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Initiatives to Eliminate the Release of Hazardous Chemicals

Last Updated: 2016.05.27
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Policy & Commitment

Initiatives to Reduce and Eliminate the Release of Hazardous Chemicals (August 12th, 2011)

The Fast Retailing Group coordinates and maintains control over its entire business process, from planning, development and manufacturing to the distribution and sale of clothing.

As a company that is involved in the production and sale of apparel, we strive to understand the environmental impact of our business operations, including the manufacturing process. We are working to preserve the natural environment in an effort to continually reduce the impact of our business. We are keenly aware of the importance of reducing and ultimately eliminating the release of hazardous chemicals into the natural environment. In line with the precautionary principle, we remain committed to actively working to eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals into the environment through the entire life cycle of our products.

Fast Retailing demands that its business partners strictly comply with the UNIQLO Global Quality and Safety Standards. We drew these standards from the strictest existing safety guidelines in the jurisdictions in which we do business, including the United States and the European Union. We have also established a Code of Conduct that includes rules related to environmental concerns. Since 2004, we have monitored the sewing factories that we have partnerships with based on this code.

For the production of materials, Fast Retailing created the Environmental Guidelines for Fabric Production in 2010, which we use to monitor our production partners' management of industrial waste, effluents and chemicals.

As part of our future efforts, we plan to do everything possible to reinforce our interdepartmental projects, collaborate with other companies in our industry, work with NGOs, and strengthen our control standards and auditing systems, including our monitoring practices. For Fast Retailing, cooperation across the entire apparel industry is key to addressing the issue of eliminating the release of hazardous chemicals. By working with stakeholders, we will take the lead in addressing these concerns, so we can help to reduce the impact that our industry has on the environment.

And finally, we will continue to regularly provide progress updates on all of our initiatives through our CSR Reports and other announcements.

Fast Retailing Commits to Greenpeace Detox Solution (January 9th, 2013)

Following its August 2011 announcement regarding the elimination of hazardous chemicals, Fast Retailing today announced a renewed set of commitments toward removing hazardous chemicals from its textile production process and the whole product lifecycle, in conjunction with Greenpeace.

Progress regarding PFC elimination (May 27th, 2016)

In the apparel and outdoor industries, PFCs are widely used chemicals for adding water and dirt repellency to products. According to Greenpeace, PFCs are highly stable compounds and are difficult to break down in the environment once disposed. As pledged in the "Fast Retailing Greenpeace Detox Solution Commitment" in 2013, we have been striving to develop safer alternative substances and technologies with our suppliers in order to eliminate all PFC use by no later than 1st July 2016. As a result of that commitment, the portion of products containing PFCs has been reduced to approximately 2% of all our products.

PFC-free products:

PFC-free product categoriesFunctionality categories testedFunctions to be re-evaluated for alternatives
Several product lines of coats, jackets and parkas. Water repellency, Durability of water repellency, Oil repellency, Anti-fouling, Stitching defects, Product texture, Discoloration, Leak protection,
Stability on process
Oil repellency,
Product texture

Revising our commitment on PFC elimination:
Although we are pursuing alternative substances and technologies for the water and dirt repellency of our fabrics, it continues to be challenging for us to maintain the same level of repellency while not sacrificing the physical properties that are vital to prolonging a product's lifespan and to identify alternatives for certain items or parts of our products by July 2016. After careful consideration, Fast Retailing's commitment on PFC elimination has been revised as below:

Revised commitment: Eliminate the use of all PFCs from all products for the 2017 Fall and Winter collections and onwards.


Progress of the initiatives (January 15th, 2015)

FR has disclosed the progress of the Initiatives to Eliminate the Release of Hazardous Chemicals.

Individual actions

Supplier chemical management (May 27th, 2016)

We require partner factories to comply with our chemical management guidelines and to perform regular product and wastewater testing. Our Takumi, in-house experts on dyeing and fabric production, take prompt actions whenever a hazardous chemical is detected. This involves meeting with the factory and chemical manufacturers that produced those detected chemicals, visiting the site to identify the cause, and leading improvements around those findings. Whenever necessary, audits dedicated to chemical management are performed by third party experts and further improvements are made if required.
In addition, more than 200 environmental inspections, evaluating the chemical management at fabric manufacturers, have been performed since our commitment was made in 2013, as part of our Environmental Monitoring.

Fast Retailing Discloses its Restricted Substances List (February 29th, 2016)

As part of our initiatives to eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals, Fast Retailing has updated our Restricted Substances List. In addition to requiring our business partners to comply with this list, we regularly reassess this list and take further steps to achieve our goals together with our business partners.

Fast Retailing adheres to the following important principles for updating our Restricted Substances List in order to better align our efforts with preventive approaches and the precautionary principle.

First, in order to manage hazardous chemicals other than just the 11 priority hazardous chemical groups, we have, in consultation with industrial experts, added the following items to our criteria for filtering and assessing chemical hazards and specified restricted substances based on these criteria:

-CPA Green Screen Database/Approach and other information sources regarding chemical safety and toxicity;

-Legal regulations and industry guidelines;

-Chemical substances commonly used in the industry.

Additionally, to enable Fast Retailing and our business partners to conduct more comprehensive chemical management, the updated Restricted Substances List includes those chemical substances for which monitoring is conducted in order to eliminate these substances from our production processes and waste water, as well as finished products.

Fast Retailing's Response to Greenpeace's Jan. 14 Report (January 16th, 2014)

On January 14, 2014, Greenpeace International released a report titled "A Little Story About the Monsters In Your Closet". The document claims that products purchased as samples at UNIQLO stores in Japan and the Philippines were found to contain hazardous chemicals known as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The levels detected are entirely safe, and we remain committed to the Greenpeace Detox Solution we announced January 9th, 2013, regarding entirely eliminating hazardous chemicals from the production process and the whole product lifecycle, in conjunction with Greenpeace.

The Hazardous Chemicals Screening Methodology (October 1st, 2013)

FR has disclosed the details on its hazardous chemicals screening methodology.

APEO Investigation Results (June 28th, 2013)

FR has disclosed its investigation results on alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs).

Fast Retailing Announces Further Steps Following January Greenpeace Detox Solution Agreement (March 5th, 2013)

Following its commitments announced in January this year, Fast Retailing today announces its steps toward developing substitution case studies and the intrinsic hazards screening methodology.

Fast Retailing's Response to Greenpeace's Aug. 23 Report (August 24th, 2011)

On August 23, 2011, Greenpeace International released a report titled "Dirty Laundry 2: Hung Out to Dry - Unravelling the toxic trail from pipes to products." This document claims that products purchased as samples at UNIQLO stores in Moscow, Tokyo and Hong Kong were found to contain hazardous chemicals known as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).

Greenpeace's report notes that "the levels of NPEs detected in all articles are not known to constitute any direct health risk to the wearers of the clothing." We agree with Greenpeace's conclusion on this matter.

Fast Retailing, in accordance with the policy it announced on August 12, 2011, will continue to pursue initiatives to reduce and eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals.

View "Fast Retailing Initiatives to Reduce and Eliminate the Release of Hazardous Chemicals" ( released on August 12)


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