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The Shirt Project chooses Alta Gracia as vendor

| Thursday, January 15, 2015

For the fourth consecutive year, The Shirt Committee selected Alta Gracia as the vendor of the 2015 The Shirt.

Junior Abbey Dankoff, president of The Shirt Project, said Alta Gracia’s mission to provide its workers with a living wage played a large role in the committee’s decision.

According to Alta Gracia’s website, the Dominican Republic-based college apparel company pays its workers more than three times the minimum wage. Additionally, Alta Gracia is committed to providing its employees with “the right to a safe and healthy workplace, the right to be treated with dignity and respect on the job and the right to form a union.”

“I think a major part of why we chose Alta Gracia is that their mission aligns perfectly with our mission, both as an organization and a larger University,” Dankoff said. “Alta Gracia provides its employees with a living wage that allows them to afford life’s essentials. That recognition of the value and integrity of each person is something I think Notre Dame tries to instill in all of its students.”

Junior Camden Hill, creative director of The Shirt Project, said he had a good experience working with Alta Gracia in past years. Although the committee considered three other vendors, it ultimately decided to continue its relationship with Alta Gracia for a variety of reasons.

“Economically, it made a lot of sense because Alta Gracia does give us competitive prices for each shirt,” Hill said. “There’s a business aspect to our selection which allows us to keep the prices of The Shirt lower, which means more money goes back to the students.”

Both Dankoff and Hill have visited Alta Gracia’s factory in the Dominican Republic in past years to see in person the effects of The Shirt Project.

“Our contribution and support of their company really does ultimately affect the lives of those working in the Dominican Republic,” Hill said. “We can help employment down there by placing these large orders. The employees were so excited to go to work in this country and very grateful for the opportunity to partner with us.”

According to a press release, The Shirt is “the single highest-selling collegiate apparel item in the nation.” The funds raised by The Shirt Project are used to help students in need of financial assistance and to support clubs and organizations on campus.

The Shirt Committee is currently working on the design of this year’s Shirt, which is set to be unveiled April 17.

“Alta Gracia really enjoys our business, and we really enjoy working with them,” Dankoff said. “We’re excited to continue working with this company that embodies a commitment to social justice, in accordance with Notre Dame’s mission.”

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, the Observer's current Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's a former Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

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