Apparel Makes Disclose Locations

Dalian Jialian Making Clothes Co.

That's the name of the factory in Dalian, China where a yellow Gear For Sports shell jacket from J. August in Harvard Square is reportedly made.

Two weeks ago, anti-sweatshop activists could not have pinpointed the origin of the coat as a first step toward monitoring working conditions.

But since Harvard's two largest apparel makers, Gear and Champion Products Inc., released the names and locations of their factories last week, sleuthing out the source of Harvard insignia clothing is as easy as the click of a mouse.

Gear made available information about its factories on Jan. 10 via a new Web site--gearnosweat.com--that allows users to search a database by country name or garment style. With the hits, activists could call, even fax, the factories in China.

Though University attorney Allan A. Ryan Jr., who has handled the sweatshop issue for Harvard, said he has not been officially alerted by Champion of their decision, spokesperson Peggy C. Carter said her company mailed information about factory locations directly to universities last Friday.

"We too are vehemently opposed to conditions known as sweatshops," Carter said. "We are proud of our operations, and happy to help our customers."

The release of Gear and Champion's factory locations marks the fulfillment of a promise both companies made in November, when they announced that they would do so by January's end.