Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., parent company of global apparel retailer UNIQLO, has announced that it is providing urgent support worth approximately Rs 220 million (around U.S. $3 million) for those affected by this crisis. Fast Retailing will donate 100 million rupees to two highly respected non-profit organizations, GiveIndia and the Akshaya Patra Foundation. In addition, plans are underway to provide more than 600,000 UNIQLO AIRism masks to frontline workers.
Through GiveIndia, funds will be utilized for the immediate provision of such medical equipment as oxygen concentrators and to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in critical states, as wellas providing cash relief for the families of the deceased. The donation to the Akshaya Patra Foundation will be used to provide cooked meals and dry ration supplies to low-income daily wage workers who are impacted by the surge of COVID-19. The donation of UNIQLO AIRism masks by Fast Retailing will be distributed to front-line workers and those providing essential services.
“Fast Retailing is committed to helping the people of India, especially at this critical time. This is an emergency that requires global solidarity, and we hope that our contribution will support the immediate needs of those on the ground and help put the country on track to recovery. Our thoughts are with the people affected and the medical professionals working to provide care during these difficult times,” said Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing.
Tomohiko Sei, CEO of UNIQLO India, said, “UNIQLO was welcomed into the Indian community 19 months ago and as a global company we are glad to be able to contribute in this challenging time. Over the past few weeks, we have seen how the community has come together to help one another and together we shall overcome these adversities.”
UNIQLO opened its first store in India in October 2019 in New Delhi, and now has a total of six stores in the country. The company also set up a production liaison office in September 2016, working with manufacturers in India as part of a growing commitment to the nation’s textile industry.
Fast Retailing has a long-standing commitment to the communities where it operates to realize a better society. Its programs not only provide millions of garments to those in need but also emergency financial assistance in times of natural disaster. Working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the company also provides support for refugees and displaced people around the world. Starting from March 2020, Fast Retailing and UNIQLO have made donations in 26 markets to medical institutions, non-governmental and other organizations providing support to people impacted by COVID-19. As of now, the donations include 17.70 million medical-grade masks, 1.43 million isolation gowns, 2.3 million AIRism masks, 470,000 pieces of functional AIRism innerwear, and around 790,000 pieces of essential wear.