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Gildan’s Latest Effort Will Turn Hosiery Waste Into Apparel

Hosiery’s fate isn’t confined to landfills. Gildan’s latest collaboration is taking what would have become nylon waste and giving it a second life.

The apparel and hosiery manufacturer recently partnered with Vancouver-based Sans Soucie Textile and Design, a zero-waste clothing and textile design studio that transforms offcuts from nylon for hosiery into new hand-made materials for garment production.

Gildan currently ships hosiery waste to Sans Soucie from its Montreal-based Gildan Apparel Canada Manufacturing facility. The new partnership is part of Gildan’s mission to save fabric waste from landfills—86 percent of which is already upcycled into other products.

Katherine Soucie, a sustainable designer, founded Sans Soucie to minimize the negative impact of garment production waste. The company’s unique closed-loop process transforms discarded textiles, including hosiery, into new functional materials with low impact dyes and reused water. What’s more, Soucie also supports domestic sustainability collaboration, which was why she teamed up with Gildan.

[Read more on brand’s latest environmental commitments: LVMH, Guess Set New Targets for Supply Chain Sustainability]

“I have always been motivated by this concept of working with Canadian manufactured materials. As a designer, I have always felt that I have a responsibility to what I put out there,” Soucie said. “I wanted to try to find an alternative method in how I approached the design process to create work that would not only support existing Canadian manufacturers but allowed for the opportunity for collaboration, new pathways and design ideas to emerge with the intent to inspire others and to create alternative business models.”

Gildan’s new partnership follows its recent environmental commitments. In September, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World Index), for the fifth year in a row. As the only North American business in the Apparel, Luxury Goods and Textile industry group in the DJSI World Index, Gildan’s eco-friendly efforts, including reducing energy usage intensity by 10 percent and facilitating waste management projects, have placed it ahead of the pack. The company’s recent steps, including the Sans Soucie partnership, are part of its Genuine Responsibility 2020 Goals that aim to improve the company’s supply chain over the next three years.