One year after Alta Gracia, the largest fair-trade apparel company on campus, began selling University of Wisconsin-Madison apparel at the University Book Store, consumers continue to show their support for the brand and its fair-trade practices.
The "fair labor" model paid 130 unionized workers a wage of $114 per week, three times the local minimum wage of $33. The increase enables workers to provide adequate food, clean water, clothing, shelter, health care, childcare and education for themselves and their families - in short, a living wage.
Alta Gracia is one of three fair-trade lines currently available at the bookstore.
In the year since the bookstore began selling Alta Gracia, sales of $34.99 hooded sweatshirts and $15.99 T-shirts have been on par with other comparable merchandise such as Champion and Jansport, says Patrick McGowan, president of the University Book Store.