Clothing & Shoes

Uniqlo owner defends decision to keep operating in Russia

The comments come as the company continues to operate 49 Uniqlo stores in the region at a time when many retailers are suspending their activities

The CEO of Fast Retailing, the parent company of fashion brand Uniqlo, has defended the company’s decision to continue operating in Russia claiming “clothing is a necessity of life”.

In a statement first published by Nikkei and reported by Bloomberg, Tadashi Yanai said: “Clothing is a necessity of life. The people of Russia have the same right to live as we do.

“There should never be war. Everyone should oppose it. This time, all of Europe clearly opposes the war and has shown its support for Ukraine. Any attempt to divide the world will, on the contrary, strengthen unity.”

His comments come as the company continues to operate 49 Uniqlo stores in the region at a time when many retailers are suspending their activities.

Last week, in response to the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine, Fast Retailing announced a donation of $10m (£7.6m) to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support people forced to flee.

It said the donation will be used by UNHCR to provide such urgent assistance as shelter, psychosocial support and core relief items to affected populations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Fast Retailing added it was also donating 100,000 pieces of Uniqlo clothing and other items, including Heattech blankets, innerwear, and AIRism masks, as well as 100,000 items of winter clothing collected at Uniqlo stores in Japan through the company’s clothing recycling programme. In response to UNHCR’s needs, these items will be distributed to refugees in Poland and other countries.

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