Yale University - Yale Daily News By Charlotte Dillon - September 27, 2010
The Yale Bookstore is now carrying apparel made by Alta Gracia, an American-owned company that pays its workers in the Dominican Republic a living wage.
Along with 185 other Barnes & Noble-run college bookstores, the Yale Bookstore began carrying the label two months ago, manager Joseph King said. While clothing from Alta Gracia sells for the same price as other brands carried in the bookstore, the workers are paid three-anda-half times more than the minimum wage in the Dominican Republic, according to the company’s website.
“Doing good can be good business — they’re not mutually exclusive,” company founder Joseph Bozich said at a press conference.
Instead of getting 80 cents an hour, which is the current minimum wage in the Dominican Republic, workers at Alta Gracia make $2.83 an hour, which enables them to provide their families with adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care and education, Bozich said.
Alta Gracia is also the first company endorsed by the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent labor rights monitoring organization, a company spokesman said.
At the Yale Bookstore, the Alta Gracia T-shirt sells for $17.98, the same price as a similar T-shirt made by Champion, another clothing brand. Joel Friedman, the vice president of general merchandise for Barnes & Noble, said the company has sent many signs to college bookstores to advertise the brand. So far, however, only a small rectangular sign stands among the piles of sweatshirts and T-shirts on the front table in the Yale Bookstore. Read Full Story Here