Avoiding Russell Athletics

By Stephanie Enwright

Recently, Russell Athletics, an apparel company that supplies many colleges and universities, was found to have violated workers’ rights. Workers at Russell Athletics factories in Honduras were severely underpaid and attempted to unionize in order to demand a 45% increase in wages. Rather than allow them to unionize, Russell shut down these factories, causing 1,800 workers to lose their jobs. These actions are in direct violation of the Designed Suppliers Program, which Macalester signed onto last year. Being a member of the Designated Suppliers Program means that Macalester has made a commitment to only purchase from companies who respect their workers’ rights, including providing a living wage and granting them freedom of association.

As Russell is in violation of these standards, Macalester is no longer contracting with them for athletic apparel. We would like to thank President Rosenberg for signing onto the Designated Suppliers Program. We would also encourage the student body to make the individual decision not to buy from Russell Athletics in light of these human rights violations.