Uniqlo Owner Will Move to Audit Working Conditions at Third-Tier Suppliers

Responding to calls for stricter due diligence on human rights, Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing announced it will be extending checks currently run on higher-tier suppliers for working conditions and human rights compliance.

The Tokyo-based company said going forward it will apply its code of conduct to third-tier spinning mills that supply cotton threads for Uniqlo products, having them sign consent forms, according to a report from Japan’s Nikkei Group.

Fast Retailing currently only carries out compliance checks on first-tier sewing plants and second-tier fabric mills.

Third-party investigators will now be instructed to check the suppliers roughly once a year for compliance with the clothing company’s code of conduct.

For example, third-tier suppliers will have to ensure that fire prevention measures are in place for buildings and that safety measures are in place for machinery, while weekly working hours for a laborer, including overtime, will not exceed 60.

If a third-tier supplier is flagged as needing improvement, random follow-up audits will gauge progress.

Fast Retailing added that it will launch similar compliance checks to spinning mills for other materials, such as cashmere and wool, as well as mills serving other brands in its group such as GU and Theory.

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