Meghan Loftus

Sustainability and the fashion industry are two things you rarely hear in the same sentence.  But when you do, you might stop to think about what you buy, the clothes you wear, and where you buy them.  You begin to wonder where they are made, who makes them, how much the employees are paid, if the conditions are good, if any benefits come with working there, etc.  I would like to start this post with a disclaimer that I too am guilty of falling into the trap of cheap prices for trendy pieces I know I’ll only wear oncewhich are most likely coming at the cost of an underpaid, overworked person.  While I am constantly researching and discovering new companies and clothing lines that take sustainability and human rights seriously, it seems like for every one step forward, I stumble upon a story that takes two steps back.  The following company is taking two steps forward in the bookstore apparel retail channel—a place you wouldn’t typically check to see if you are purchasing ethically.


Shop Alta Gracia Lolita Racerback Tank here!

Recently, a friend introduced me to the brand Alta Gracia Apparel, a fair trade company.  Alta Gracia Apparel, founded in 2010, is a groundbreaking apparel company produced at the first ever apparel factory in the developing world to pay a living wage and demonstrate full respect for workers’ rights, according to Alta Gracia website.  The company produces mainly school apparel and sportswear—sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, etc.  Alta Gracia pays their workers more than three times the minimum wage in the Dominican Republic.  The employees of Alta Gracia are in a safe environment and are treated with respect and dignity.  The wages these employees receive are guaranteed by Alta Gracia to cover the cost of a family’s needs (i.e.  food, water, childcare, housing, transportation, clothing, healthcare and education).  


If you've received a higher education, the least you can do is support ethical working conditions around the world.  


Alta Gracia works with many prestigious universities in the United States such as Notre Dame, Duke, New York University and Georgetown.  'We are trying to get more people to know that this company exists, and they are actually doing something positive,' Jason Figueroa, general manager of the Fordham University Bookstore, said.  '[Barnes & Noble] is now conscientious of who we are doing business with.  I’m glad to work for a company that at least cares about these things,' according to BNC News.

A university bookstore may not be the first place you would go to for ethically conscious shopping, but Alta Gracia makes this possible.  Check out their website, and see if your university supports the ‘Living Wage’ Sportswear.  After all, if you’re lucky enough to be able to receive a higher education, the least you can do is to support the spread of ethical working conditions around the world.  


Comments (2)

  1. Elizabeth

So glad to know about Alta Gracia

  1. Meagan Hooper    Elizabeth

Meghan reviews the best trends in fashion.


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