Circular economy

Our approach

2020 highlights

Waste management system

Our Waste Management System is an important component of our approach and is aligned with the principles of 4R-D: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, and Disposal. This system includes policies and procedures that outline our waste classification process, acceptable measures for handling specific waste, site-specific information, and documentation and reporting processes.

Reduce, recycle, and reuse

We use 3D computer modelling to share product designs with our customers. This allows them to see the design and make changes based on the computer model rather than on a physical prototype or sample of the actual garment, which would need to be manufactured and shipped to them. By using computer modelling, we are decreasing resource consumption, including raw materials, energy, water, and waste.

Sustainable materials

Sustainable materials play an increasingly important role in our overall product strategies; that's why we use REPREVE® yarn for some of our brands, a recycled performance fibre made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Thanks to REPREVE®, we can keep millions of plastic bottles out of landfills.

We also work to reduce waste sent to landfills by transitioning our sewing threads and materials used for labels to recycle polyester. Currently, we are in the process of exploring more options to use 100% recycled materials in other product features, including zippers, buttons, draw cords, and more.

“At Gildan, we’re trying to help our customers’ achieve their climate-related goals with more environmentally conscious clothes. It’s exciting to be able to make meaningful changes today by creating sustainable fabrics with less impact for a better tomorrow.”


Christopher Levesque, Director, Product Development

Clipping recycling program

We recycle 100% of our cutting room scraps. These textile clips are used in manufacturing new products such as textiles, socks, mops, and various industrial materials.

Sustainable packaging

Our largest use of packaging comes from the cartons we use for shipping our products to our global network of distributors. More than 70% of the corrugate in these cartoons is made from recycled paper. When we are required to package apparel in an outer plastic bag, we use recycled plastic; however, we are currently examining options to use biodegradable plastic bags. In addition, we are exploring ways to transition our hangers, which are currently made of 100% polyester material, to paper press recycled material and/or bamboo.