Several months after UA President Robert Shelton severed ties with Russell Athletics, the UA Department of Trademark and Licensing has selected a California-based company to takeover the lion's share of UA apparel production.
Wideworld Sportswear, based out of Cerritos, Calif., will produce T-shirts, crew sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants for the UA, officials said. The UA bookstore designed a custom, private label to accompany the new line of clothing that will hit bookstore shelves in the next few weeks.
""The new label will feature our Ultimate design which is reserved exclusively for our made-in-the-USA clothing,"" said Debby Shively, the senior associate director for the UA Associated Student Bookstore.
The UA ended its previous contract with Russell Athletics after a June 29 report from the Free Labor Association found that the Russell Corporation was not taking adequate steps to ensure the rights of its workers at the corporation's Jerzees de Honduras factory.
Specifically, the report identified several areas where Russell was neglecting the rights of its employees.
The report pointed out that Russell had failed to engage in good faith negotiations with workers' unions on issues like compensation for terminated employees and had not played an active role in educating workers about their freedom of association rights.
In addition, the report accused Russell of not engaging with representatives of civil society in Honduras.
According to Shively, the bookstore is currently selling through its remaining Russell inventory. ""When the university notified us of the decision, we did not go forward with any new orders and only accepted what we had committed to prior to the announcement,"" she said.
While Wideworld Sportswear has varying price points that are dependent upon style, imprint and quantity ordered, the company has agreed to honor previous price standards established with Russell, she said.
""Wideworld Sportswear honored the Russell pricing so we could stay competitive for this type of product line and to stay at the same price points we offered with Russell,"" she said.
In addition to the new Wideworld Sportswear line, the UofA Bookstore will continue to carry apparel by various large clothing manufacturers like Nike and Champion.
The UA will continue to work with the Free Labor Association as well as the Collegiate Licensing Company and Worker's Rights Consortium to hold corporations accountable in supporting workers' rights, said UA spokesman Johnny Cruz.