Gildan operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and the United States in addition to having offices in Canada, the United States, Barbados, Europe, and China. We also have an important contract manufacturing presence in Haiti.
Gildan is a major employer in Honduras and Barbados. A sizeable and positive social and economic impact is generated in the surrounding communities where our facilities and offices are located.
Building on local management teams
Gildan has always placed emphasis on putting in place at each of our operating locations a well-educated and highly motivated local management team. We believe that this is the most effective way to develop and implement best practices in our manufacturing facilities.
Gildan’s common practice is to fill the managerial positions in our facilities with local talent. By providing employees with competitive compensation and benefits packages, in addition to training opportunities, we are creating better conditions in our facilities while at the same time also benefiting the families of our employees, the communities and local economies. We believe that this has been a key factor in our operational success.
In 2014, Gildan’s global proportion of local managers – director level and up – was 79%.
Contributing to the local economy
Gildan’s presence in a community generates a positive impact on a great variety of local businesses and service providers. Examples include transportation and food services suppliers, as well as raw materials and accessories suppliers that include dyes, buttons, zippers, boxes and office supplies. Although we do not have a formal policy in place that requires the use of local suppliers, we create business opportunities by buying the majority of our materials locally.
Gildan’s common practice is to look first for local suppliers. We believe that this practice creates a win-win situation for both local suppliers and Gildan as we benefit from their proximity while we share the economic benefits of our operations with the people and industries that are closest to us.
Addressing local specific needs
Gildan significantly contributes to the community’s development through in-kind and cash donations. Our primarily focus is on youth educational programs and humanitarian aid efforts. By following the guidelines set forth by our head office as included in our Donation Policy, local teams manage requests and potential projects according to the needs of their community. Gildan also encourages its employees to actively seek for opportunities to volunteer their time and energy in their respective communities, either through events organized directly by Gildan or via the Employee in the Community Program in Canada and the Unites States. Through these efforts, employee participation in the community has a tangible impact on local institutions.
Gildan’s "Part of Your Life" program is yet another way that Gildan addresses local community needs. This program was launched in 2011 in Nicaragua, expanded to Honduras in 2012 and the Dominican Republic in 2013. Gildan’s "Part of Your Life" program invites our employees, in these three countries, to provide ideas of community projects where they would like Gildan to be involved in. It’s focus is on supporting education projects in the communities where our employees live. Please refer to our Donations section to obtain more information on the projects that have been selected from our employee suggestions.
Relationships are also established with local authorities, such as the mayoral office, municipal authorities, local charities or education and health related institutions, in order to identify other projects that would benefit the whole community and in which Gildan could bring an added value.
Measuring Gildan’s direct and indirect economic impact
We are aware that Gildan’s economic impact goes beyond the scope of the organization itself. Measuring our indirect economic impact, in the countries in which we operate in addition to our entire supply chain, including cotton farmers and third party contractors requires a more complex analysis. Such analysis takes into account direct employment (number of employees), dependents (number of people or relatives depending on these employees) and indirect employment (number of jobs a company supports or creates within its supply chain or distribution chain). Since 2010 Gildan has grown more than 70% in direct employment in Honduras and supports more than 950 local suppliers.
We conducted an economic impact study in Honduras in 2011 and one in Nicaragua in 2012. More recently a preliminary analysis was conducted in the Dominican Republic in 2013. In 2015, we will continue to work in developing a standardized tool that will help us improve how we measure our direct and indirect impact throughout our global operations. Once developed, this tool will help us incorporate our findings into our future reporting efforts.