Category: insight
3 Min read | September 24, 2023

Engagement report: Gildan Activewear

  • ESG
  • Active ownership
Workers in a parcel factory
Summary:

Gildan is on a path to stronger human rights oversight and improved disclosure.

Highlights

Objective: Learn about the company’s latest efforts to improve oversight of human rights in its supply chain and encourage greater depth of disclosure.

 

We are pleased to see the progress Gildan Activewear is making on oversight of human rights throughout its global supply chain. We met with the Montreal-based apparel company in June as co-lead of the engagement with the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, or SHARE. Representatives from Gildan were at the Vice President and Senior Vice President level. This was our first meeting with Gildan regarding the latest KnowTheChain Apparel & Footwear benchmark, which scores and ranks companies on their policies, procedures and disclosure around human rights in their supply chains.

 

The company was highly responsive and engaged, eager to share news of their progress and receptive to our views. Evidence of their commitment to improvement can be found in their extensive response to the KnowTheChain findings, which companies are invited to provide at their discretion. Our main topics of discussion were traceability, worker voice, and “remedy.” Remedy refers to a company’s policies and processes for remediating a situation that has harmed workers in some way. For example, when asked about a controversy in Haiti after a suppliers’ workers were fired for striking over wage violations, Gildan said they engaged with the supplier as well as with the International Labor Organization and has made plans with the supplier to remedy the situation.

 

Gildan says 90% of their supply chain is vertically integrated, meaning they have direct control and oversight—and that’s a good thing for understanding their supply chain. This is atypical of apparel manufacturers, which tend to use more third-party suppliers. We explained that we would like to see the company improve disclosure and transparency around the remaining 10% of suppliers, and they said we can expect to see greater detail in their forthcoming ESG report.

 

Next steps: We look forward to reviewing the company’s ESG report and may take them up on their offer of a follow-up conversation once the report is released.

We also recommend reading:

3 Min read | Feb 22, 2024

Market Monitor January 2024
  • Commentary
  • Market Monitor
Read more

3 Min read | Oct 23, 2023

A Decade of Total Return: NEI Global Total Return Bond Fund
  • ESG
  • Impact investing
Read more

10 Min read | Dec 13, 2023

NEI 2024 Market Outlook
  • Commentary
  • Market Outlook
Read more

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. This material is for informational and educational purposes, and it is not intended to provide specific advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, tax or similar matters. The views expressed herein are subject to change without notice as markets change over time. Information herein is believed to be reliable, but NEI does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Views expressed regarding a particular security, industry or market sector should not be considered an indication of trading intent of any funds managed by NEI Investments. Forward-looking statements are not guaranteed of future performance and risks and uncertainties often cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information or expectations. Do not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.