Around 40 institutional investors, bankers and stock analysts are heading to Honduras next month as part of a factory 'field trip' organised by T-shirt maker Gildan Activewear.

Representing Gildan on the visit are senior executives, including chairman and chief executive officer Greg Chamandy and his brother, president Glenn Chamandy.

Although it has been criticised in the past for its labour practices, Gildan denies the trip is in response to attacks on its Honduran operations from social activists and in the media.

Executive vice-president Laurence Sellyn told the Montreal Gazette that the trip would give participants a chance to see working conditions for themselves. "What they'll have an opportunity to see is the (facilities), the working conditions in Honduras and the calibre of our management in the country," he said.

Participants will be taken to the company's Rio Nance textile factory and a sewing plant in San Jose, one of three sewing facilities that Gildan has in Honduras.

Gildan has strenuously denied allegations from the Solidarity Fund of the Quebec Federation of Labour and a Toronto human-rights group, called the Maquila Solidarity Network. The Solidarity Fund earlier this year said Gildan had fired employees in Honduras for union organising, while the Maquila Solidarity Network alleged several workers were dismissed last November after filing for union recognition at a Gildan plant in El Progreso.

Last year, Gildan also aggressively rejected allegations of worker mistreatment in its Honduran plants contained in a CBC documentary.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Sellyn maintains Gildan is at "the leading edge of working practices in our offshore manufacturing."

He said the company has received the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production certification and has embarked on the process of seeking certification from the Fair Labour Association.