A Uniqlo store in a mall in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Shutterstock/pujislab)
Fast Retailing, the parent company of the fashion brands Uniqlo, Theory and Comptoir des Cotonniers, has become the latest industry player to tackle its plastic consumption.
The company has announced plans to eliminate unnecessary plastic throughout its supply chain, slashing the single-use plastic products customers receive at its Group stores worldwide by 85% by the end of next year. The move, which would see shopping bags and product packaging targeted, is estimated to save around 7,800 tons of plastic annually.
From this September, the group's stores in 12 markets worldwide (including Japan) will switch from plastic bags to eco-friendly paper bags made using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper or recycled paper. Uniqlo stores in Europe and Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam, and PLST stores will begin to replace their paper bags with the aforementioned eco-friendly paper bags. In certain markets, branded, environmentally-friendly bags will be sold to promote the use of reusable carriers. The company also plans to carry out tests to replace plastic in its packaging with substitute materials.
The conglomerate is not the only fashion force clamping down on its own plastic use: earlier this year, the British luxury brand Burberry pledged to "reduce, eliminate and transition away from problematic and unnecessary packaging" across its portfolio by the year 2025, with a focus on single use plastics. The label has already eradicated the plastic lamination of its retail bags and stopped using poly bags as garment covers.