Store Lions Not Sheep Was Faking Made in USA Labels

The agency said it didn't meet the "Made in the USA" criteria.

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A clothing company has been fined by the Federal Trade Commission for faking "Made in America" credentials, USA TODAY reported Tuesday.

Lions Not Sheep, an apparel company based in Utah and popular with conservatives, was found to have added "Made in the USA" labels to clothing made in China, according to the FTC's statement, which was announced in late July.

Sean Whalen, founder and CEO, apparently spoke about the practice publicly, per the longer FTC complaint.

In a video on social media, Whalen said that he imported shirts from China and then altered them to send to consumers in the United States, the FTC noted.

"So our shirts are made in America . . . But those shirts are made in China, just like damn near every single made-in-America shirt you're wearing is. This is how it works," Whalen reportedly said in the video, according to the FTC complaint.

The FTC's order will require the company to "stop making bogus Made in USA claims and come clean about foreign production," the agency said.

To count as "Made in the USA," the company needs to indicate, per the statement:

  • All of the final assembly and processing, and any other "significant processing," took place in the U.S.
  • That "all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product," are found and made in the U.S.

Lions Not Sheep Products and Whalen will also be fined $211,335.

The Lions Not Sheep leader pushed back on the agency's characterization of the situation in a video posted on his Facebook and Instagram.

He called it an "absolutely ridiculous barrage of media attacks against me and against Lions Not Sheep."

"We've actually never sold a single shirt that comes from China," he added.

Whalen did not immediately respond to a request for comment via LinkedIn.

The FTC first filed the complaint in May.

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