Fast Retailing to monitor all its suppliers closely

Friday, 20 February 2015
UPDATE After Japanese clothing giant Fast Retailing had to explain itself due to a report by Hong Kong-based labour advocacy group Sacom accusing the company of unacceptable working conditions in supplier factories (see article of 16th January), the Uniqlo parent announced strict monitoring of all its  suppliers in the near future.

This means that till the end of March 2015, Fast Retailing plans to check the conditions at 30 percent of its suppliers in a pilot project and the remaining 70 percent by March 2016. Not all inspections will be intimated in advance. In fact, Fast Retailing plans to increase the number of its unannounced audits, visits and interviews with workers.

According to a monitoring plan whose scope will be expanded constantly, there will be a hotline for workers from March onward. In addition, worker and management training is planned as well. The existing management training program by the unions will be expanded from selected factories to all important production units by May 2015. In addition, Fast Retailing plans to work closely with organizations like Sacom (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour).

„Respecting human rights and ensuring appropriate working conditions should be a priority for the entire industry, not only Fast Retailing. Thus, the dialogue with other companies, NGOs and international organization will become more and more important,“ said Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing's group executive officer responsible for CSR. Social corporate responsibility is an area that the company has been actively pursuing since 2001.

A spotless image is important as the Japanese clothing giant follows an ambitious goal: CEO Tadashi Yanai just announced that the targeted annual turnover until 2020 had been revised from 5,000 billion yen (37 billion euros) to a staggering 30,000 billion yen (222 billion euros) by 2030.

Image: Fast Retailing

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