TOKYO, Apr 5, 2023 – (JCN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., as part of its All-Product Recycling Initiative, conducts the “Power of Clothing Project” in cooperation with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Through this program, elementary, middle, and high school students collect children’s clothing that is no longer needed, to be provided to refugee children facing a chronic clothing shortage.
Since the project launched in 2013, a total of around 380,000 students from 3,600 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Japan have participated in this project, learning about the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and refugee issues. In fiscal 2023, the tenth anniversary of the project, Fast Retailing is partnering with Google Japan G.K. in a new initiative to conduct classes using Google Earth and expanding the project to schools in Asia.
For the Power of Clothing Project, Fast Retailing employees conduct classes on SDGs and refugee issues at schools that want to participate in the project, including elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as special needs schools. Students then take the lead, collecting children’s clothing that people no longer need, developing campaigns to call on people to participate, and handling the collection and sorting.
With the current focus on aid to refugees from the Ukraine crisis and the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, by learning about the difficulties facing children their own age and collecting clothing for them, Japanese children come to regard world problems as their own and have an opportunity to learn through experience. Fast Retailing sends the clothing that has been collected directly to refugee children around the world through UNHCR.
Short film Closer Through Our Clothes – How the recycled clothes from Japan went to a young refugee
The need for IT education at schools has also increased in recent years, and in fiscal 2023 Fast Retailing will partner with Google Japan for the first time to use Google Earth during the outreach classes. Students will be able to see with their own eyes the locations and conditions in the refugee camps, making the far-away camps feel more real, and energizing the program activities. Fast Retailing is also expanding the Power of Clothing Project to schools outside Japan, mainly in Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. Also, a new initiative is planned to conduct online classes jointly with schools in Japan and Taiwan on May 30 and June 2.
Number of Participating Schools and Project Details
Fast Retailing launched its Fleece Recycling Initiative in 2001, paving the way for the All-Product Recycling Initiative. Through these programs, in partnership with UNHCR and NGOs, Fast Retailing has donated clothing to refugees and others in need around the world. The Power of Clothing Project, launched in 2013 in partnership with UNHCR, aims to address the chronic shortage of clothing for migrant children, who account for around half of all refugees. Through hands-on experience, Fast Retailing provides opportunities for children and students to learn and think about the conditions facing refugee children their own age, as well as such issues and recycling and SDGs. An online class was introduced as an option in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The collected clothing is sorted in Japan according to cultural norms and local clothing needs, and in cooperation with UNHCR is sent directly to refugee camps for distribution. The process is carefully managed to ensure that refugee camps are not burdened with unneeded items, or that the donated clothing does not end up in secondary markets.
About Fast Retailing
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. is a leading Japanese retail holding company with global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. UNIQLO is the largest of eight brands in the Fast Retailing Group, the others being GU, Theory, PLST (Plus T), Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam, J Brand, and Helmut Lang. With global sales of approximately 2.3 trillion yen for the 2022 fiscal year ending August 31, 2022 (US $16.6 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2022 rate of $1 = 138.7 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies. With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about Fast Retailing, please visit www.fastretailing.com.
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