Alta Gracia Apparel Partners with 289c Apparel


August 3, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Alta Gracia Apparel has announced a new partnership with another university licensee, 289c Apparel, Ltd., and its sister company, Dallas Cowboys Merchandising. As many of you know, the Alta Gracia factory, located in the Dominican Republic, pays its workers a living wage, is committed to superior labor standards, and is subject to intensive monitoring by the WRC. The Alta Gracia line of collegiate wear, which began as part of Knights Apparel but is now an independent firm, is unique in its commitment to worker rights and particularly in paying a living wage three times above the local minimum wage.

Bill Priakos, CEO of 289c and Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, noted that the firm is “proud to partner with such a leader in the industry.” Alta Gracia will be supplying blanks to Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, which will then print the shirts with the logos of a small number of universities and sports teams, including The University of Texas at Austin. This partnership will also support Alta Gracia in expanding its product line and launching a new line of blanks, which will allow other firms and organizations to buy blank Alta Gracia shirts for custom printing.

Craig Westemeier, who serves as Senior Associate Athletics Director at The University of Texas at Austin, notes that, “Like UT, our master licensee, 289c, is committed to working with factories who follow fair and humane labor practices. Alta Gracia is an inspirational example of what is possible.”

By choosing to partner with Alta Gracia, 289c and Dallas Cowboys Merchandising are providing vital support to a brand that is a model for the garment industry. Press coverage of this new project can be found here and here.

The WRC staff is also looking forward to the pending publication of a new book on Alta Gracia entitled Sewing Hope: How One Factory Challenges the Apparel Industry’s SweatshopsAuthored by Georgetown University Professor John M. Kline and former WRC Latin America Field Director Sarah Adler-Milstein, the book tells the story of how Alta Gracia came to be; the impact it has had on workers, their families and the local community; the challenges of creating and growing a company driven by its social mission; and the implications of Alta Gracia’s experience for future efforts to improve labor practices in the garment industry, particularly on the issue of living wage. We will share additional information with affiliates approaching the book’s publication date in October.



Scott Nova 
Executive Director
Worker Rights Consortium