The July 14 front-page article “An outsourcing problem for Ralph Lauren” raised a number of questions:

If the U.S. Olympic uniforms were to be made in the United States, what about the origin of the textiles with which they would be made? Or the threads, buttons and sewing machines which would be used? Would it have been more acceptable if the 2012 uniforms were made in France, Italy or Canada, rather than in China? After all, many of us drive imported cars, even “American” cars such as Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

Vinod Jain, White Plains, Md.


“An outsourcing problem for Ralph Lauren” begs this question be asked of those in Congress who are outraged about U.S. Olympians’ uniforms being made in China: Where were the clothes in your closets made?

Christine Stelloh-Garner, Huntingtown


It is awful that Ralph Lauren would ignore the many U.S. manufacturers capable of producing uniforms for our Olympic athletes. A five-minute search on Google would have identified all the U.S. manufacturers needed.

Does Mr. Lauren have any regard for the massive level of unemployment in the United States? Does he comprehend that he will have fewer and fewer customers for his company’s goods as more people see their incomes shrink, and they become unemployed by organizations that recklessly offshore production?

It does appear, however, that Mr. Lauren comprehends the benefits of doing business with a country with abysmal labor standards, environmental controls, social security system, trade policies and adherence to international intellectual property law.

Mark Crawford, Annandale


Our politicians — who have agreed on little of late — should find better things to do this election season than attacking the U.S. Olympic Committee because its athletes’ dress uniforms were made in China. This is a bogus issue. Much of the gear and equipment used by U.S. athletes is produced overseas, and competitors in many sports would be severely disadvantaged if restricted to American-made products.

The Olympic Committee will probably bow to political correctness and source future dress uniforms domestically. Hopefully, it won’t cave in to misguided demands to “burn ’em” this year and produce U.S. uniforms domestically on a crash basis. The committee doesn’t need this symbolic distraction; it has its hands full executing the massive logistics of getting the U.S. team to London fully prepared for competition.

As the former chief executive of a U.S. manufacturing company, I support building jobs domestically. But like our Olympians themselves, our apparel industry must take responsibility for being competitive globally.

And regarding put-downs of Ralph Lauren’s “just-off-the-sailboat styles” as not representing the “real America and its athletic prowess,” our nation’s rowers and equestrians deserve the same respect as shot-putters and gymnasts.

Don Spero, Bethesda

The writer was the single sculler on the U.S. Olympic rowing team at the 1964 Tokyo Games.


How silly to suggest burning Olympians’ uniforms and starting over with outfits made by U.S. companies. We waste enough money in senseless ways. Wear the uniforms made in China and donate the replacement cost to homeless shelters and job programs.  

Rosemary Shaw, Silver Spring