Hot Girls Make Great Clothes


Is there anything sexier than women working in a garment factory?

Apparently there is: Women wearing revealing bikinis working in a garment factory?

This is perhaps the most offensive ad campaign ever, not to mention, just plain dumb.

Ecko’s Mission Statement:

At Ecko Manufacturing we do things differently, we make jeans with love.

And just look at our employees! This is manufacturing on an entirely new level. We only hire the sexiest women on the planet because as everyone knows, hot girls make great clothes. Ecko MFG supplies the world with denim of unsurpassed quality. Every pair of jeans comes to the customer from the gentle, smooth hands of a highly skilled employee, who has injected every inch of the garment with love.

Love, sex, and jeans. What else do you need, really??

If you operate in an industry littered with accusations and actual accounts of the women workers who make your products being exploited financially and sexually, why in the world would you make such ads?

I don’t have a clue where Ecko jeans are made, but I highly doubt that the skimpily clad women featured in these videos actually make the jeans. I’ve spent months talking with women garment workers around the world and I’m utterly insulted by these ads. In Bangladesh, Arifa, a single mother, works hard so she doesn’t have to ship another son off to Saudi Arabia to work. In Cambodia Nari and Ai support 6 and 7 family members a piece on their paychecks. In China Zhu Chun tries to earn enough so her son can go to college.

Garment factories aren’t always “sweatshops,” but regardless of the country in which they are located, life for the garment worker isn’t bikini tops, thong bottoms, high heels, boob jobs, plastic surgery, personal trainers, gym memberships, or $80 pairs of jeans. To compare life as a garment worker to these things is utterly inexcusable.

Ecko might support some good causes, but whatever good they do is erased by this obscene marketing campaign.

(Note: The owner of the company is Marc Ecko who was the highest bidder for Barry Bonds’ home run ball 756 that he branded with an asterisk. Bonds thinks Ecko is an idiot and I think I’d have to agree.)

I called Ecko to express my concern and the fella I spoke with said the campaign is a way to get the interest of people (let’s call them MEN) to see where denim comes from. He confirmed that their factories are located overseas and that their workers probably didn’t wear bikinis as they worked. I told him that I thought it would be neat if they could do a similar type of tour, perhaps without the porno music (it’s on their hold music too!), with actual workers who are fully clothed. He didn’t have much to say about that. Really, what could he have said other than sex sells and reality doesn’t?

I’m not against women in bikinis selling me stuff, but the usage here is pretty poor taste. I will never buy a pair of Ecko jeans or any of their other products, including Skechers shoes.

If you’re offended by this, too, you should contact Ecko Manufacturing and let them know.
917-262-1002 (ask for Ecko Manufacturing)

Eva says:

Wow. I don’t even know what to say to this – offensive on so many levels. Aside from the bizarro reference (accidental?? but it was the first thing I thought of) to allegations of widespread sexual exploitation in the garment industry, there’s also the little matter of discrimination:

“We only hire the sexiest women on the planet because as everyone knows, hot girls make great clothes.”

Ok, so no uggos on staff. How about blacks and gays???

Whew, stop me before I really get going. I’ll definitely be writing in.

I heart Skechers – but I’m pretty sure we just broke up.

Kent says:

The thing about this is… how many top executives signed off on this before it reached the public. From the RFP to the concept from the Ad agency to the honchos at Ecko. Not one of the highly paid bigwigs stopped to say, “maybe this isn’t such a great idea”

Kelsey says:

Jenn, I hear your Ew and I second it an ICK!

Eva, Ecko doesn’t seem to be much of an equal opportunity employer. Maybe this is so stupid that it’s parody and we just aren’t getting it. Sorry to hear about your breakup with Skechers.

Kent, I think before executives or politicians try to push the envelope they should randomly grab some average Joes off the street and ask them what they think.

Anyone call or email Ecko yet?

Melissa says:

That’s a pretty bad marketing campaign. It looks like an add for Maxim (and that’s not a compliment either). The funny thing is, the two worst parts for me were; 1) there’s no way women are going to work a factory job in heels like that; and 2) the danger associated with wearing non-protective clothing in a factory.

Kelsey says:

Hey, at least there isn’t much clothing flopping around to get caught in any machinery. When was the last time you heard about someone getting sucked into a piece of equipment by their thong?

bl says:

i like to wacht it,,thanks

Kelsey says:

bl, watch somewhere else, pervo!

Eva says:

I emailed – no word back, though. Apparently they don’t appreciate my 10 years of business! 😀

Kelsey says:

Way to go Eva. I kind of feel bad an all breaking up you and Skechers.

Mike says:

Yea, the ad campaign doesn’t work, however, you’re talking about it. You’re probably not talking about the Tide commercial. Any publicity is good publicity, so says Britney’s publicist.

Michael Wolfe says:

I think your not looking at the big picture! Ecko Jeans are made by the “hottest” “girls” in the world. They are probably young girls working in a Hot Sweatshop!!

Eva says:

Don’t worry, Kelsey. I’ll find some hot, younger shoes to rebound with. (Then get drunk and call Skechers and tell them that they “ha’ noidea wha’ theyare MISSING…”?)

blahblah says:

dude, really? is that the best you can come up with? your argument against the ad it is the weakest piece of writing i have read in a long time. do some research and then make valid points for or against. i am siding on ecko. purpose of the, or any, commercial: to get people watching and talking. successful. now, the company paid to make this commercial, and a shit ton of people are all offended and writing blogs about it, giving ecko even more publicity. successful two-fold.

corporate advertising: score 1

mr. any-one-can-write-a-blog: score 0

Kelsey says:

@ Mike: Maybe the girls are wearing bikinis because that is all of the fabric they can afford!

@ Eva: I’ll try not to call your hotter, younger shoes a skanky ho, but I ain’t making any promises.

@ blahblah: Research??? This is a blog, you know. For all of you who think that Ecko’s campaign has landed some great publicity by a mention on this blog, I’m blushing. But truthfully, if it is the company’s intent to get such publicity – a mention here or not – they are failing miserably. I’ve yet to see the ads mentioned in any media that matters. As for any publicity is good publicity, ask Kathie Lee Gifford how “sweatshop” publicity worked out for her.

Oh, and it’s mr. any-one-can-write-a-BOOK to you, buddy!

Eva says:

@ blahblah: dude, really? is that the best you can come up with? do some research and then make valid points for or against Kelsey’s blog.

Which parts, exactly, did you think were the weakest you’d read in a long time? (That statement also begs the question: Read much?) What is your considered assessment of the living and working conditions of female garment workers worldwide? Do you really believe that any publicity is good publicity? (And does this mean you bought OJ’s book?)

Pending review of your detailed response, my scoreboard reads:

Kelsey: 1
Any-anonymous-a-hole-can-leave-a-comment: 0

OMG!!! What kind of sexist commercial was that!? After seeing that objectifying advertisement, I will never (in life) purchase clothing from this company. Even though I liked a couple of the items I saw in Macy\’s NYC, I will not return to buy them now. Is it not enough that rappers are making whores out of women? I am so disgusted.

Kelsey says:

Does anyone think this ad campaign was a good idea? Man, what were they thinking?

David says:

Thank you, Kelsey. I learned about the atrocities in the garment industry when I was learning about the problems with globalization, and I cannot believe the conditions under which the many mostly young women must work around the world to make our over-priced clothes. When I saw this ad campaign I was appalled, and I instantly tried to find out if these people were actually making their clothes in the United States (and under what conditions). The company has not responded to my e-mails, so thank you for discovering that the clothes probably ARE made by

David says:

“hot women” — probably sweat shop women overseas. As to “any publicity is good publicity” – I doubt it. Especially when most of the clothing sold by this company is for women.

bl says:

kelsey your sexy,,i wwanna se you in that comercial ho tahta will b ee nice

saralee says:

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Enter our Ecko Manufacturing sweepstakes by completing the online entry form requesting your name, address, date of birth, phone number(s), and e-mail address. Eligible entries must be received on or between August 11, 2008 and October 31, 2008. One winner will be chosen at random out of all eligible entries received and will be notified by e-mail or phone. The winner’s name will be posted on on or around November 3, 2008. Not responsible for late or misdirected entries. Also not responsible for any electronic failures during transmission. One entry per person, per household.

1 (one) First prize consists of a guided tour of the Ecko Manufacturing factory (retail value $1,000).

Any applicable taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

You must be a legal U.S. resident at least 18 years old as of date of entry to participate. Subject to all federal, state, and local laws, and void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Acceptance of prize constitutes consent to use winner’s name and likeness for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes (except where prohibited by law). Winners of this sweepstakes will not be eligible for any other Marc Ecko sweepstakes for a period of one year after the notification date. Winners must claim prize within three months of notification date. If prize is not claimed within three months, another eligible winner will be selected. No prize transfer or substitutes permitted except by sweepstakes sponsor due to unavailability of the original prize offered, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be substituted. Entries will not be acknowledged. Employees and immediate families of Marc Ecko Enterprises, LLC, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, franchises and/or agents are not eligible to participate in the sweepstakes. All participants and/or entrants release all of the sponsors and their agents, employees, officers, directors, and shareholders from and against all claims and damages arising in connection with their participation and/or entry in the sweepstakes and/or awarding or use of any prize awarded in this sweepstakes. Marc Ecko Enterprises, LLC reserves the right to terminate the sweepstakes at any time for any reason. If sweepstakes is terminated, the appropriate notice will be posted on

This sweepstakes is sponsored by Marc Ecko Enterprises, LLC.

Good luck!!

Eva says:

Wow. I can’t believe Ecko spammed this thread! Clever, clever…

Kelsey says:

I’ll post more about this contest. I signed up for it. I really hope I win!

CJ says:

it worked 4 me i buy dat shit witout tha ad,ecko is fly

Kelsey says:

CJ, See they don’t even need the ad.

SimmerDownNow says:

Despite being in 2008 there are still some who are put off and even, dare I say, surprised to see sex being used to sell things to men.

Why is this a big deal?

Men like women. Men like beautiful women. If you associate something a target demographic likes to your product then they are likely to buy it. Do you complain about Michael Jordan selling Ball Park Franks? Is this somehow unethical? Is being attracted to the opposite sex some kind of crime?

A quick visit to their website quickly conveys the understanding that the women featured are actual manufacturing employees. Are they lying about these women? I don’t know and neither do you. I have no reason to doubt those women work for Ecko. Are you making the silly assumption that the 20 or so women featured are the ONLY ones producing the jeans? Though the bulk of the work is likely done overseas by non-models, featuring a few attractive women who actually work for the company is a solid advertising strategy.

But somehow, despite being far away from Amish Country, people still think that sex is an inappropriate marketing tool. Doubt those women posed against their will. But I suppose what consenting adults choose to do with their lives is not up to them in these parts.


Kelsey says:


Did you read the whole post?

Perhaps you missed the part where I wrote, “I’m not against women in bikinis selling me stuff.”

No, I do not complain about Michael Jordan selling Ball Park Franks, but I would be against anthropomorphised pig anuses selling me hot dogs. A common complaint about hot dogs involves the parts from which they are made. It’s something that the hot dog industry has to combat. Therefore it would be incredibly stupid to make light of their biggest criticism. Just as it is stupid that a brand that does not own it’s own factories and operates in an industry combating sexual abuse/discrimination would use women in bikinis to sell their blue jeans.

Do you actually think that these women make the jeans? If so, you must get great joy out of knowing that elves in a tree hand make your Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies. That must be awesome for you.

SimmerDownNow says:

“Do you think the women actually make the jeans?” I posed the same question to you. Yes, I do think the women featured are manufacturing employees. I have no reason not to. That doesn’t mean that they’re the ONLY ones making them, nor does that matter.

And as for your cartoon pigs … While I’m a vegan and therefore have my own complaints against meat marketing (pun intended), have you not seen Foster Farms or Milk/Cheese commercials where the animal being abused/killed is the spokesperson or mascot?

Hot Dog Manufacturers don’t have to combat anything. People eat millions every day. They’re selling fine regardless of what they’re made from … as are jeans. Actually it would be a genius idea to make light of their criticism. So genius in fact that it’s a marketing technique which has been widely employed for years! Take away the negative stigma by making fun of it. Check out the “Geek Squad” at Best Buy. They know people think only nerds work on computers so they’ve turned it into a badge of honor thereby making the Geek moniker cool instead of derogatory.

The bottom line is the plight of workers in the garment industry is unrelated to the effectiveness of using sexually-attractive women to sell jeans to men. If pig anuses were sexually stimulating to men (and Dear God let’s hope that never ever happens), you can best believe they’d already have been used ages ago to sell some foot longs!

Kelsey says:

But what about the Keebler elves!!!!

Man, I can’t believe that we actually have gotten into a discussion that involved pig anuses (is there a plural for anus?).

Again, I have no problem with girls in bikinis selling me jeans. I just think it’s incredibly stupid to have girls in bikinis making them in their ads. And NO I don’t think there is anyway that these girls are responsible for a single stitch on a pair of Ecko jeans. In fact, I would like to propose a theory: There isn’t a single garment worker in the world that has fake boobs!

Try to prove me wrong.

I’ve talked with others in the garment indsustry about Ecko’s “Hot Girls” campaign and they think it’s dumb as well.

SimmerDownNow says:

History has shown that it’s never a bad idea to have girls in bikinis in your ads. In fact, the only stupid idea would be NOT doing it. They should be selling everything from Juicers to Dora the Explorer videos.

So unless they’re hoping to snatch up the highly-coveted Garment Industry demographic, they probably don’t have much to worry about.

Furthermore, I’m not sure how much farther I can continue this conversation. The disillusionment that began with you outing the Keebler Elves as frauds is now being compounded by the newsflash about the lack of plastic in Indonesian seamstresses. There’s only so much heartache I can handle in one day!

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Amber says:

(Ignoring all the spam/crap posts.)I knew about Ecko’s unsavory practices because my son at age 12 came and told me he went to a website from the tag on his jeans and it was inappropriate. Uck! I returned those jeans. I did not know that Sketcher’s were made by this company though and it sickens me that the same company who makes “Twinkle Toes” for little girls also exploits females in this manner. Thanks for the info.

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