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Last Updated: 2020.04.22

Fast Retailing Support for Manufacturing Partners and Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Fast Retailing recognizes that one of our most important responsibilities is to protect the security and safety of the people who help to make our clothes.

We believe that brands in our industry have an important role to play in mitigating the humanitarian and economic threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, we have implemented a series of special measures, set out below, to help reduce risks faced by our manufacturing partners and by workers across our supply chain, all of whom have contributed much to our business and industry.

To emphasize the safety and security of supply chain workers Fast Retailing has:

  • Engaged with BetterWork, a joint program between the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC). We have provided factories with guidelines to strengthen their sanitization measures and to help them understand their obligations to employees in case of factory closure.
  • Advised our partner factories to protect factory employees from the risk of infection, ensuring that hand washing, body-temperature measurements, and mask wearing are priority workplace protocols. We have also provided infrared thermometers to some factories. To further reduce the risk of infection, we have recommended to partner factories to ensure all employees are made fully aware of protective measures through workplace bulletin boards and internal communication channels.
  • Established a formal point of contact at Fast Retailing to assist factories with enquiries about their obligations to employees, helping to ensure factory employees receive compensation in accordance with the laws and regulations of their country and with the Fast Retailing Code of Conduct for Production Partners. In addition, we operate an anonymous hotline that factory workers can use to contact us directly to report violations of their rights, safety or dignity.
  • Begun working with the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) to ensure vulnerable migrant workers (people working outside their home country or region) receive adequate support from their employer factory. This includes guidance to factories on the appropriate treatment of migrant workers. With the cooperation of our partner factories, we will conduct a survey of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts migrant workers and will work with the IOM to provide additional support for issues identified through the survey.

To safeguard the financial stability of our production partners Fast Retailing has:

  • Committed from the outset to payment for complete orders and orders where production has commenced, with no change to payment schedules in place prior to COVID-19 disruptions.
  • Confirmed from the outset we will use fabrics or materials already purchased by our partners to fulfil our orders or will provide compensation should they later become unnecessary.
  • Begun consulting with each of our production partners, in accordance with our Responsible Procurement Policy, to understand the current financial health of the partner, and to offer support if needed. This includes:
    • Working to understand whether financial risk exists because of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Understanding the full status of orders at each factory and evaluating how current order status compares to production capacity
    • Adjusting production schedules where feasible and re-allocating our orders among partner factories to ensure an order distribution that does not expose partner factory to unacceptable financials risks or pressures.

Fast Retailing will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our supply chain. In cooperation with UN agencies, industry organizations, and the governments of our manufacturing locations, we will work to protect the security and safety of people who help to make our clothes and to help safeguard the financial stability of our production partners.


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