NSW hosts US ethical manufacturing leader:   02 / 03 / 2012

Invest in Australia - March 26, 2012.

The NSW Government is partnering with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney to host one of America’s most successful ethical manufacturing leaders, Knights Apparel CEO Joe Bozich, Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & investment Andrew Stoner said today.

Mr Stoner said Joe Bozich will speak at a public event on campus tomorrow (Tuesday 27 March) and a breakfast roundtable for business and industry leaders on Thursday (29 March).

“Joe Bozich’s visit will be an opportunity for NSW businesses to hear first-hand how the power of ethical business and consumerism can deliver success in one of the most cut-throat areas of global manufacturing,” Mr Stoner said.

“Joe Bozich will share his remarkable story of Alta Gracia, a Knights Apparel garment label in the Dominican Republic which successfully competes on quality while adopting ethical labour standards to protect its workers.

“NSW is developing a Manufacturing Industry Action Plan to support the competitiveness of our manufacturers and we are keen to promote all potential growth opportunities, including in ethical manufacturing.

“The NSW Government is focused on expanding our presence in the US and other key international markets as part of our commitment to rebuild the State’s economy.”

Mr Stoner said Alta Gracia stands apart from competitors as the only apparel brand in the world that has been independently verified to pay a ‘living wage’ to its developing world workers.

“Joe Bozich will share his experiences on how he has helped secure a sustainable pathway out of poverty for workers while also building the Alta Gracia brand and strengthening Knights Apparel’s bottom line,” Mr Stoner said.

“Founded in 2001, Knights Apparel is now the largest supplier of college apparel in the United States, holds exclusive rights with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL), and has worked with major brands including Disney and NASCAR.”

US Studies Centre head Professor Geoffrey Garrett said Thursday’s ethical supply chains briefing will also feature ethical consumer expert Michael Hiscox, a Visiting Professor at the Centre who is from Harvard University.

“This the latest in a series of best practice events developed by the US Studies Centre and NSW Trade & Investment as part of an ongoing partnership to promote greater economic and cultural links between NSW and the US,” Professor Garrett said.