March 17, 2023


Catholic University is now offering a variety of ethically sourced merchandise at the University Bookstore. By partnering with the Catholic Ethical Purchasing Alliance (CEPA), the University will be furthering its commitments to human rights, sustainability and Catholic social teaching.

CEPA was formed by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Ethix Merch to integrate sustainable values into the purchasing methods of institutions who wish to align with those commitments. The Ignatian Solidarity Network promotes social justice, inspired by the spirituality and life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, who was a proponent of missionary work and teaching.

"We are so excited to have Catholic U join CEPA in helping to make Catholic University purchasing more responsive to the impact on people and the planet. As one of five participating CEPA universities, Catholic U is already busy developing programmatic opportunities to cultivate an ethical consumer culture on campus," said Grace Adams, a coordinator at CEPA.

The products offered at the bookstore have been sourced in the U.S. from what they call “dirt to shirt.” They are made in North Carolina by a nonprofit organization called The Industrial Commons, operating under the brand name, COLLECTION. Some of the products include hand sewn tote bags from worker-owned facilities and beanies made from recycled textiles that would have otherwise been dumped in a landfill.

The Office of Campus Sustainability is excited to see these ethically sourced products available in the campus bookstore,” said Gabrielle Choate, manager of the Office of Campus Sustainability. 

“Making these products available to our community demonstrates our leadership and commitment to caring for creation and Catholic social teaching,” she added. “It also provides us with a new opportunity to engage the campus community in the conversation about what it means to live a sustainable life and create a culture of sustainability on campus.”

Other prominent sustainability efforts by the University have flourished in the past year are Cardinal Closet, an on-campus thrift exchange, and the University’s dedication to solar energy.

CEPA’s efforts will help the University to practice sustainability in a way that will uplift the community. The University has been included in the Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges since 2021 for its practices in sustainability and hopes to further the progress through commitments like CEPA’s.