BRINGING ALTA GRACIA TO YOUR HIGH SCHOOL & COMMUNITY: TEACHING ABOUT ALTA GRACIA
RECORDED: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Description: For high school students and staff interested in learning more about Alta Gracia and how to bring it to your school/community – others are welcome.
Presenter: Rachel Taber – Organizer, Alta Gracia Apparel
Thanks to more than a decade of cross-border collaborations between workers in the Dominican Republic and campus communities in the US led by United Students Against Sweatshops, Alta Gracia brings living-wage college-logo t-shirts and hoodies to hundreds of college campuses. We want to see more! Help us bring a meaningful amount toyour campus that will support workers and signal to the industry: we want change!
This New York Times article is helpful introduction to Alta Gracia, as is this recent article in The Nation. This video on the impact of living wages at Alta Gracia in union leader Martiza Vargas’ family and this quick video about the project’s history, made by students in United Students Against Sweatshops are also great.
Alta Gracia presents a new business model that sets a social responsibility standard above all other brands in the collegiate market by paying a “living wage”. Set at more than three-times the Dominican minimum wage and based on a cost of living study conducted by independent labor rights watchdog Workers Rights Consortium this “salario digno” enables workers to support their families with dignity, covering food, housing, transportation, health care and education costs for their children. The ripple effect in the community is impressive: new businesses have opened across from the factory, construction has picked up as workers invest in more livable homes, and not just children but Alta Gracia workers themselves are going back to school to continue where poverty had forced them to abandon studies. At Alta Gracia, workers enjoy top health and safety standards at work and a union – a voice on the job. WRC has unrestricted access to the factory and regularly consults with workers in the community to ensure accountability. You can also read “Will College Loyalty Embrace ‘Living Wage’ Sweatshirts?”, a research study written by John Kline, Ph.D. (Georgetown University).
Help transform the global apparel industry and the lives of workers and their families in Villa Altagracia. Join us for a workshop and get involved to bring a substantial amount of Alta Gracia to your campus. The more living-wage union-made apparel our schools sell, the more people are able to benefit – not only are workers in Villa Altagracia empowered by this brand, but more living-wage union-made apparel in our bookstores means less of less responsible brands. It sends a clear message that can shape the wider industry – students demand respectful treatment of workers.