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Initiatives on Continuously Utilizing LifeWear

Last Updated: 2024.02.29
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At Fast Retailing, we believe we have an important responsibility not only to produce and sell clothes that our customers can wear for a long time, but also to maximize the value of those clothes after customers have finished wearing them.

Initiative to make clothes last longer - Release of video showing how to take care of clothes

Our basic premise is that good clothes should last as long as possible for customers who purchase them. UNIQLO offers a variety of clothing care videos, such as "How to wash knitwear" and "How to care for wool coat" to help customers wear their clothes longer.

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Reduce - Initiative to reduce clothing waste as much as possible - Repair, Remake, Upcycle

  • In August 2021, UNIQLO and the German NGO Berliner Stadtmission jointly established a "Second Life Studio" at UNIQLO's flagship store in Tauentzien, Berlin, to host a free workshop. During the workshop, the studio's team of designers remodeled used clothing brought into the store by customers and transformed it into upcycled items such as patchwork denim bags and embroidered T-shirts. In January 2022, a paid repair service was established at UNIQLO's flagship store in Soho, New York, US, and began services such as shirts button replacement, seam repair, hole repair, and zipper replacement. Furthermore, in April 2022, a repair studio has been set up at a UNIQLO store on Regent Street in London, UK to offer a repair service to fix holes in jeans using the stitching technique, and a remake service to customize UNIQLO products to customers' own taste by stitching or embroidering. It also sells Japanese stitching tools such as scissors, needles, and threads. In Japan, UNIQLO began a trial in October 2022 at the UNIQLO Setagaya Chitosedai store and has expanded to 41 stores in 18 countries and regions as of the end of January 2024. UNIQLO plans to expand the service to more than 50 stores globally by the end of December 2024, as a place to evolve UNIQLO's LifeWear concept and provide support for customers to continue wearing their beloved clothes with care.

  • *Sashiko, traditional Japanese embroidery

Reuse - Reusing clothes initiative - Donation activities and used clothes sales

Since 2006, Fast Retailing has been collecting and reusing clothing no longer needed by customers at its stores around the world. With the cooperation of our customers, we collected approximately 15 million items* in the fiscal year ending August 2023.
We donate clothes that can still be worn to people in need. Through partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), our brand, UNIQLO, GU, Theory, PLST, Comptoir des Cotonniers, and Princesse Tam.Tam, donate the clothes to refugees and internally displaced people around the world, supporting livelihood of women and youth in becoming self-reliant, and providing clothes in times of emergency or disaster. We aim to donate 10 million items of clothing (including new clothes and clothes collected from customers) in a single fiscal year to people in need by the fiscal year ending August 2025. In the fiscal year ending August 2023, we responded to requests for donations of approximately 4.16 million items. The total number of items donated since the start of the program has reached approximately 54.63 million (from 2006 to the end of August 2023). In October 2023, we conducted a commercial verification of used clothing resale by selling the collected clothes after dyeing and processing them.

*The amount collected is estimated at 200 grams/item. Donations are sorted into 18 categories according to need, and the average number of items in each category is set, then compressed and packed (packed in bales) and donated by the bale. The amount donated is calculated based on the average number of bales per category, consequently the calculation method differs between the amount collected and the amount donated.

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Recycle - Initiatives to recycle clothes

UNIQLO is promoting initiatives to recycle collected clothes into new clothes and deliver them to customers again. , For example UNIQLO extracts down and feathers from collected down jackets and uses them as raw materials for new down jackets. GU also separates polyester materials when it collects products and recycles them into materials for new products.

Materials that cannot be recycled into clothing are used as materials for insulation and soundproofing. For example, at the UNIQLO Maebashi Minami Interchange store, which opened in April 2023, it has achieved various innovations to reduce energy consumption, approximately to 30%.The exterior wall insulation is made from recycled materials of collected UNIQLO clothes which were cut into small pieces. In addition, about 22 T-shirts (about 4.3 kg of used clothing) *1 is cut and warped before being recycled into soundproofing material used for one car, which serves to reduce the sound of car engines and the high frequencies of electric vehicles.
Furthermore, when the clothing cannot be utilized as a material, it will be converted into solid fuel (RPF*2) RPF is made from clothes, waste plastic, paper, and wood scraps, and is used as an alternative to coal and other fossil fuels in dedicated boilers at paper companies and other facilities.

*1 In the case of 1 T-shirt weighing 200g (information source: Japan Specialty Coatings Co., Ltd.)
*2 RPF: Refuse Paper and Plastic Fuel

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