NSW hosts US ethical manufacturing leader

30 March 2012

Joe Bozich at an ethical manufacturing seminar at NSW Trade & Investment.

NSW Trade & Investment has partnered with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney to host one of America's most successful ethical manufacturing leaders, Knights Apparel CEO Joe Bozich.

Mr Bozich spoke at a public event at the university on 27 March. He also featured at a breakfast and roundtable event for business and industry leaders hosted at NSW Trade & Investment's offices on 29 March which also included ethical consumer expert Michael Hiscox, a Visiting Professor at the Centre who is from Harvard University.

This was the latest in a series of best practice events developed by the US Studies Centre and NSW Trade & Investment as part of an ongoing partnership to promote greater economic and cultural links between NSW and the US.

Mr Bozich's visit was an opportunity for NSW businesses to hear first-hand how the power of ethical business and consumerism can deliver success in one of the most cut-throat areas of global manufacturing.

"NSW is developing a Manufacturing Industry Action Plan to support the competitiveness of our manufacturers and we are keen to promote all potential growth opportunities, including in ethical manufacturing," Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said.

"The NSW Government is focused on expanding our presence in the US and other key international markets as part of our commitment to rebuild the State's economy."

Mr Bozich shared the remarkable story of Alta Gracia, a Knights Apparel garment label in the Dominican Republic which successfully competes on quality while adopting ethical labour standards to protect its workers.

Alta Gracia stands apart from competitors as the only apparel brand in the world that has been independently verified to pay a 'living wage' to its developing world workers.

Mr Bozich has helped secure a sustainable pathway out of poverty for workers while also building the Alta Gracia brand and strengthening Knights Apparel's bottom line.

Founded in 2001, Knights Apparel is now the largest supplier of college apparel in the United States, holds exclusive rights with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL), and has worked with major brands including Disney and NASCAR.