Dove Professional Apparel: Distribution, Trade and Transport: Economic
Dove Professional Apparel distributes their nursing uniforms to hundreds of nursing schools across the nation, including the Point Loma Nazarene University nursing program. Dove has been able to make a name for themselves as an ethically conscious company. As nursing prospects typically have high levels of social concern for the health and fair treatment of humans, the connection between nursing and fair trade is likely here to stay. Economically, the connection seems to be successful as well, both for the consumer and the producer.
According to a fair trade article written by a PLNU Alum Jessica Gerardy Petrencsik, Dove Apparel at least used to manufacture their goods right here in California. As a company based in San Diego, California, the brand wouldn’t have to transport their products far in order to get them to headquarters. Because we were not able to find any current information on their manufacturing location, we’ve speculated that they have moved their manufacturing to somewhere more efficient economically: Mexico. This does not necessarily mean they would eliminate their fair trade practices, nor their fair social conditions for workers. But were our assumption correct, it would imply that Dove Apparel’s economic investments would have to shift.
Moving the manufacturing from California to Mexico would mean allocating more spending towards the transportation of goods. Even if the production were relatively close to the US/Mexico border, not only would efficiency in time when transporting goods to customers suffer, but transporting between nations means increased spending in order to move products back into the United States. There could be money lost in terms of excess freight, gas, customs, additional repairs, etc.
But Dove Apparel can offset these implications in other ways. According to their website, they claim to reuse shipping boxes three or four times after the transport process has completed. And although they might pay more for better and more efficient production, they will receive a better quality item which will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
They also maintain their ethical stand by distributing over $20,000 in free uniforms each year, and help students who have been through disasters, such as those who live in New Orleans or Galveston, TX, by providing free replacement uniforms to those who have suffered great losses.
Setting a high standard for uniform carriers, Dove Apparel is an ethical organization Point Loma is proud to purchase from. Their distribution, trade, and transportation methods continue to shift, and like any company there will be economic ups and downs. But according to thelayoff.com, the company has seen been in an economic upswing. In 2004 the estimated revenue was $1.6 million, while in 2007 estimated revenue was $2.7 million. Indeed, nursing uniforms are not a product that will be affected by a recession–nurses will always be in high demand, thus nursing uniforms will be as well. As a PLNU partner, we hope to see Dove Apparel continuing to upgrade its fair trade agenda as it continues to see success in economic gain.