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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Uniqlo Vietnam cares for stable social foundation

By Le Hoang

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Uniqlo has been supporting local communities where its stores are located and implementing social projects to assist people in disadvantaged areas, fulfilling its commitment to the community.

Support for education and disadvantaged areas

Huynh Nguyen Minh Hang, a fifth grader at Thanh An Elementary School in Thieng Lieng Hamlet, Thanh An Commune in HCMC’s outlying district of Can Gio, has been happier because she no longer has to bring drinking water from home. She and her classmates now have direct access to drinking water at school thanks to the water filtration system provided by Uniqlo on May 17.

Thanh An Elementary School is one of 11 schools in Can Gio supported by the second phase (2023-2025) of the “Clean Water Support” project initiated by Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company, in Vietnam since 2022. Partnering with the HCMC Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients, the project has provided water filtration systems to 21 schools, helping over 6,500 teachers and students in areas affected by saline water access clean drinking water.

Can Gio, the only coastal district of HCMC, is home to over 80,000 people with 35 schools and 11 remote school branches, frequently facing difficulties due to the increasing intrusion of saline water, impacting both daily life and the economy.

Nishida Hideki, general director of Uniqlo Vietnam, stated that the project reaffirms Uniqlo’s commitment to long-term contributions to Vietnamese society. “We hope the project will expand and develop further, continuing to bring positive changes to the community.” At the same event, Uniqlo donated nearly 1,000 clothing items under the Re.UNIQLO program to Thanh An school’s students, teachers, and parents.

Expanding community contributions

Nishida Hideki further emphasized that “in Vietnam, we are committed to contributing to social development as a strategic priority.”

This commitment includes aspects such as providing quality products and services, developing human resources, supporting local development where Uniqlo stores are located, and implementing community projects like clean water provision and donating secondhand clothes through the Re.UNIQLO project.

Besides the “Clean Water Support” project, in February 2024, Uniqlo inaugurated Trong Tro Kindergarten in Mu Cang Chai District in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai. Previously, the school only had two old classrooms made from prefabricated materials and a deteriorating room covered by old roofing sheets, which was very hot in summer and cold in winter.

Little students at Trong Tro School in Yen Bai Province’s Mu Cang Chai District are happy with new school facilities whose construction is financed by Uniqlo Vietnam

The temporary roofing sheet-enclosed school has been replaced with a new building comprising two 70-square-meter classrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and two modern restrooms. The project, costing over VND1 billion, was funded by the sale of T-shirts with the “Connecting Vietnam-Japan” theme.

“We are very happy to see the joyful smiles of the students and teachers at Trong Tro School. We hope the new classrooms will provide better learning conditions and help the children step more confidently into the future,” Nishida Hideki said, believing that education is the best investment for children – the country’s future. Through the project, Uniqlo hopes to improve learning conditions and provide more opportunities for the children.

Initiated in 2021 with the Hope Foundation, the Re.UNIQLO project creates a new life cycle for used clothing to promote sustainable development goals. Approximately 4,000 items were donated to students, teachers, and the community during the Trong Tro school inauguration. The program has since expanded to other provinces like Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, and Binh Phuoc.

Concurrently, Uniqlo’s training and development program for young talent, aiming to turn potential candidates into store managers or senior staff, continues to expand. Currently, Uniqlo employs over 1,000 people in its retail chain in Vietnam, with most store managers being Vietnamese.

Nishida Hideki mentioned that Uniqlo Vietnam will continue implementing its committed projects like Re.UNIQLO, expanding the recruitment of disabled employees, and training and developing young talent.

Notably, the fashion brand has recruited and facilitated employment for disabled individuals in its stores. Over two recruitment seasons, the company is training and developing seven disabled employees in HCMC, with plans to expand to Hanoi. The program aims to promote an inclusive and equal working environment, targeting 1% of the company’s total employees to be disabled by 2025.

Expanding business, sustainable development

Along with this, the retailer continues to invest and expand its retail chain, reaching 23 stores in five years of operation in Vietnam and planning to open two more stores.

Significantly, more than 50% of the products sold in Uniqlo stores are produced at the company’s numerous partner factories in Vietnam, ensuring high quality and sustainable production.

In November 2023, Uniqlo recognized “Vietnam as a key production hub in Asia”. Products made in Vietnam are distributed to over 2,400 stores worldwide, playing an essential role in the brand’s global value chain.

Previously, the brand shared its action plan and development goals for 2030, focusing on transforming its business model to achieve both sustainable development and business growth. Contributing to the community is also part of the company’s sustainable development.

At the completion of the water filtration system at Thanh An Elementary School in Can Gio District last week, Le Huu Binh, Principal of the school, could not conceal his joy: “With this new clean drinking water filtration system, the students have immediate access to clean water and no longer need to bring water from home. This not only improves the quality of drinking water but also enhances school health. The water filtration system also beautifies the school campus, making it greener, cleaner, and more modern.”

Meanwhile, Uniqlo Vietnam’s CEO Nishida Hideki reiterated the role of community programs in the company’s sustainable development goal. “I believe a business should be built on a stable social foundation.” Therefore, contributing to society, respecting, and cooperating with diverse stakeholders, including customers, has been a pursuit throughout nearly five years of Uniqlo’s presence in Vietnam, he said.

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