UNIQLO parent company, Fast Retailing, has released its Sustainability Report 2021, outlining its vision and latest efforts towards becoming a more sustainable organisation. The company has issued a sustainability report each year since 2006.
Guided by its sustainability statement, ‘Unlocking the Power of Clothing’, Fast Retailing promotes initiatives that support the development of a better society through its apparel business and now amid lifestyle changes in the face of Covid-19.
Commenting on the 2021 report, Fast Retailing Group chairman, president and CEO, Tadashi Yanai said, “How are we going to leave behind a positive world for the next generation? What kind of economic activity will create a path to a positive world? We must think wholeheartedly about these questions and act. With our latest Sustainability Report, we hope to reaffirm our commitment to be the kind of business that finds and implements answers to such questions.”
The opening feature is a transcript of a conversation held online between Yanai and French philosopher, economist and futurologist, Jacques Attali, in October 2020. The discussion explores how the pandemic is changing society and how the industry can improve in response.
The report offers several viewpoints on what a sustainable society can be by presenting a diverse range of interviews with a young founder of an environmental startup, high school students, the CEO of the Swedish Olympic Committee, and refugees.
In addition, the report integrates highlights of the company’s initiatives over a 20-year period, since it first established its Social Contribution Office in 2001. This includes its clothing donation program to support refugee camps and victims of natural disasters around the world, its efforts to ensure safe, secure, and just labour environments, and its programs to empower and protect workers in its supply chain.
In 2020, Fast Retailing signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, launched its RE.UNIQLO recycling program to give used, unwanted items new value, and the Recycled Down Jackets initiative, which is made entirely from down and feathers extracted from the items collected from RE.UNIQLO, representing the first product-to-product recycling project.
For the first time, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World Index and was recognised as a water security ‘A-List’ company by CDP.
Fast Retailing has significantly reduced its use of new corrugated cardboard for shipping products by using collapsible containers and improved loading efficiency by using fewer types of corrugated boxes. The company also endeavours to reduce its use of plastic product packaging and shopping bags, shifting to environmentally friendly materials.