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Responsible Procurement

Last Updated: 2024.02.29
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Fast Retailing engages in ethical and responsible procurement to ensure our products are socially and environmentally sustainable. We are committed to continuously reducing the environmental and enhancing the positive social impact of the materials we use.

Responsible Raw Materials Procurement Policy

Fast Retailing continues to transform its business model to balance sustainability with business growth.

We create only what our customers really need and pursue manufacturing with minimal environmental impact across all processes from production, to transportation, and sales of clothing. Meanwhile, we are building a supply chain that considers human rights and animal welfare, and which emphasizes traceability to enable customers to purchase our products with peace of mind.

Fast Retailing believes when processing raw materials used in its product during manufacturing process, there are two main objectives that must be met :

  1. No human rights violations or animal abuse:Raw materials that can be verified to be free of any child labor, forced labor, or animal abuse.
  2. Low environmental impact:Raw materials taking care of environment that use fewer chemical substances, prevent soil contamination, take biodiversity into consideration, and reduce GHG emissions, compared to general raw materials*
*Because there is no unified standard for environmental information on raw materials in general, decision is made on an individual basis with reference to Higg MSI registration information, etc.

To ensure these objectives are met, Fast Retailing established the Fast Retailing Raw Materials Procurement Guideline (hereafter "Raw Materials Procurement Guideline"), which defines issues to be addressed and standards to be observed for each raw material. Specifically, the Guideline defines the following six items for each raw material that must be considered by factories, production departments, and other divisions involved in raw material procurement.

  1. Consideration for human rights (forced labor/child labor/violation of indigenous peoples' rights, etc.)
  2. Respect for animal welfare
  3. Reduction of GHG emissions
  4. Reduction of water use
  5. Reduction of pesticide and chemical fertilizer use
  6. Consideration for soil conservation (crop rotation, rotational grazing, and other land management practices)

We review and update the Raw Materials Procurement Guideline every year, as it is subject to change due to international trends, new scientific findings, social demands, etc.

Procurement of Plant-Derived Materials


Fast Retailing defines sustainable cotton as cotton that is grown in a way that reduces the use of water, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers during the cultivation process, takes into consideration soil and ecosystem conservation, and respects the labor environment of farmers. We aim to procure 100% of our cotton from sustainable sources by the end of December 2025. For us, sustainable cotton means Better Cotton*1; cotton sourced from the United States or Australia, recycled cotton*2; organic cotton*3; Fair Trade cotton by definition.

*1 See Better Cotton Initiative, below.
*2 Cotton certified by GRS (Global Recycled Standard) or RCS (Recycled Claim Standard)
*3 Cotton certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or OCS (Organic Content Standard)

・Better Cotton Initiative
Fast Retailing became an affiliate member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in January 2018. BCI is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the sustainable production of cotton. BCI promotes better cotton cultivation, educating farmers on the proper use of water, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, and and guiding on respect for workers' rights, etc. Farmers meeting standards set by BCI are certified as Better Cotton producers.

Cellulosic Fibers (Rayon, Etc.)

Cellulose fibers such as viscose/rayon, modal, and lyocell are recycled fibers made by chemically dissolving wood pulp into fibrous form. In the process of extracting raw materials, there are concerns on the impact of deforestation, the habitats of endangered species, in illegal logging, and violation of the rights of indigenous peoples.
In response to these issues, Fast Retailing has published the "Fast Retailing Responsible Product Policy: Wood-based and Forest derived Fabrics and Materials", which outlines the company's response to the conservation of ancient forests and ecosystems in danger, recognition, respect, and protection of human rights and the rights of local communities, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, we have established a list of recommended cellulosic fiber manufacturers based on third-party (Canopy) evaluations, and are working to require suppliers to procure from the producers on this list.

Procurement of Animal-Derived Materials

Fast Retailing prohibits the procurement of raw materials from animals slaughtered solely for apparel production. We believe that animals should always be treated and bred according to ethical husbandry practices, aligning with the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from fear and distress. Based on this belief, our raw materials procurement guideline prohibits procurement from farms that violate the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, such as those collecting from animals alive or force-feeding. We are also promoting the use of recycled and alternative materials to reduce our environmental impact, and are committed to procuring in accordance with the following:

  • No use of raw materials derived from animals listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • Only use edible meat by-products of animals generally accepted for human consumption will be used. However, cultural and customary considerations will be taken into account when deciding whether or not to use these by-products.
  • No use of cosmetics that have been tested on animals or cosmetics of animal origin in any of our production processes.

Merino Wool

Fast Retailing is dedicated to animal welfare, refusing to procure Merino wool from suppliers who source from producers who practice mulesing. Mulesing is the practice of cutting away a section of wool-bearing skin from the breech of the sheep to prevent parasitic infection in the deep folds of the Merino sheep skin.


Cashmere presents risks not only in terms of animal welfare at the rearing site, but also in terms of its impact on biodiversity, such as recent vast land use and grazing land grassland desertification. From the perspective of animal welfare and pastureland management, Fast Retailing is working to establish a system to ensure traceability throughout its cashmere supply chain. Specifically, we ask our suppliers to sign a standard that stipulates animal welfare and proper management of grazing lands, and to agree to an audit by Fast Retailing, while continuing to provide training on animal welfare and grazing land management.

Down, Feathers

Fast Retailing prohibits sourcing of down or feathers from farms that practice live plucking or force feeding. All our partner garment factories involved in the production of our down products are RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified as of the end of December 2019 and we will continue to support the RDS going forward. In addition, from 2020, we have been promoting a clothing-to-clothing recycling initiative that collects down products no longer worn by customers. We then extract the down and feathers for recycling, cleaning and restoring this to an as-new condition for use in new down products.

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Prohibited Materials

Fast Retailing prohibits the use of the following materials.

  • Leather/Skin of exotic animals (crocodile, alligator, snake, lizard, ostrich, kangaroo, whale, shark, etc.), wildlife, animal fetuses
  • Real fur
  • Mohair (Angora goat hair), Angora (Angora rabbit hair)
  • Alpaca
  • Horns / Bones / Teeth

Procurement of Petroleum-Derived Materials

Fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and polyurethane are produced from petroleum by-products. These petroleum-based materials (synthetic fibers) do not decompose in the natural environment, and there are concerns about environmental pollution caused by the shedding of microplastics during washing and improper disposal. Fast Retailing recognizes the impact of microplastics on the environment as an important issue and is working to minimize their impact. Specifically, we are measuring the amount of microfibers released from our products during laundering, analyzing the results, and studying countermeasures. In the material production process, we are also working with strategic partners to verify the impact and implement countermeasures. Specifically, for our own standard products that have been verified, we are implementing measures for improvement through communication with suppliers based on the verification results. In addition, we participate in the Microfiber Consortium, a cross-apparel industry framework focused on microfiber, and continue to participate in research and collaboration efforts to minimize microfiber runoff into the environment throughout the lifecycle of textile products.

In addition, in order to achieve the Fast Retailing Group's target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2030 (a 20% reduction in emissions* related to the production of raw materials, materials, and sewing of products compared to the fiscal year ending August 31, 2019), we are promoting the use of raw materials that are expected to improve resource efficiency and are produced with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, we aim to switch approximately 50% of all materials used, including synthetic fibers such as polyester, to materials with lower greenhouse gas emissions, such as recycled materials, by the fiscal year ending August 31, 2030, and are gradually switching to raw materials that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
*Subject to UNIQLO and GU

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