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Community Development

GRI Index

Gildan operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and the United States. The Company has offices in Canada, the United States, Barbados, Europe, and China and has an important contract manufacturing presence in Haiti.

In these countries, our operations and activities generate a social and economic added-value in the communities surrounding our facilities and offices, especially where Gildan is a major employer in the country, such as in Honduras or Barbados.

  • Building on local management teams

    Gildan has always placed emphasis on putting in place well educated and highly motivated local management teams as the most effective way to develop and implement best practices in our manufacturing facilities.

    Gildan’s common practice is to first look for local candidates. By providing employees in each of our operating regions with competitive compensation and benefits, along with training opportunities, we are creating both optimum conditions in our facilities and benefiting our employees’ families, the community and economy. This has been a key factor in our operational success.

    In 2013, Gildan’s global proportion of local managers – director level and up – was 83.5%.


    2013 Percentage of local managers (director level and up) by region 

    REGION 2013
    ASIA 29%
    CARIBBEAN BASIN 53%
    CENTRAL AMERICA 61%
    EUROPE 100%
    NORTH AMERICA 98%

  • Contributing to the local economy

    In addition to creating diversified employment opportunities, Gildan’s presence in a community generates a positive impact on a great variety of local businesses and service providers, for instance transportation, food services and local suppliers of materials such as dyes, buttons, zippers, boxes and office supplies. Although we do not have a formal policy regulating the use of local suppliers, we create business opportunities by buying the majority of our materials locally.

    Gildan’s common practice is to first look for local suppliers, a practice we believe creates win-win situations as we benefit from the proximity of suppliers and share economic benefits of development with the people closest to our operations. 

  • Addressing local specific needs

    Gildan brings a significant contribution to community development through in-kind and cash donations, primarily to youth education and humanitarian aid related causes. By following guidelines set out by head office in the Company’s Donation Policy, local teams manage requests and potential projects according to the needs of their community. Gildan also strongly encourages its employees to volunteer their time and energy in the community either through events organized by the Company, or via the Employee in the Community Program in Canada and the Unites States. Through these efforts, employee participation in the community has an appreciative impact on local institutions.

    Another way that Gildan addresses local specific needs was the development of the "Part of Your Life" program. Launched in 2011 in Nicaragua, and then expanded to Honduras in 2012 and the Dominican Republic in 2013, this program invites our employees to provide ideas of community projects they would like the Company to be involved in. Please read our Donations section to obtain more information on the projects that were selected from employee suggestions. These are only a few examples of the many initiatives undertaken by Gildan in each of the local communities in which we operate.

    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 added value.

  • Measuring Gildan’s direct and indirect economic impact

    While we are aware that Gildan’s economic impact goes beyond the scope of the organization itself, measuring our indirect economic impact, not only in the countries in which we operate, but across our entire supply chain as well, including cotton farmers and third party contractors, is a much more complex analysis. Such an 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).

    After having conducted an impact study in Honduras in 2011 and Nicaragua in 2012, we carried out a preliminary analysis of our impact in the Dominican Republic in 2013. In the following years, we will work to develop a standardized tool that will help us improve how we measure our impact throughout our global operations and incorporate our findings into our reporting process.

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