July 12, 2017
Alta Gracia, based in Spartanburg, SC and a leader in ethically produced apparel, today announced a partnership with Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd. and 289c Apparel, Ltd. to develop a new line of garment dyed T-shirts. The line will be available this fall where Dallas Cowboys fan apparel is sold. It will also be part of 289c officially licensed apparel lines for The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California.
Alta Gracia, based in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic, employs approximately 140 workers and primarily manufactures apparel for the university market. Founded in 2010 by Joe Bozich and Donnie Hodge as part of Knights Apparel, it was set up specifically to be a model facility paying a living wage and promoting worker empowerment. Currently Alta Gracia operates as a stand-alone privately held company. Alta Gracia utilizes raw materials from the United States and U.S.-based post-garment processing. Alta Gracia's business model has been the subject of many college and business school studies including: the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business), Georgetown University, Harvard University, MIT S-Lab (Sloan School of Business Sustainability Lab) and Emory University (Goizuela School of Business).
In partnership with the Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd. and 289c Apparel, Ltd., Alta Gracia is looking to expand its manufacturing product line and broaden its customer base by launching a new Blank division to augment their direct licensed collegiate business. Donnie Hodge, CEO, owner, and co-founder stated, "The Cowboys reached out to us and indicated they wanted to support Alta Gracia in a significant way and worked with us to help us launch this new initiative. Rather than giving us a token order, they made it clear from the first conversation they wanted a meaningful partnership and were willing to work with us on what was best for us." Mr. Hodge and Bill Priakos, President of Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd. and 289c Apparel, Ltd., have been exploring various approaches that would be the right fit for the three businesses. For DCM and 289c, this partnership allows the businesses to focus on a complete product line with one factory. Mr. Priakos said about the new partnership, We're excited about the product we are creating with Alta Gracia and proud to partner with such a leader in the industry. On behalf of the Jones family and the entire Dallas Cowboys organization, we are pleased to be able to support Alta Gracia, said Jerry Jones Jr., Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of the Dallas Cowboys.
Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) stated, In the fifteen year history of codes of conduct and monitoring programs despite hundreds of thousands of factory audits and vast proliferation of corporate social responsibility programs the simple fact is that no major apparel brand has ever done what is being done at the Alta Gracia factory. This commitment will provide vital support to a Brand that gives hope to garment workers worldwide; and is the only factory certified by the WRC. Lots of clothing brands claim to be socially responsible. What Alta Gracia does isn't talk, it's real. A living wage transforms workers lives.
About Alta Gracia: Alta Gracia was founded in 2010 in the Dominican Republic as the only apparel company in the developing world that is independently certified in paying a living wage. This wage, which is independently audited by the Worker Rights Consortium, a non-profit independent labor rights monitoring organization, and negotiated with the local union, is over 300% higher than the legal minimum wage and 2.5 times higher than the industry average. At Alta Gracia, the living wage is based on a market-basket analysis looking at the cost of local goods and services in the Dominican Republic. Alta Gracia products are primarily sold in College Bookstores and Campus retailers across the country, with products in over 600 doors with rights to over 1000 schools. Major customers include, Barnes and Noble, Follett, Fanatics and a number of Independent schools including Duke, Berkeley, NYU, UCLA and others.
About Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd. and 289c Apparel: Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd. designs, produces, and distributes Dallas Cowboys fan apparel. 289c Apparel, Ltd. is a premier collegiate trademark management company currently representing The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California under exclusive apparel license agreements.