Sunday, September 30, 2012

Interesting Shaatnez case - Banana Republic

Just a quick note: I had an interesting Shaatnez episode this week.

Several months ago I bought a black Banana Republic wool suit, and had it checked for shaatnez in Toronto. The suit was fine.

Last month I ordered a Banana Republic wool suit, same cut and size, just navy, and had it shipped to the same place. [I don't buy suits often, just to let you know. When I find something that works, I get a couple of them, and then I'm good for the next few years...] I had this one checked in the US, and it had shaatnez threads in the collar's lining.

This caused me to wonder about the black suit's shaatnez test. There are differences in training, and potentially in testing methods; ordinarily I would not check a suit with two checkers any more than I would bug-check a salad with two checkers, but given that the second one had turned up 'infested', I thought it worth a second check.

I brought the black suit to the US tester who had found shaatnez in the blue suit. The suit turned out to be fine.

The only material difference between the two suits was that the black suit was made in Canada, and the navy suit was made in China. [Worth noting: There is an established Shaatnez Alert regarding Banana Republic suits from Turkey.]

Key lesson I learned here: Even if one suit from a manufacturer is shaatnez-free, another suit of the same style, from the same manufacturer, may have shaatnez. On the other hand, even if one suit from a manufacturer has shaatnez, another suit, from the same manufacturer, may not. Interesting.


  1. The big companies have various factories making the same clothes, and I guess they don't supervise to the extent of the threads used.
    ps Many, many decades ago, my grandfather had a factory that got those sorts of orders.

  2. The other lesson is be thankful (and supportive) of the competent local shaatnez checking in Toronto.

  3. Batya-
    Guess so; the textiles industry is wildly different from the food industry, it seems.