In the fifth episode of filmmaker Rod Murphy’s Crop to Campus minidocumentary on apparel sustainability, college students explore the benefits of ethical manufacturing on the communities where plants are located.
In this episode published today, the three North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles students travelled to El Salvador to get a first-hand look at environmental and social responsibility in the communities where HanesBrands operates and its employees live.
The students – Mamie Trigg of Austin, Texas, Katy Powers of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Sydney Parker of Raleigh, North Carolina – reviewed the company’s Green for Good program that funds employee volunteer projects to improve the quality of life in their communities. The company generates the savings for community investment through energy conservation and recycling of materials once destined for landfills.
Since 2010, HanesBrands employees have donated more than 420,000 volunteer hours to complete nearly 70 distinct community projects supported by $2.5 million in company funding. These projects include school and hospital improvements, establishing medical clinics, clean water programs, tree plantings and beach clean-ups, among others.
The students also learned about the company’s responsible workplace initiatives, including its continuing education program, which has allowed nearly 3000 employees to receive high school degrees. The company’s Future Mom’s Club offers education and support during associates’ pregnancies.
“The Green for Good program enables us to achieve significant results by combining the power of environmental, workplace and community responsibility,” said Chris Fox, HanesBrands’ vice president of corporate social responsibility. “The program has been an incredible success and has allowed our employees and company to support community projects and disaster relief in neighbourhoods throughout Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.”
While in El Salvador, the students also visited HanesBrands’ biomass-fuelled heat and energy plant that helps the company reduce carbon emissions and conserve non-renewable energy sources. The system supplies the company with an environmentally responsible source of energy for steam production that reduces approximately 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to taking 4000 cars off the road or planting 330,000 trees.
Watch Episode 5 of Crop to Campus…
In previous Crop to Campus episodes, the students discussed the importance of sustainability and visited a cotton farm in eastern North Carolina, a yarn-spinning facility in Tennessee, and HanesBrands’ cut, sew and dye facilities in El Salvador – all part of responsibly making Hanes ComfortWash T-shirts.
Murphy, a filmmaker from Asheville, North Carolina, was commissioned by HanesBrands to make the documentary to assess how well the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts resonate with the expectations of millennials and Generation-Z youth.
In the final two episodes of the documentary, the students head back to campus to design and print T-shirts for consumer use and share their insights about their experiences with HanesBrands senior leadership.
Episodes of the seven-part documentary commissioned by HanesBrands are published every week. The release dates for the final two episodes are:
October 13: Back to Campus: Tee Party
October 20: Takeaways: How important is responsible manufacturing?