April 12, 2021
Dear University Colleagues,
For more than a decade, the Alta Gracia factory has paid workers a genuine living wage. It is the only apparel export factory to achieve that standard, whether in the collegiate sphere or beyond. The benefits for Alta Gracia’s workers and their families have been profound.
However, after a year struggling to survive during the pandemic, Alta Gracia is now close to final closure. The company has lost so much order volume from its key bookstore customers that it cannot move forward. Workers are now on furlough, with reduced income.
Slim hopes remain for a reversal in the weeks immediately ahead: either in the form of major new order commitments or a buyer for the company. The WRC is in communication with the factory, the union, and other stakeholders, and we are monitoring the situation closely.
Many factories, and many brands, have been forced to close during this pandemic. Alta Gracia, however, has occupied a special place in the apparel industry, as the only real-world example of a living wage factory. We continue to hope for, and work for, a reprieve from closure.
As always, please let us know if you have questions or would like to discuss.