Q&A with Marc Doyon, VP Commodities, Gildan talks about the benefits of U.S. cotton
Marc Doyon, VP Commodities, Gildan Activewear talks about how sustainably-grown and ethically harvested U.S. cotton is the better choice.
Q: What do you feel are the benefits cotton offers as a fiber for garments?
The first thing is that cotton is a natural fiber and feels great on the skin. Cotton pulls moisture away from the skin on hot days and provides a soft, comfortable feel. Being a natural fiber cotton also means it is biodegradable at the end of a t-shirt's life, so it becomes natural fertilizer and provides nutrients back to the soil.
Garry Bell, VP Corporate Marketing and Communications talks about the increasing collaboration among farmers, cotton associations, government and brands to continuously improve the footprint of growing cotton.
Q: Do you feel that cotton is a more sustainable resource vs. synthetic fibers?
Three representatives of global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland recently joined the Smallholder Farmers Alliance and local farmers to help harvest Haiti’s first commercial cotton crop in three decades. Since 2016, Timberland has worked with the SFA to reintroduce cotton farming to Haiti. Their goal is to create a new sustainable supply chain for cotton, while also forwarding the reforestation of Haiti and improving farmers lives.
From concept to shelf, a woman’s passion for retail
Amanda, Merchandising Manager for Gildan, shares her passion for product development and the leaders that have helped her along the way in her nine years at Gildan. Here is her story:
Q: How did you end up at Gildan?
My husband and I were living in Arkansas where I was working for a large retail company. He had wanted to move back home to Charleston for a while, so in 2010 we made the big move. To be honest, I was really sad about it. I loved my job back in Arkansas and I never thought I would find another job quite like it here.
Last week three representatives from Timberland joined smallholder farmers in Haiti to pick cotton as part of Haiti’s’ first commercial cotton harvest in 30 years. Since 2016, Timberland has partnered with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) on an initiative to reintroduce cotton farming - once the country’s fourth-largest export crop - to Haiti. The recent harvest was a key milestone in the project, which aims to create a new sustainable supply chain of organically grown cotton while simultaneously providing social and environmental benefits to Haitian farm communities.
Gildan recycles almost all of the organic waste from its yarn spinning operations into bales or briquettes used as feedstock for local cattle. The cotton waste gets recycled into nutritious food for cows. Click here to view our infographic.
Smallholder farmers near Gonaives, Haiti recently planted the first commercial cotton crop in the country since 1987, with support from Timberland and other brands. The farmers planted a demonstration farm which will train other smallholder farmers to cultivate cotton. As a key supporter of the effort, Timberland provided participating farmers with shirts as a symbol of the future market for the cotton they planted.
Timberland shared the history of the its efforts to reintroduce cotton farming to Haiti at this year’s Engage for Good conference in Chicago. Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager community engagement and communication, relayed the global outdoor lifestyle brand’s work to date in Haiti and shared key lessons learned over the years. The brand’s partnership with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) began with a five-year commitment to plant five million trees in H
Gildan is excited to be featured on the Science Channel’s new program, Tomorrow’s World Today, in an episode airing at 8:30am E.T. on Sunday May 6th. The show hosted by Tamara Krinsky, Emmy award-winning actress, writer and broadcast host and George Davison, co-creator of the show, is a cutting-edge television series exploring innovations in technology and sustainability. The program travels the world in search of innovative pioneers who are creating new ways to utilize technological advancements towards a more sustainable future.
By Paula Luu, MBA/MS Candidate 2019 Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability
Paula Luu is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan and pursuing a dual-degree MBA/MS between the Ross School of Business and the School for Sustainability and Environment. Paula is interested in developing and improving organization-wide processes along the supply chain.