Fashion Updates | Sustainability

Measures are being taken by Japan’s Uniqlo to recycle old clothes in order to reduce clothing waste.

Published: May 8, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Ankita Dutta

The establishment of RE. UNIQLO STUDIO, Uniqlo’s second recycling studio in Japan, at its biggest shop in Kyushu Prefecture has drawn attention to the Japanese fast fashion retailer. Re.UNIQLO STUDIOs, which Uniqlo presently runs in ten different nations, have grown in popularity since they enable consumers to recycle their unwanted clothing in exchange for a nominal price.

In South Korea, Uniqlo uses its stores to collect used clothing that is then donated or recycled into new goods, such as down coats. In response to criticism that they produce waste clothing in large quantities and contribute to environmental damage, SPA, or special store retailer of private label apparel, firms are implementing eco-friendly practises.

Although SPA companies have the advantage of selling garments for less because they have eliminated the costs of intermediate distribution through vertical integration, they have come under fire for increasing the amount of clothing waste by releasing low-quality, short-lasting clothing in an effort to enhance revenue. The amount of clothing being thrown away has doubled, according to statistics. The amount of waste clothes discharged in Korea reached 118,386 tonnes in 2021, up from roughly 60,000 tonnes each year within 2017 and 2019. This information was released on Sunday.

According to an alleged source in the fashion industry, SPA companies tend to raise their sales as the economy gets worse, which causes more clothing to be thrown away. The Environment Committee of the European Parliament is urging the European Commission and EU nations to take action against fast fashion in order to stop excessive manufacturing and consumption of garments.

Fast fashion is gradually being abandoned by SPA businesses. Uniqlo is among the most well-known brands. The company has recently concentrated on appealing to ecologically concerned consumers in the European and American markets. By 2030, the company wants to have 50% of its raw materials that are eco-friendly and to use 100% renewable energy in all of its stores and key offices.

Tadashi Yanai, the founder and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co., the organisation that owns Uniqlo, described the brand as “lifewear” and changed the company’s business model from producing basic clothing with straightforward patterns to focusing on raising the quality of its garments in order to increase profitability.

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