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What is UNIQLO doing in terms of sustainability?

The new strategies of the Japanese clothing empire

What is UNIQLO doing in terms of sustainability? The new strategies of the Japanese clothing empire

Sustainability is the buzzword of 2019. The themes of climate change and responsible production have been at the centre of public debate this year. One of the sectors most blamed by environmentalists is fast fashion, whose production model of easily periperable and polluting goods is one of the main culprits of the ecological crisis in which we live. As a result, many clothing brands, both in the field of luxury and fast fashion, have tried to find solutions, implementing new eco-friendly strategies to make their production completely sustainable. In the field of fast fashion, one of the most emblematic examples is that of UNIQLO, the empire of high-quality Japanese basic garments, which by 2020 has promised to make numerous changes to avoid waste and minimize the environmental impact both on the level supply chain as well as production.

In the case of production, the strongest change has occurred in the denim line. It's well known that, to produce a single pair of jeans, up to 75 liters of water are used. The company has managed to reduce that waste by 90%. Many important changes have also been made on the supply chain. Like many other brands, UNIQLO has decided to adopt a more rigorous and transparent system for the acquisition of animal-based materials such as wool and feathers. The objective, which will be completed by next year, is to create ethical puffer jackets, the production of which respects the animal sources from which it supplies. All of the company's partners will have to follow the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) an international standard devised by the non-profit Textile Exchange to ensure full transparency of the production chain and traceability of purchased feathers. In addition to traceability, the RDS also guarantees on the conditions of breeding of animals, which must not be forcibly fed and must be free within the structures. From 2020 onwards, all Uniqlo down jackets will be strictly cruelty free.

Further efforts for ethical production took place in the field of cashmere. By 2020, the company has committed to selecting only ethical suppliers whose shearing methods do not violate animal rights. Many breeders, in fact, to obtain wool, resort to the practice of mulesing, which in addition to the mantle of animals also takes part of their skin - a practice banned in New Zealand since last year and still used in Australia, although in the midst of decades of disputes. UNIQLO merino wool is harvested in spring, during the wetseason, when the animals self-free themselves, organically of their wool.

All UNIQLO LifeWear materials are created to improve the wearer's life. To do this you need not only to create practical and high quality clothes, but also to do it in such a way that the natural environment of which all UNIQLO customers are part is respected.