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Rebuilding the fabric of Haiti

July 1st, 2010 / By: / Projects

Textiles and apparel are the largest industries in Haiti, which has sustained a U.S. trade embargo, a political coup, military rule, hurricanes, earthquakes and the desertion of many manufacturers. During the past 20 years, Haiti has lost up to 100,000 textile industry jobs. North Carolina-based Hanesbrands operates a plant in Port-au-Prince and hopes to see the return of the textile industry as Haiti’s infrastructure is rebuilt. Textile businesses have relatively low start-up costs and the potential to employ unskilled workers, but lingering attitudes about former sweatshops may stand in the way. “You can’t convince the people [who] used to do it to come back to it,” says Gilles Antoine, manager of plants that supply Hanesbrands, in a May story by Martha Quillin in the Raleigh News & Observer.

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