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4 Dec 2017

Noor Ibrahim, The Guardian (UK)

Honduras: Allegations of labour rights abuses at Gildan’s factories ‘clash’ with subsidiary American Apparel's ethical claims, says NGO – Gildan disputes claims

“The new American Apparel: claims of 'ethically made' abroad clash with reality”, 12 November 2017

[American Apparel] was sold to Gildan and moved operations outside the US – now the idea the brand was based upon clashes with what workers actually experience…American Apparel … swapped its “Made in USA” mantra with the phrase “Globally-Sourced,” as most of its apparel is now sourced from factories based in Central America, primarily in Honduras… American Apparel maintains all their products remain ethically made and sweatshop free…[but] many claim that the reality for garment workers is far from the glossy facade it has projected since Gildan acquired the company nine months ago…Gary Bell, vice-president of communications at Gildan, said…the parallels between Gildan’s brand and that of American Apparel are pretty straightforward. “Our corporate social responsibility program is an assurance that former American Apparel customers can basically take and feel just as confident that these products are ethically-made and sweatshop free… the important thing for us is to build our system in such a way so we can continuously improve on the value we deliver to our employees." The Workers Rights Consortium (WRC)…has identified significant labour rights violations in a number of wholly owned Gildan facilities in recent years…In the eyes of the WRC, and other labour organizations both in the US and abroad, there is no independent documented evidence to suggest that any Gildan facility in Honduras can be termed ethically made and sweatshop free...