Why We Don’t Sell Gildan T-Shirts (or Hanes.. Or Anvil, or Fruit of the Loom)

Fast fashion like Gildan is part of the global race-to-the-bottom.

Many big names like Gildan, Hanes, Anvil, and Fruit of the Loom leave consumers with a great feeling about their brand. But sadly, there is so much more that we don’t see…

These fast fashion brands are part of the global race-to-the-bottom. Most of their clothing is made with much cheaper labor in countries with low-to-no ethical standards or safety regulations and where factories are rampant with worker abuse and wage theft.

This works out well for our wallets, but it’s depleting our local manufacturing. Even worse, it’s hurting workers around the world. And sadly, all of this is benefiting a small few who prioritize profits over real people.

Bottom line: No one should have to suffer to make our t-shirts.

Workers who are already clocking in outrageous hours also rarely get days off, and some even work second jobs. Child labor is common as children are often pushed to support their families, and oftentimes must drop out of school to do so.

Though these workers have a long history of rising up for better treatment, safer conditions, fair pay (or to collect their past-due payments), retaliation in terms of scheduling, firing, abuse, and even police violence and jail time are all too common.

So, what can consumers even do?

At Ethix, we trust independent, non-profit resources, such as the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and the International Labor Rights Forum, to sort through which t-shirts to offer our clients. Using these resources, we decide what t-shirts to offer, which fall under the Union Made, Fair Trade, Eco-Friendly, and Local/USA labels. Sometimes a brand doesn’t make our cut – even if they do fit one of our criteria.

Other brands which blatantly refuse to allow independent oversight all-together lack the transparency that consumers deserve. Without independent oversight, we at Ethix cannot guarantee that ethical standards are in place and actively enforced; therefore we cannot sell their garments in good faith.

The good news: There are high-quality, ethical and affordable alternatives!

And we’ve got them.

You can feel confident knowing that t-shirts from Ethix are third-party approved. Together, we can help change the future of the garment industry.

Check out some of our t-shirt options below!

Company: Gildan Activewear, Inc.

Factory Locations: Manufactured in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, the USA and Bangladesh

Company Type, Size: Public Company (Canada). About 28,000 employees

One example of a WRC Interaction: A mass firing took place in the midst of remediation efforts with a factory union; Gildan has still failed to complete agreed upon remediation steps with the WRC

WRC Reports: 

Why Ethix Sells Different Shirts: American, union made shirts are better quality and have a lower carbon footprint than anything Gildan offers

anvil logo


Company: Anvil Knitwear, Inc.

Factory Locations: Manufactured in Honduras and Nicaragua

Company Type, Size: Purchased by Gildan, May 2012. Around 4,000 employees.

One example of a WRC Interaction: Workers facing verbal, physical, and sexual abuse were fired when they tried to unionize, Anvil did not actively cooperative with WRC investigation.

WRC Reports:

Why Ethix Sells Different Shirts: There are sustainable, organic, and recycled T-shirts made locally without the labor abuses- these make a better option than Anvil!


Company: Hanesbrands, Inc.

Factory Locations: Manufactured in over 25 countries

Company Type, Size: Public Company (US). About 45,000 employees

One example of a WRC Interaction: Incorrect severance pay was given to workers as protected by Guatemalan law; long after firings, 95% of employees were found and paid correctly after WRC intervention.

WRC Reports: 

Why Ethix Sells Different Shirts: Very recent investigations are upsetting – and there are simply better options for your T-shirts!


Company: Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

Factory Locations: Manufactured in over 25 countries

Company Type, Size: Held by public company, Berkshire Hathaway (US). About 35,000 employees

One example of a WRC Interaction: Investigation found compelling evidence that at least five workers were terminated in retaliation for participating in a meeting with representatives of a union federation. An additional worker was fired after stating that she believed workers had been fired for attempting to form a union.

WRC Reports: 

Why Ethix Sells Different Shirts: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company who continues to provide almost 20% annual growth to shareholders every year. We can’t see that being good for the apparel workers employed in the 300+ international FOTL factories.