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Last Updated: 2011.02.23

Fast Retailing and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Launch Global Partnership Agreement

Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.
to Japanese

Fast Retailing (FR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Japan today announced their decision to establish a Global Partnership Agreement, further consolidating efforts by the organizations to respect the dignity of and give hope to displaced people around the world through the "power of clothing."

Through this agreement, FR in partnership with UNHCR will expand its All-Product Recycling Initiative with the aim of supporting refugees and other displaced people, currently numbering over 36 million globally. FR has since 2006 collected pre-owned UNIQLO clothing directly from customers, for donations to UNHCR and other organizations. At the end of 2010, approximately 3.12 million clothing items had been delivered to displaced people in 17 countries.

FR, the world's fourth-largest specialty apparel retailer, and UNHCR will also aim to strengthen their partnership by establishing a program for dispatching FR employees on internship assignments to help the UN Refugee Agency in implementing its mission. These employees will bring valuable feedback to help FR further refine its corporate social responsibility activities. In addition, refugees in Japan will be able to take part in internship programs at UNIQLO stores to help them gain professional experience and encourage integration into Japanese society.

FR becomes the first Japanese company to conclude a global partnership with UNHCR. As a global corporation, with sales of approximately 600 million garments to nearly 200 million customers in 11 markets, FR is strengthening its corporate social responsibility.

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*UNHCR is one of the organizations which helped Fast Retailing distribute donated clothing around the world. Others include the NPO Japan Relief Clothing Center (JRCC) and the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP).

About the All-Product Recycling Initiative

The All-Product Recycling Initiative started in 2001 as UNIQLO's Fleece Recycling Program. This recycling program was expanded in 2006 to cover all UNIQLO products brought in as donation by customers. Over time, this program has come to operate year-round and grown to include apparel from g.u., another FR Group business. Between 80% and 90% of the collected clothing is in condition suitable for distribution to displaced people, such as those displaced by conflict or natural disasters. So far, with the help of various organizations, donations have reached locations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The FR Group remains committed to sharing the "power of clothing" in the form of donations to the millions of displaced people around the world.

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About Fast Retailing

Fast Retailing Co. (FR) is Japan's leading specialty retailer and a retail holding company that offers clothing under a number of brands, including UNIQLO, g.u., Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse tam.tam. With sales of 814 billion yen for 2010 fiscal year, FR operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells apparel. Under its corporate mission, FR strives to change the world and create new value through clothing, with innovative CSR activities that aspire to make the world a better place. For more information about FR or the Group's CSR activities, please visit http://www.fastretailing.com/eng/

About UNHCR

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and assistance to the world's refugees. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency was created by the United Nations General Assembly and began work in 1951. People of concern to UNHCR include not only refugees, but also asylum seekers, refugees who have returned home, stateless people and internally displaced persons (IDP). UNHCR had helped over 50 million people successfully restart their lives, and has been awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes in 1954 and 1981, respectively. Today, over 7,000 staff in more than 120 countries helps over 36 million people. More than 80 % of the staff works in field offices, often in remote and dangerous locations. For more information about UNHCR, please visit http://www.unhcr.org/

 

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