Sewing Hope offers the first account of a bold challenge to apparel-industry sweatshops. The Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republic is the anti-sweatshop. It boasts a living wage three times the legal minimum, high health and safety standards, and a legitimate union—all verified by an independent monitor. It is the only apparel factory in the global south to meet these criteria.
The Alta Gracia business model represents an alternative to the industry’s usual race-to-the-bottom model with its inherent poverty wages and unsafe factory conditions. Workers’ stories reveal how adding US$0.90 to a sweatshirt’s production price can change lives: from getting a life-saving operation to a reunited family; from purchasing children's school uniforms to taking night classes; from obtaining first-ever bank loans to installing running water. Sewing Hope invites readers into the apparel industry’s sweatshops and the Alta Gracia factory to learn how the anti-sweatshop started, how it overcame challenges, and how the impact of its business model could transform the global industry.
About the Author
Sarah Adler-Milstein is a worker-rights advocate and has served as Field Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Worker Rights Consortium.
John M. Kline is Professor of International Business Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is the author of four books, including the textbook Ethics for International Business.
“Full of data with academic rigor arguing for a living wage as well as rich stories of the impact in human lives of such a wage. We highly recommend the book.” — The Human Thread
"This is a must read for anyone concerned with escalating inequality globally and the potential of labor organizing in tandem with more humane corporate management for transforming communities." — New York Journal of Books