• Alta Gracia, the Dominican subsidiary of Knights Apparel, claims to be the only apparel company in the developing world to carry the Living Wage certification.

US-based investment group AG Triada has acquired certified Living Wage apparel company, Alta Gracia, which designs and manufactures athletic lifestyle products licensed for collegiate and professional sports.

Founded in the Dominican Republic as a subsidiary of Knights Apparel in 2010, Alta Gracia is certified Living Wage by the Worker Rights Consortium, an international organisation fighting against workplace exploitation. It claims to be the only apparel company in the developing world to carry the certification.

Often confused with the Fair Trade movement, Living Wage is a lesser-known certification in apparel manufacturing specifically aimed at helping factory workers in developing countries set standards for their working conditions.

"It's difficult to find a company that's pioneering anything in the crowded apparel market, let alone the college affinity segment," says newly appointed CEO Chris Morocco. "Alta Gracia opted to change the manufacturing paradigm in the quality of life of its workers, offering dignified, unionised work and a living wage that's over 300% higher than the legal minimum.

"We see a huge opportunity to expand within and beyond college bookstores to other retail channels, including online, to become a brand that captures the hearts and souls of socially minded, fashion-forward students and alumni who want to feel and look good in the brands they wear … all while also ensuring that the workers who make the Alta Gracia product are treated with dignity and respect."

The firm's advisory board includes original co-founders Donnie Hodge and Joe Bozich, as well as Lee Norwood, aformer SVP of design at Ralph Lauren.