Blog #2 Benjamin Maiava. Dove Apparel is a San Diego based company that has been around since 1985. Today Dove markets its products nationally and works with over 200 nursing school programs across the United States. Dove Apparel has many designs and styles of uniforms which are all made up of a Polyester/Cotton blend. According to sources Dove’s estimated revenue is $2.7 Million dollars. Each year the nursing department students purchase consistently 75-80 uniforms from Dove Apparel, depending on how big the class size is that year. Students here at PLNU purchase the uniform set around $85-$90 depending on that year’s price. The amount that PLNU students are spending year in and year out is great enough for us to look at the production of these uniforms and decide whether or not is economically sustainable.
It is stated on the Dove Website that the California company manufactures its uniforms in a “Sweatshop Free facility.” Although this sounds very ideal, the company fails to show any trace of where they purchased their uniforms from or where they source any of their products. According to an article written in the Viewpoint in 2006, they manufacture their uniforms in California. The owner Susan Wiczynski stated that, “We know we could move our sewing offshore and cut costs by 75% but we don’t do it. Although they have less than 10 items, none of the items state what they are made of and where they are made on the website. There is a lack of information provided on where the nursing products are made.
Another issue that is connected to not being able to identify the Dove’s manufacturers is that, we as a consumer are not able to differentiate whether or not the sources of the material that are used to create the uniforms are Fair Trade or not. On the physical uniform the tag has “Made in Mexico” printed on it. On the website there is nothing that ever states any of the uniforms coming from Mexico. It’s almost impossible to see where the factory in Mexico receives its cotton and polyester. So majority of the cotton comes from 3 Countries; China, India, and the United States. With these three being the top choices and leading cotton growers in the world, Dove’s manufacturers most likely source their cotton from China along with its polyester. Since the products are a blended with both cotton and polyester there’s a good chance that when the uniform is made in Mexico, China which is one of the largest producers of polyester in the world, source both at the same time from China. They also have some of the lowest costs regarding these exports.
With looking at these findings I want to believe that Dove’s Production is ethical and is Fair Trade but from what I’ve found there isn’t concrete evidence. However compared to what is out there, PLNU is choosing the most ethical solution for providing uniforms to its students.