On Dec. 16, 2021, the third seminar in a seminar series between Uniqlo Vietnam and the Master of Business Administration program of Vietnam Japan University took place successfully under the title “The Goal of UNIQLO’s Sustainability and Initiatives in Vietnam.” Mr. Shota Miura, the CFO of Uniqlo Vietnam, discussed initiatives and actions for sustainable development, as well as contributions to society by Uniqlo in Vietnam.
Uniqlo’s LifeWear spirit was once again emphasized by Mr. Miura in the workshop. Uniqlo focuses on the purpose of serving the essential needs of customers with the best product quality, continuously listens for product improvement and development. This value proposition is an indispensable part of the Sustainability Statement of Fast Retailing and Uniqlo: Unlocking the power of clothing. Mr. Miura emphasizes that Fast Retailing and Uniqlo are aware of the responsibility they have for the environment, as one of the largest companies in the fashion industry.
With the sustainability statement “Unlocking the power of clothing,” Fast Retailing and Uniqlo fully utilize their business model, including stages from planning, selection, and development of raw materials to sales, reuse, and recycling, to implement sustainability initiatives all over the world, for example, a more accurate demand forecast through digitalization helps the company make the necessary amount of products and reduce excess inventory. Also, by monitoring the quality control on the production phase, they also can ensure that sustainability actions take place in factories.
The business model makes Fast Retailing and Uniqlo conduct unique activities. They have a global partnership with UNHCR to conduct product recycling and collaborate with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to do social business. Also, most recently, in response to the global pandemic since 2020, Fast Retailing and Uniqlo constantly donate masks and clothes to frontline workers like doctors and nurses.
There are three key pillars in Fast Retailing’s sustainability action: people, planet, and society. Besides the above-mentioned contributions to society, Uniqlo also pays special attention to people by ensuring safe and healthy working conditions and providing training opportunities to their employees throughout the supply chain With more than 130,000 employees worldwide, Fast Retailing and Uniqlo recognize the importance of diversity and they carefully prepare and implement a training program and this is also one part of their overarching business principle: Global One and ZEN-IN KEIEI.
Aiming at reducing the impact on the surrounding environment, Fast Retailing disclosed Fiscal 2030 Sustainability Targets and Action Plan and it includes a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emission in various business channels. . This bold step is an important milestone for Fast Retailing to move towards carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve that goal, it is emphasized the company keeps accelerating the 4R policy: Reduce, Replace, Reuse, Recycle. For example, Uniqlo has successfully launched the product line of fine yarn and polo shirts using renewable plastic shells. It does not only reduce waste and CO2 emissions but also makes it possible to make high-quality products with care on the environment. . Another example is jeans produced in Jeans Innovation Center that reduces water usage by up to 99%* through a new washing process.
* Data is based on a study of Regular Fit Jeans (68 Blue Colour) between 2017 and 2018. Water savings will vary slightly between products.
Fast Retailing and Uniqlo consider sustainable development more meaningful by embedding their business mainstream into the sustainability mission. By doing so, they believe that they can do more impactful and long-term activities for society.
In addition to the informative lecture from Mr. Miura, the seminar also engaged the attending MBA students in exchanges of ideas. It clearly shows that the “sustainable development” topic has always played an important role in business development, and Uniqlo is one of the businesses that constantly make efforts through its business mainstream towards a sustainable future.