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Community Development

GRI Content Index

Gildan operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bangladesh, Canada and the United States in addition to having offices in Canada, the United States, Barbados, Europe, and China. We also have an important manufacturing presence in Haiti.

Gildan is a major employer in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Barbados. Accordingly, sizeable and positive social and economic impacts are generated in the surrounding communities where our facilities and offices are located.

  • Building on local management teams

    Gildan has always put an emphasis on putting in place a well-educated and highly motivated local management team at each of our operating locations. 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 leadership positions in our facilities with local talent. By providing employees with competitive compensation and benefits packages, as well as training opportunities, we create better working conditions in our facilities, which also benefit the families of our employees, their communities and local economies. We believe that this philosophy has been a key factor in our operational success

    In 2016, Gildan’s global proportion of local managers – director level and up – was 83%.

  • 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 medical services, training, transportation and food service suppliers, as well as raw materials and accessories suppliers that include dyes, buttons, zippers, boxes and office supplies. We create many business opportunities by buying the majority of our materials locally.

    Gildan proudly supports the communities in which we operate, often going well beyond simply creating employment in our facilities. Our significant investments have created construction and service jobs during the building of new facilities, full time employment positions once the facilities are operational and significant local procurement of trims, supplies and materials to satisfy the production volumes required to supply these large scale facilities. Over the years, as Central America and the Carribean basin developed into an important textile and apparel hub, we are very pleased to have witnessed several key suppliers establish operations in the region resulting in significant economic benefits to the region. Last year, Gildan’s operations in the region purchased in excess of $100 million worth of materials and services from local suppliers.

    Gildan’s common practice is to prioritize sourcing from local suppliers. We believe that this shared value 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 primary 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 opportunities to volunteer their time and energy in their respective communities, either through events organized directly by Gildan or via the employee volunteering 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 for community projects they would like Gildan to be involved in. The current focus of this program 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 where Gildan could bring an added value that would benefit the whole community.

  • 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 which includes the number of employees and their dependents (number of people or relatives depending on these employees) and indirect employment which is the number of jobs a company supports or creates within its supply chain or distribution chain. Since 2010 Gildan has grown its direct employment in Honduras by more than 70% and now supports more than 950 local suppliers. In Nicaragua the number of employees has grown by 45% since 2015 stimulating the economy in the small communities where our factories are located.