In line with its parent company Fast Retailing’s fiscal 2030 sustainable targets and action plan, UNIQLO Malaysia is stepping up efforts locally with initiatives focusing on the environment, people and society – with aim to create a better Malaysia.
Yuki Yamada, CEO of UNIQLO Malaysia & Singapore said: “As one of the leading global apparel companies, we see it as our duty to proactively respond to society’s needs and help resolve pressing environmental and social issues. While we grow our business, we must ensure it progresses in tandem with sustainability.”
According to Evelyn Tan, Sustainability Director at UNIQLO Malaysia, Uniqlo’s sustainability targets and action plan were established based on extending its LifeWear concept. “UNIQLO is synonymous with LifeWear, a concept that describes our business of providing everyday clothing with an emphasis on quality, design and price for people around the world to help improve their lives. Driven by our intent to transit to a new business model that encompasses both sustainability and business growth, we want to do more with the clothing we produce besides delivering its intrinsic values to our customers. So, we need to ensure it meets the definition of “good clothing” from the standpoint of the environment, people and society,” she said.
In line with this, UNIQLO Malaysia’s sustainability efforts have been and will continue to focus on the following initiatives:
- Making Good Clothes that are Better for the Environment
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions at UNIQLO stores and office
- 50% of carbon emissions from electricity at all stores is currently offset through redemption of renewable energy certificates.
- Stores have switched to 100% LED lighting and reduced the amount of lighting.
- Target to offset 100% of carbon emission from electricity by 2023.
- Introduce products with increased proportion of recycled materials
- Since 2019, UNIQLO has increasingly introduced recycled materials into its products.
- Globally, UNIQLO aims to increase proportion of recycled materials to approximately 50% by 2030.
- UNIQLO Malaysia will introduce 2022 Spring/Summer collection, of which 15% of polyester used will be derived from recycled PET bottles.
- Towards Zero Waste
- Reduce Plastic Waste
- Continue to recycle and upcycle plastic used in the delivery of items to our stores by working with social enterprises; and
- to switch plastic e-commerce delivery mailers to boxes.
- Reduce Paper Waste
- Customer shopping bags were switched from plastic to paper bags in 2014 and paper bag charge was implemented in 2021 to encourage customers to bring their reusable bags for shopping.
- Continue to reduce paper consumption internally through digitizing of work processes; and
- Reduce Plastic Waste
- to explore recycling of used cartons from stores.
- Reduce Clothing Waste
- To expand recycling of waste fabric into other materials like furniture.
- To provide clothes repair and upcycling services for customers to repurpose their UNIQLO clothing and extend the value and lifecycle of their clothes.
- Biodiversity Protection
- To continue our support to WWF-Malaysia in marine conservation, which started in Melaka and expand beach clean-up activities and marine pollution reduction projects to other states.
- To progress more into biodiversity protection and contribute towards local marine and forest conservation.
- Making Clothes that are Good for People and Society.
- UNIQLO Malaysia has been collaborating with NGOs & NPOs to support various communities since 2019. They include:
- Providing COVID-19 Relief – donating 500,000 face masks, 80,000 AIRism masks and items to frontliners and students; donating medical equipment to mental health departments of hospitals; and monetary donating for 500,000 meals for vulnerable communities.
- Extended relief to flood victims in the Klang Valley – A total of more than 46,000 UNIQLO products, including warm clothing from the HEATTECH series and AIRism masks, were donated to flood victims through Malaysian Relief Agency, as well as a monetary donation to provide 2,000 food packs for those affected by the floods.
- Promoting social awareness of people with disabilities in Malaysia through UTme! X Early Autism Project collaboration.
- Clothing support for the homeless and B40 population during the festive seasons and natural disasters. Clothing corners were set up for those in need at Homeless Transit Centres in Kuala Lumpur and Penang with pre-loved clothes donated from the public.
- Donation of AIRism Sanitary Shorts to girls and women who may face period poverty; and front open clothing to heart surgery patients for easier access of surgery care; and to people with disabilities for ease of dressing.
- Several workshops and sustainability education were conducted for a few schools to ensure children have a better understanding about sustainability.
- In 2022, UNIQLO Malaysia hopes to reach out and support more communities through social contribution activities. Plans include:
- Enhancing COVID-19 Recovery Support by collaborating with government offices to provide job seekers suitable clothes for job interviews; and
- Providing entrepreneurship training to vulnerable women and ensure they are digitally literate, so as to help them to be financially independent.
- The Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee was set up by UNIQLO Malaysia in 2020 to share, brainstorm, support and drive D&I activities internally with their employees. UNIQLO Malaysia will continue to educate, engage and empower employees to promote Diversity & Inclusion culture, which focuses on
- Gender: we encourage female leadership and women empowerment;
- People with Disabilities (PWD): we employ, evaluate schemes, train and develop people with disabilities. Currently, PWDs make up more than 2% of UNIQLO Malaysia workforce. UNIQLO aims to hire at least one PWD at each store.
- Global One Team: we provide employees opportunities for international assignment, talent and leadership development, cross border recruitment and employee engagement.
With the goal of creating a better Malaysia together with Malaysians for the future, UNIQLO Malaysia will continue to take steps to protect and reduce its burden on the natural environment, address societal challenges by providing more sustainable support, and further its corporate D&I practices.
For more information about UNIQLO Sustainability, visit www.uniqlo.com.