Montreal-based Gildan, which usually makes T-shirts, underwear and other basic garments, said April 8 it would start producing non-medical face masks and isolation gowns at its idle Honduras factories to help respond to shortages.
Three weeks later, orders keep coming in, and the manufacturer sees opportunities supplying North American customers that have long relied on Asian imports.
Gildan is planning to make 150 million masks and gowns out of facilities in Honduras and Nicaragua, with a U.S.-based yarn-spinning factory also set to partly reopen for the project.
The company is selling the equipment to local governments and to retailers supplying health organizations, particularly in the U.S., Chamandy said.
The new endeavour sparked a relationship with big uniform companies that traditionally source protective equipment from Asia and weren’t aware of Gildan’s manufacturing capacity, he said.

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