Statement Regarding ISN Partnership to Promote Living Wage Apparel
June 2, 2016
In February 2015, ISN introduced an exciting new ethical apparel partnership to our member institutions. We began a relationship with EthixMerch, an ethical promotional item company, to bring greater attention to Alta Gracia, a living-wage apparel company based in the Dominican Republic.
Over the course of 14 months, ISN and EthixMerch highlighted Alta Gracia in many ways including a 12-state speakers tour of Alta Gracia workers, online materials and resources, and promotion of Alta Gracia products at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Ignatian network institutions purchased Alta Gracia t-shirts for many campus projects, events, and programs, for which we are very grateful. In addition, EthixMerch generously donated to ISN 5% of every Alta Gracia t-shirt sale made to an institution within the Ignatian network. These donations provided us with resources to support our continued efforts to promote worker rights.
We continue to believe in Alta Gracia as an ethical product, however, their business model is changing, which may impact the availability of their products to EthixMerch. In light of this business reality, our partnership with EthixMerch no longer makes sense. Thus, ISN is discontinuing our formal partnership with Ethix Merch to promote Alta Gracia living-wage apparel.
I want to thank EthixMerch for their partnership on this effort. We are grateful for the ways we could work together during this period to lift up the story of Alta Gracia and promote the dignity of apparel workers.
Thank you for your support!
Christopher G. Kerr