President Ralph Hexter has announced Hampshire College’s membership in the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a nonprofit affiliation of colleges and universities that agree to purchase from businesses in compliance with a code of conduct guaranteeing the basic rights of workers who manufacture clothing or other items bearing the name, logo or seal of the school.
The bookstore at Hampshire will stock items in compliance with the Worker Rights Consortium code of conduct. In an all-campus memorandum distributed November 20, President Hexter said: “Now when you buy apparel with the Hampshire name on it, you can be confident that the conditions under which the workers who have labored to produce it are being closely monitored by the WRC to see that those conditions meet WRC standards.”
Hampshire students brought the question of WRC affiliation to the administration, Hexter said. The proposal was discussed at a number of his weekly Monday morning breakfasts with students in the college dining hall, as well as among the senior administrative team at the college.
“WRC’s mission is consonant with Hampshire’s commitment to social responsibility internationally as well as locally, and I felt strongly inclined to support the request to join WRC that students had brought to my attention,” Hexter said.
More than 150 colleges and universities are affiliated with WRC.