Montreal, Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL: TSX and NYSE) today announced that it has joined forces with various business partners to leverage its manufacturing facilities to produce non-medical face masks and isolation gowns in support of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gildan is working with one of its customers in the imprintables channel to support a cooperative consortium of major apparel and textile companies to help produce non-medical face masks to be distributed to support hospitals, health care workers and others battling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Both the design and textile fabric to be used in the production of these masks are being provided by partners of the consortium who are working in collaboration to lessen the major shortage of face masks. Gildan is also working with a retail partner to produce non-medical face masks primarily intended for healthcare organizations worldwide. This initiative includes manufacturing the required textile for the production of these masks. Moreover, the Company is also working with another retail partner to manufacture isolation gowns to be distributed to the health care sector to help address the current shortage of personal protective equipment in fighting COVID-19.
Gildan has received authorization from the Honduras government to partially reopen one of its textile facilities to produce the fabric needed for the masks and gowns, and one of its sewing facilities in Honduras for the assembly of these products. To ensure the health and safety of its people, Gildan has mobilized a team of experts and is developing and implementing stringent processes to protect employees who have chosen to come back to work on this effort. The facilities that will be reopened for the production of personal protective equipment will all operate under a strict biosecurity protocol developed following government mandated guidelines and industry best practices.
“As an organization we are committed to playing a proactive role in supporting the shortage of personal protective equipment needed in the global fight against this pandemic,” said Glenn Chamandy, President and CEO of Gildan. “I want to thank our partners and everyone at Gildan who have been working diligently to get the required authorizations and plans in place to start the production of these much-needed items, and especially the facility workers who have volunteered to work to produce these products,” he added.
The Company is also having discussions with other partners in the retail and imprintables industry interested in distributing personal protective equipment. Finally, the Company has also communicated with other governments in the countries where it operates, including Canada and Honduras, and has offered to supply non-medical masks and isolation gowns as needed.