Dear Sundance Catalog,

I have a serious love/hate relationship with you.

I absolutely adore when your stunning catalog comes in the mail. I wait for a quiet, uninterrupted time when I can pour over the beautiful photographs (always taken at an exotic location I’d like to go) and examine every last detail of all the outfits. Seriously, you could quiz me about every page. I really do study your various “looks”! Oh, how I want to be the woman on the page that looks like she is in the middle of nowhere… her long, wavy hair gently blowing in the wind, her delicate dress covered with incredible turquoise jewelry piled just perfectly as not to look too gaudy but artistically boho. And let’s talk about those amazing cowboy boots on her feet! Oh my!

The stylist who does your catalog needs to be commended because it is so inspiring: full of creative, romantic, layered looks that beg to be purchased together. Your clothing and jewelry are fashionable and unique, with details that absolutely set it apart from many other clothing lines.

Now Sundance, we have had a relationship for some time and I have noticed your growing trend to simply write in your catalog descriptions under each item that it is “imported.” This is where my love for you abruptly stops. Why do you do this? You are being very vague. Have you heard of the movement in the fashion industry to be more transparent? Now the “transparent” I’m referring to isn’t the transparent, billowy, gauze blouse with a tassel tie and embroidery that you style with your wide leg linen pants and buttery leather sandals while walking on the beach in Mexico. It is the transparency of running a business open and honestly. Transparency is offering specific information to customers so they don’t have to wonder about the origins of the products. Transparency is easy for a company with ethical standards, that is proud of how and where their products are manufactured.

So I ask you Sundance Catalog, why don’t you simply write “Made in China” or “Made in the USA” or made in wherever it is, on your catalog as well as the label of the clothes? Perhaps could it be because almost everything in your catalog would say “Made in China” which would quickly steal the vivid, romantic dream of the clothing being unique and wonderful and instead be replaced by an image of women working in poor, crowded conditions in factories in China making pennies for the work they do? Perhaps you do this because you are ashamed of writing the truth so you have created a veil of “imported” to hide behind? I hope I’m wrong. I really, really do. I really, desperately want to be wrong! So Sundance Catalog, I am asking you to prove me wrong. Can you? Will you?

Sincerely, your admirer, and yes occasionally your customer (though I’m hesitant to admit it because I am full of guilt for supporting a company that possibly doesn’t hold true to the values that I strive to support by my purchasing),

Laura

P.S. Wait, what? Robert Redford sold the majority of Sundance Catalog to private equity firms ACI Capital and Webster Capital in 2004?