Back in May, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) discovered that Lions Not Sheep and its owner, Sean Whalen, falsely claimed to be selling apparel made in America. The Utah-based apparel company went as far as removing tags from imported items and replacing them with “Made in the USA” tags, followed by selling them under false pretenses.
The labels used by the company include “Made in the USA,” “100% AMERICAN MADE,” and “BEST DAMN AMERICAN MADE GEAR ON THE PLANET.” Despite the labels, imported apparel made up almost all of the items sold to unsuspecting buyers on its website.
But Lions Not Sheep did not simply replace the tags, instead running its entire marketing campaign on the premise of American-made products. It even made a name for itself with inflammatory products, especially during the pandemic in response to mask mandates and other restrictions due to COVID.
The complaint by the FTC included a video from 2020 published by Whalen, in which the owner talked about being able to hide that his shirts were made in China by ripping out the tags and replacing them with those stating the products were made in America. Moreover, it states that in 2021, the company removed tags from products and printed “Made in the USA” in their place.
The complaint has now been settled. The decision requires the company to pay a fine of $211,335. Additionally, the company must stop making bogus claims and come clean about its foreign production.
With the judgment in place, Lions Not Sheep can only use the “Made in the USA” claim if virtually all ingredients or components are made and sourced in the US. Additionally, all final assembly and significant processing must be done in the US, and the company must be able to show it. And if there are foreign parts to a product, Lions Not Sheep must clearly disclose the extent to which the products contain foreign elements.