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Community Support

Last Updated: 2019.06.17
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Fast Retailing supports the younger generation, who will become future leaders in society. We offer opportunities for education and social participation, helping empower children and youth.

Supporting Youth

One of the targets described in our 2020 Community Engagement Goals is to support children and youth. Our main activities in pursuit of this goal involve education and social participation. Fast Retailing employees serve as instructors in our school outreach program for children. Youth can participate in actual work experiences in our UNIQLO and GU stores. We also offer scholarship programs for university education.

The Power of Clothing Project teaches about refugee issues and the importance of clothing

In 2009, UNIQLO and GU in Japan launched The Power of Clothing Project. Under this project, UNIQLO and GU employees serve as instructors in our school outreach program for children. The children learn about clothing donations by UNIQLO and GU to refugee camps, using the opportunity to learn more about international refugees and displaced persons. The children learn about life among refugees and the role of clothing, and set up their own clothing drives. The children also view photo reports of clothing donations at refugee camps, learning about the important role and purpose of clothing.

【Steps in The Power of Clothing Project

  1. 1.School outreach conducted by UNIQLO and GU employees
  2. 2.Call for students and children in the community to collect clothing
  3. 3.Clothing collection and shipment
  4. 4.Report by UNIQLO and GU back to the students

In 2017, 322 schools and 30,600 students across Japan participated in the program. School children collected nearly 560,000 articles of clothing, a portion of which were delivered to refugee camps.

In 2014, UNIQLO launched The Power of Clothing Project in France, Thailand, Korea, and the United States.

The project received the fiscal 2015 Special Panelist Award for Companies That Provide Experiences for Young People, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

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Workplace Experience

UNIQLO and GU stores in Japan sponsor work experience programs for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Students attending schools near our stores perform actual work done by UNIQLO and GU employees, learning the dignity of work and the enjoyment of being a contributing member of society. By experiencing service and teamwork that enhance customer satisfaction, students learn the value of work in the real world. Through these and other activities, participating UNIQLO and GU store managers and staff also learn valuable lessons.

In 2017, a total of 735 schools and 2,066 students across Japan participated in work experience programs.

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UNIQLO SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

In celebration of its 10th year in business, UNIQLO Hong Kong established the UNIQLO SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, running five years from 2015. Each year, 10 university students in Hong Kong (third-year and fourth-year students) receive scholarships. More than simply providing financial support, this project also offers tours of UNIQLO in Japan and meetings with Fast Retailing senior management, providing opportunities to learn about global business management. The scholarship helps the younger generation achieve their dreams and reach new levels of growth.

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Fellowship Program for Japanese Students at Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School logoIn 2015, UNIQLO launched a scholarship program for Japanese students studying at the Harvard Business School. The goal of this program is to help develop the next generation into future leaders. In this way, we provide world-class educational opportunities for talented individuals who desire to become involved in global business management.

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Scholarship Program for Asian University for Women Students

In June 2013, Fast Retailing established a scholarship of US$1 million over five years for students at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. The Asian University for Women aims to become the leading educational institute for women in Asia. In Asia, many female students face financial challenges preventing them from attending university. Nearly 60% of the students at the Asian University for Women rely on scholarships. We believe in providing ambitious women opportunities to study at university and upon graduating, growing into professionals who make their mark on the global stage.

In 2014, Fast Retailing began offering a summer internship program for scholarship students studying at the Asian University for Women. Interns work with R&D designers at our Grameen UNIQLO office to develop apparel for local tastes in Bangladesh, visit Fast Retailing headquarters in Tokyo to learn about business functions such as global management, marketing and ecommerce, as well as conduct market research.

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ASIAN UNIVERSITY ASIAN UNIVERSITY

Scholarship students from the Asian University for Women intern at Fast Retailing headquarters in Tokyo

TOMODACHI Initiative

UNIQLO supports the TOMODACHI Initiative, a program sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council and the American embassy in Japan. This initiative was born in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, aiming to develop future leaders in Japan and the United States through education, cultural interchange, and leadership skills training. UNIQLO supports the dreams and desires of talented youth by providing scholarships to Japanese attending universities and graduate schools in the United States.

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TOMODACHI  Initiative logo

Clothes for Smiles

In 2012, UNIQLO launched the Clothes for Smiles project, the goal of which is to support programs that help children fulfill their hopes and dreams for the future. Under this program, UNIQLO set up a ¥1 billion fund from sales of HEATTECH and Ultra Light Down clothing. A total of ¥500 million from this fund was donated to UNICEF, while the remaining ¥500 million was donated to eight programs selected from 739 candidates collected through a global call for proposals.

Sponsor programs include the Girls'Soccer Project, which uses girls'soccer programs in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Zimbabwe to support female youth, and the Tsurumi Kodomo Hospice, the first-ever community-operated hospice in Japan (operated by the Nippon Foundation). The Tsurumi Kodomo Hospice provides an environment that serves as a secure and safe second home for children and families dealing with incurable illnesses.

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Girls'Soccer Project Game in Ghana

Creating Employment Opportunities

Fast Retailing aims to grow and prosper with the communities in which we operate. This includes the responsibility to hire from local communities, as well as seeking out opportunities to hire the socially disadvantaged and disabled, refugees, and displaced persons.

The Fast Retailing Group Creates Employment Opportunities

The Fast Retailing Group contributes to creating local employment and economic development through its operation of stores and procurement activities. It employs 124,639 people worldwide (as of August 2018). Our partner factories are located in several countries including China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh and India, and our business with them fuels employment in those countries. In addition, we work with partner factories to help improve working conditions through our production offices located in the main production countries.

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Hiring People with Disabilities

Since 2001, UNIQLO Japan has actively pursued the hiring of people with disabilities. Our goal has been to hire the at least one person with a disability in every store, and we are proud to say that we have almost met this goal every year since fiscal 2012 (excluding new stores). Working with staff with disabilities teaches employees the importance of teamwork, enhances the spirit of customer service, and offers numerous other incidental benefits. As of fiscal 2018, employees with disabilities accounted for 5.28* percent of Fast Retailing Group employees in Japan. This figure outperforms Japan's legally mandated figure (2.2 percent) by a significant margin. A total of 1,540 individuals with disabilities work within the Fast Retailing Group worldwide. (As of August 2018; 16 Countries/Regions)
*Calculated as of June 2018

UNIQLO Singapore ION Orchard Store Jason Goh

“I am a Retail Associate at the Singapore UNIQLO Ion Orchard store and have been working here for four years. I joined through an organization called MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled Singapore). Every morning I pick up deliveries, carry boxes to the stock room and then replenish the storefront. I enjoy serving customers, helping them and talking to them. Everyone here offers support, and I have learned a lot from my supervisor. I am very happy here.”

MOVIE  Employing People with Disabilities ―Singapore

Jason Goh

Jason Goh
Ion Orchard store
UNIQLO Singapore

Employing Refugees

Japan UNIQLO began working with the RHQ (Refugee Assistance Headquarters) and other organizations in 2011 to provide employment for people and families permitted to live in Japan permanently under recognized refugee status. The number of such employees increases every year, and as of April 2019, Fast Retailing employees a total of 105 refugees (Japan: 59 United States: 20 Germany: 17 Denmark: 3 Netherlands: 3 France: 2 UK: 1). After joining the company, refugees receive practical training. Fast Retailing also has programs for refugees to receive training at headquarters and attend Japanese language classes. The RISE (Refugee Inclusion, Support and Empowerment) Convention, attended by refugee employees, store managers, and other store staff, is an opportunity for refugee staff to gather in one location to meet each other.

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Stores Growing and Prospering with the Community

UNIQLO is a global business that respects the culture, history, and the environment of each community and neighborhood in which it operates. The company strives to build stores with strong local connections. UNIQLO also aims to contribute to economic development in the countries and regions where the company operates.

For example, UNIQLO has opened large-scale stores in Paris, Boston, Barcelona, and Stockholm that maintain the integrity of historical structures. In so doing, UNIQLO integrates with local culture and history, becoming a welcome member of the community.

UNIQLO strives to procure building materials from local sources as another means to contribute to the local economy. Of course, new UNIQLO stores also mean more opportunities for employment. UNIQLO aims to prosper with communities by working closely with and building stores that become important and fully integrated members of the community.

Respect for Local Culture: UNIQLO Passeig De Gracia (Spain)

UNIQLO Passeig De Gracia was the first UNIQLO location in Barcelona. The store was welcomed enthusiastically by the city thanks to efforts to integrate UNIQLO with Spanish culture. The stairwell from the ground floor to the third floor features a stained-glass window that was an existing part of the building. Combined with a traditional chandelier from the Catalunya region, this section has become a feature by which the store is recognized. The stairwell connecting the ground floor to the lower level features a design depicting daily life in Barcelona. Pre-opening events included collaborations with local food markets, a yoga event in the store, and other events that were well received by locals. Shopping bags used during the grand opening were printed with an original logo incorporating the Barcelona street tiles and the UNIQLO logo, representing the integration between UNIQLO and the Spanish culture.

Respect for Historical Architecture: UNIQLO Kungsträdgården (Sweden)

In August 2018, UNIQLO opened its first location in Sweden. UNIQLO Kungsträdgården opened in a historical building designed by the famous modern Swedish architect Sven Markelius in 1966. Located near the popular Kingstrad Park in Stockholm, UNIQLO designed the stairs between the park and the store to serve as a communal space for the local population.

UNIQLO procured 100 percent of the materials for the store renovation from local sources around Stockholm.

In addition, the building in which the store is located received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED is a system that evaluates the environmental functionality of building and site usage.

UNIQLO Kungsträdgården store

Global Activities Report

The Fast Retailing Group engages in initiatives wherever we do business around the world.

UNIQLO supports Street Soccer USA.

Street Soccer USA is a not-for-profit entity providing economically disadvantaged and homeless children opportunities to learn the fun of participating in team sports while learning valuable life skills that have resulted in gains in school attendance and graduation rates. Under most conditions, these children would never have the chance to play on a team of any kind. Street Soccer USA uses sports to support children and youth, reaching nearly 15,000 children over the course of 10 years.
UNIQLO has been supporting Street Soccer USA as an official apparel sponsor for several years. To date, UNIQLO has provided more than 28,000 articles of Dry Ex and other clothing to the organization. UNIQLO provides working experience opportunities for Street Soccer USA athletes in stores, and has hired several of them as UNIQLO employees.
This initiative received the ESPN Sports Humanitarian Award (Corporate Community Impact) in July 2018.

Children Participating in Street Soccer USA

UNIQLO in Indonesia: UNIQLO Goes to School Program

UNIQLO operates the UNIQLO Goes to School program in Indonesia, which teaches local students about future careers in retail and the type of work involved. The fourth installment of the program was held in May 2018. Nearly 200 vocational school and public school students participated, with volunteers from UNIQLO sharing their views on the importance of work and reward of working in a global environment.

Theory: Be Heard. Program

Theory sponsors the women-empowering Be Heard. Program. Under this program, female customers have the opportunity to interact with female leaders, entrepreneurs, and other role models to catch the entrepreneurial spirit. This is one way in which Theory expands the potential for women in leadership roles.

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Engagement With Not-For-Profit Organizations

Fast Retailing contributes to local communities through engagement with not-for-profit organizations.

UNHCR

UNIQLO (Fast Retailing Group) began working with the UNHCR in 2006, cementing a formal global partnership in 2011.

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Global Compact Network Japan

In October 2018, Fast Retailing signed on to the United Nations Global Compact. We support the 10 principles of UNGC and will continue our efforts to realize them.

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Special Olympics

In 2002, Fast Retailing became an official partner of Special Olympics Nippon. Our support includes providing uniforms to volunteer staff, managing athletic events, and other contributions.

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