About the partnership
Fast Retailing, UNIQLO's holding company, began its partnership with UNHCR in 2006 with their first donation of clothing for refugee families in 2007. This contribution was made up of clothes donated by UNIQLO customers through their instore recycling programme. Since the Global Partnership Agreement was signed in 2011, the partnership has grown both in scope and scale, to have an incredible impact on refugees across the world.
Over 41 million pieces of clothing have been delivered to people forced to flee in more than 58 countries where UNHCR works.
Additionally, Fast Retailing has donated approximately US$25 million towards UNHCR’s programmes.
UNHCR’s global and multifaceted partnership with Fast Retailing shows the kind of comprehensive support and impact the private sector can have for the refugee cause.
Types of intervention include:
- contributing clothing to people of concern and host communities, mainly from UNIQLO and GU customers;
- providing financial grants to support livelihoods in Asia and UNHCR’s emergency response in Somalia, South Sudan, Mali, Bangladesh, Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine;
- creating refugee employment opportunities at UNIQLO stores globally, and helping them become self-reliant;
- providing technical assistance and expertise to UNHCR by deploying Fast Retailing employees to its field offices;
- supporting awareness and fundraising for people forced to flee through campaigns and other communication activities including education and outreach programmes at global, regional and country levels.
Impact at a glance
- In 2022, US$10 Million and 200,000 clothing items were donated by Fast Retailing to UNHCR to support the humanitarian response for people forced to flee in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
- In 2021, 3 million masks were donated by Fast Retailing to UNHCR country operations to help protect refugee families in particularly vulnerable situations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Over 41 million pieces of clothing have been delivered to people forced to flee in more than 58 countries.
- Nearly 19,000 refugees have been provided with vocational and life skills, given access to finance and/or started up their own businesses across five countries in Asia.
- 124 refugees are employed as staff in UNIQLO stores in 10 countries (57 in Japan, 28 in France, 13 in Germany, 7 in Italy, 3 in the US, 5 in The Netherlands, 5 in Sweden, 1 in the UK, 3 in Spain and 2 in Denmark).
- More than 10 Fast Retailing employees have participated in an employee deployment programme to UNHCR field offices.
- Nearly 300,000 students in 2,827 schools have been taught about refugee issues by Fast Retailing employees in Japan as part of its school education programme called “The Power of Clothing Project”.
- Since 2010, more than 2,700 customers have become UNHCR monthly supporters through UNHCR’s Face to Face campaigns conducted at more than 230 UNIQLO and GU stores.
- Awareness and fundraising campaigns have been organized, both in-store and online by engaging the employees and customers globally to support forcibly displaced people.
Sustainable Development Goals in focus
- SDG1 No Poverty
- SDG4 Quality Education
- SDG5 Gender Equality
- SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals