PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Knight Apparel, PSU Work For Corporate Responsibility

Knight Apparel, a major supplier of college-logo clothing to hundreds of American universities including Penn State, has announced that their new factory in the Dominican Republic pays over three times the country’s minimum wage and allows unions, a groundbreaking step in their efforts to promote corporate social responsibility.

The university has worked closely with the apparel company to bring this initiative to fruition and plans to sell the clothing line in the Penn State Bookstore, according to Geoff Rushton, the Assistant Manager of the News Bureau at Penn State. The products, which will carry the brand name Alta Garcia, will also be shipped to 400 university bookstores across the country.

The initiative, however, has its risks. Because the company has to make up for the increased costs of higher wages and keeping the plant operational, the products are likely to carry a price tag that’s on par with other leading apparel brands, such as Nike and Adidas.

“Obviously we’ll have a higher cost,” said Knight Apparel’s CEO Joseph Bozich. “But we’re pricing the product such that we’re not asking the retailer or the consumer to sacrifice in order to support it.”

Company officials are confident though that students will opt to pay for  good business practice.

“We’re hoping to prove that doing good can be business, that they’re not mutually exclusive,” said Bozich.

Barnes and Noble College Booksellers and Knight Apparel plan on unveiling an aggressive marketing program, and will include web advertising, large store signs and other methods.

“It’s going to be marketed like crazy,” said Joel Friedman, Vice President of General Merchandise at B&N College Booksellers.

The initiative led by Knight Apparel will hopefully lead to more socially responsible business practices among other apparel companies. In fact, Nike has recently announced that it will be paying $1.54 million to over 1500 workers that were laid off in two of its Honduran garment factories in 2009. Penn State played a role in compelling the company to give assistance to its Honduran workers who were fired last year.

Is this a new era for the corporate world, where good, socially responsible business practices become a products main selling point? Or will consumers fail to notice these new initiatives and continue to purchase products based on the brand or price? In any case, it is nice to see companies who have been railed in the past by allegations of sweatshop practices start to grow a corporate conscience. Who knew it was possible?

Will you continue to purchase your regular brand name Penn State clothing, or will you opt to purchase Knight Apparel’s Alta Garcia products in recognition of their new corporate social responsibility initiative?

Representatives from USAS were not available for comment.

[Photo Credit: Flickr / Caitlinator]

About the Author

Tom Kent

I was born in Virginia Beach, raised in Westfield, NJ, went to college at Penn State, moved to Miami, FL. Peruvian on mom's side and English on my Dad's. I'm a Journalism major and Political Science minor. I do not currently own any reptiles.


More by Tom

2010 Midterm Elections Voting Guide Roundup

The 2010 midterm elections are today, and if you’re voting, which you should be, you’re probably going to need help deciding which candidates you choose when you go to the polls today between classes.

Faculty Senate Approves New Minor Requirements

Mayor Goreham to Hold Office Hours in the HUB


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend