April 8, 2020

Responsibility · Manufacturing

Gildan Activewear to start producing personal protective equipment to help slow the spread of COVID-19

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.

About Gildan

Gildan is a leading manufacturer of everyday basic apparel which markets its products in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, under a diversified portfolio of Company-owned brands, including Gildan®, American Apparel®, Comfort Colors®, Gildan® Hammer™, Prim + Preux®, GoldToe®, Anvil® by Gildan®, Alstyle®, Secret®, Silks®, Kushyfoot®, Secret Silky®, Therapy Plus®, Peds® and MediPeds®, and under the Under Armour® brand through a sock licensing agreement providing exclusive distribution rights in the United States and Canada. Our product offering includes activewear, underwear, socks, hosiery, and legwear products sold to a broad range of customers, including wholesale distributors, screenprinters or embellishers, as well as to retailers that sell to consumers through their physical stores and/or e-commerce platforms, and to global lifestyle brand companies.

Gildan owns and operates vertically-integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities which are primarily located in Central America, the Caribbean Basin, North America, and Bangladesh. With approximately 53,000 employees worldwide, Gildan operates with a strong commitment to industry-leading labour and environmental practices throughout its supply chain in accordance with its comprehensive Genuine Responsibility® program embedded in the Company's long-term business strategy. More information about the Company and its corporate citizenship practices and initiatives can be found at www.gildancorp.com and www.genuineresponsibility.com, respectively. 

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Jessy Hayem, CFA

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(514) 744-8511

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Director, Global Communications and Corporate Marketing

(514) 343-8814