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Standardized Clothing Production Processes

Last Updated: 2016.07.25
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Achievement of Product Quality in Three Areas Meeting
the World's Highest Standards

Quality Standards

Fast Retailing's goal of producing world-class clothing means more than simply achieving exceptional levels of quality in its products. World-class clothing is a product of responsible sourcing, safe and comfortable workplace environments and good production processes, none of which is possible without sound relationships with business partners. World-class clothing demands quality in three key areas: Quality from a social perspective, quality partnerships and quality business processes.

Quality from a social perspective

Quality from a social perspective involves ensuring that partner factories maintain safe and comfortable working conditions for employees, that clothes are produced using processes that have a low environmental impact and that a compassionate approach to animal welfare is taken when sourcing raw materials.

Quality partnerships

Fast Retailing only forms business partnerships with world-class factories with whom it can build lasting relationships that are based on unshakable trust. Moreover, the partnerships must bring out the best of the other and ensure mutual growth. These partnerships that enable both parties to operate as though a single entity are one of Fast Retailing's greatest assets.

Quality business processes

Quality business processes is essential. Inefficient operating processes have adverse effects in all areas, from cost to quality control, and become an obstacle to both product quality and the growth potential of our partners. Highly efficient processes that have been streamlined to eliminate unnecessary elements are essential to realizing the world's highest standards for clothing.

Achieving quality in these three areas requires our Production department to understand the CSR initiatives' importance, as outlined by the CSR department, and incorporate them into daily operations. Fast Retailing established production offices in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, Dhaka, Jakarta and Istanbul with this in mind. Some 400 people are employed in the areas of product quality control and production progress control at these offices. They closely work with the partner factories to achieve quality in the three areas.

Resolution of Pressing Issues in Cooperation with Suppliers

Shanghai

Fast Retailing conducts workplace monitoring of its partner factories worldwide. In fiscal 2015 Fast Retailing commenced a review of this monitoring program with a team of external experts. In addition, all inspections of first-tier sewing factories were switched to unannounced inspections as one way to strengthen monitoring. Our CSR team also participates in monthly meetings with production to verify their plans, and monitors Fast Retailing's directives to ensure that proper working conditions are maintained.

Collaborating with Industry Groups and Other Brands

By deepening collaboration with industry groups and other brands, Fast Retailing helps to address issues facing the entire apparel industry, issues that no single company can solve alone.

In August 2013 Fast Retailing signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, and in September 2014 joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry group working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of the apparel industry. In July 2015 Fast Retailing also became an affiliate of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), an international non-profit organization committed to protecting the rights of factory workers.

Fast Retailing is working with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), a global nonprofit organization, to bring an empowerment project to women who work at its partner factories. We started the Factory Worker Empowerment Project in Bangladesh, which is one of the Fast Retailing Group's key production centers, because the women there have limited opportunities to receive even basic education.

Communicating in a Transparent and Timely Manner

Fast Retailing continuously releases information about the production initiatives that it and its partner factories engage in through its annual CSR Reports and website. In fiscal 2015, NGO reports called attention to working conditions at Fast Retailing Group partner factories. Fast Retailing promptly conducted investigations and released the results on its website, together with an improvement plan drawn up with the partner factories and subsequent progress.

Wool Procurement Policy

UNIQLO takes the concerns of the global community very seriously. It sources raw materials for its products from suppliers that abide by the apparel industry's best practices and its own commitment to be a socially responsible company. It is particularly aware of concerns raised over the practice of mulesing sheep. Because of its commitment to animal health and welfare, it has told its merino wool suppliers to stop sourcing wool from farms that practice mulesing.

Commitment to Not Use Raw Cotton Produced in Uzbekistan

As outlined in our Code of Conduct for Production Partners, Fast Retailing is committed to ethical labor conditions and sustainable production processes and demands the same from our supply chain partners. Concerns have been raised that the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan is involved in the use of child and forced labor in harvesting cotton within its borders. Fast Retailing ensures, through all of our supply chain partners, that we do not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of our products, and pledges not to do so until inspections by reliable international agencies indicate that the issue has been satisfactorily resolved. Additionally, Fast Retailing is working in collaboration with NGOs and other apparel brands to address the issue of child and forced labor in Uzbekistan.

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