Uniqlo Australia
Apparel
First Australian store opened in Melbourne in April 2014, and as of August 2022 has 26 stores across Australia.

Overall

Owned JPN
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Uniqlo Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
Uniqlo Co Ltd
owns 100% of Uniqlo Australia Pty Ltd
JPN
Clothing retailer
Founded in Japan in 1984 by Tadashi Yanai, Japan's richest man. One of the largest apparel retailers in the world, with 853 stores in Japan and 446 in Asia, UK and USA. Uniqlo controls the whole process of planning, manufacture, distribution and sales. Opened its first Australian store in April 2014.
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
owns 100% of Uniqlo Co Ltd
JPN
Retail holding company
Established in 1963. Opened it's first Uniqlo store in 1984. Owns Uniqlo plus several other brands. Operates over 2400 stores worldwide.

Company Assessment

Uniqlo Australia Pty Ltd
Information
Human Rights Law Centre's 2022 report, "Broken Promises: Two years of corporate reporting under Australia's Modern Slavery Act", examines statements submitted to the Government's Modern Slavery Register by 92 companies sourcing from four sectors with known risks of modern slavery: garments from China, rubber gloves from Malaysia, seafood from Thailand and fresh produce from Australia. Modern slavery statements are analysed to see if they comply with the mandatory reporting requirements, identify or disclose obvious modern slavery risks, and demonstrate effective actions to address risks. This company's modern slavery disclosure statement received a rating in the 41-60% range. The average score was 44% and the highest score was 89%.
Uniqlo Co Ltd
Praise
In 2020 Baptist World Aid Australia released The COVID Fashion Report, a special edition of their Ethical Fashion Report. The report is framed around six COVID Fashion Commitments that ask companies to demonstrate the steps and measures they are taking to protect and support the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains. This company showed evidence of actions that cover ALL areas of the COVID Fashion Commitments.
The 2023 Fashion Transparency Index reviewed 250 of the world's largest fashion brands and retailers and ranked them according to how much they disclose about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Brands owned by this company scored 50%, signifying that it is making significant efforts in the given areas, and has made some or most of this information publicly available. The average score was 26% and the highest score was 83%.
Criticism
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including brands owned by this company. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's 2020 report estimates (somewhat conservatively) that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.
Source: ASPI (2020)
According to Oxfam's 2019 report, "Made in Poverty - The True Cost of Fashion", this company sources from Bangladesh and Vietnam. Some of the many disturbing findings of the research in Bangladesh were that 100 per cent of workers interviewed were not paid a living wage, nine out of ten could not afford enough food for themselves and their families until their next monthly pay and seven out of 10 could not pay for medical treatment when they were sick or injured. In Vietnam, 99 per cent were not paid a living wage and seven out of 10 women interviewed felt their pay was not enough to meet their needs.
Information
Uniqlo is cited as an example of ruthless employers exploiting 'disposable' workers, an example of so-called 'black corporations' which hire large numbers of new graduates, making them accept long hours of work which leads to high turnover rates because of mental and emotional stress.
In this 2015 report by SACOM investigates the working conditions of UNIQLO's suppliers in China. Key findings include: long working hours and low wages, unsafe working environment, harsh management style and punishment system, and unrepresented workers. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
This company has taken angora items off the shelves and promised not to use angora again, following a PETA campaign launched in Dec 2013 which revealed the cruelty inflicted on angora rabbits in Chinese factory farms, where 90% of the world's angora is produced.
Source: PETA (2018)
Brands owned by this company are listed in Human Society International Australia's Better Wool Guide as having a commitment to phasing out mulesed wool but with no timeline or certification scheme specified. Mulesing is the controversial practice of removing strips of the skin of a lamb's rear and is often done without pain relief. In Australia, the only country where mulesing still occurs, an estimated 10 million merino lambs are subjected to mulesing each year - equivalent to 19 lambs per minute.
This company has sustainability claims on its website.
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 45.34/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
Baptist World Aid Australia's '2022 Ethical Fashion Report' assessed 120 companies on their efforts to mitigate against the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Assessment criteria fall into five main categories: policy & governance, tracing & risk, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental sustainability. This company received a score of 43/100.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
Praise
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of A.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of A-.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
This company is a signatory to the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile & Garment Industry. The International Accord was established in 2021 as the successor to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which was established in 2013 in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,000 workers and seriously injured thousands more. Company signatories to the International Accord commit to: Disclosing all factories producing for them in countries with International Accord programs; Ensuring all listed factories participate in the inspection, remediation, and safety training programs; Supporting factories to ensure remediation is financially feasible; Contributing to the operational costs of International Accord programs.
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 65 apparel and footwear companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 49/100. The average score was 21/100 and the highest score was 63/100.
The 2023 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 55 companies in the apparel sector on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 41.3%. The overall average score was a disappointing 18.2% and the highest score was 53.4%.
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #9/112, with a total score of 41.5%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
The 2024 Social Benchmark assesses the world's 2,000 most influential companies on their responsibility in meeting society's fundamental expectations towards three measurement areas: respecting human rights, providing decent work, and acting ethically. This company was assessed in 2022 and received a score of 12.5/20. The average score was an alarmingly low 4.6/20 and the highest score was 15.5/20.
The 2022 Nature Benchmark ranks 400 companies across eight industries on their efforts to protect our environment and its biodiversity. The companies were assessed using three measurement areas: governance and strategy; social inclusion and community impact; and ecosystems and biodiversity. This company ranked #9/400, with a total score of 39.4/100.
Criticism
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 15.8%.
The Clean Clothes Campaign report, Tailored Wages 2019 analyses responses from 32 top clothing brands about their progress in implementing a living wage for the workers who produce their clothes. This company received the lowest possible grade in the report, meaning they produced no evidence that any worker making their clothes was paid a living wage anywhere in the world.
This company is still sourcing garments from Myanmar, where there has been a significant increase in labour and human rights abuses of garment workers across the country since the military takeover in Feb 2021. Wage theft, inhumane work rates and mandatory overtime, and attacks on freedom of association are the most frequently recorded types of abuse.
Information
This company received a score of 22.1/100 in the Newsweek Green Rankings 2016, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
Greenpeace launched its "Detox My Fashion" campaign in 2011 to expose the direct links between global clothing brands, their suppliers and toxic water pollution around the world. As a result, many companies, including this one, committed to Greenpeace's Detox Program. The 2016 Detox Catwalk report focused on implementation, assessing the steps taken by fashion brands to fulfil their commitments using three criteria: Detox 2020 plan, PFC elimination and Transparency. This company is "committed to Detox and has made progress implementing its plans, but its actions need to evolve faster to achieve the 2020 Detox goal".
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company signed the Uzbek Cotton Pledge with the Responsible Sourcing Network, signifying a public commitment to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of their products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced labor in its cotton sector. However the Pledge was lifted in March 2022 after the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights, who monitored the annual cotton harvest since 2010, found no state-imposed forced labor in the 2021 harvest.
When joining the Fair Labor Association (FLA) this company committed to promoting and complying with international labor standards throughout their supply chain. The FLA does not accredit the company itself; rather, they accredit the company's labor compliance program. Being granted accreditation implies that their workplace standards program is substantially in compliance with the FLA Code.
This company is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in March 2011 by a group of global apparel and footwear companies and non-profit organizations (representing nearly one third of the global market share for apparel and footwear). The Coalition's goals are to reduce the apparel industry's environmental and social impact, and to develop a universal index to measure environmental and social performance of apparel products.
This company has Corporate Social Responsibility claims on its website.
This company is a member of the CanopyStyle initiative, which came about when research found that millions of trees are used every year to produce dissolving pulp, a key ingredient for fabrics such as rayon/viscose. The campaign seeks to phase out the use of endangered forest fibre in fabric.
This company is a member of the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that works closely with its members to drive textile industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks. They identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry's impact on the world's water, soil and air, and the human population.
This company is a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, whose stated mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
This company is a partner of Better Work, an initiative of the UN's International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation which brings diverse groups together - governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers - to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.
This company is a signatory to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, a United Nations initiative which contains the vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
This company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, a voluntary program which encourages the adoption of better management practices in cotton cultivation to achieve measurable reductions in key environmental impacts, while improving social and economic benefits for cotton farmers, small and large, worldwide.
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
The 2020 Sustainable Cotton Ranking, published by WWF, Solidaridad and the Pesticide Action Network UK analysed the 77 largest cotton users among international apparel brands and retailers, reviewing their policies, actual uptake of more sustainable cotton and transparency in their supply chains. According to the report, this company is "starting the journey" with a score of 16.6%. The average score was 18.2% and the highest score was 79.2%.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
The Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge (Transparency Pledge) helps demonstrate apparel and footwear companies' commitment towards greater transparency in their manufacturing supply chain. Transparency of a company's manufacturing supply chain better enables a company to collaborate with civil society in identifying, assessing, and avoiding actual or potential adverse human rights impacts. This is a critical step that strengthens a company's human rights due diligence. This company has published limited supplier factory information, and falls well short of the Pledge standard.
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 58/100 in the Retailing category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 23 Sep 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary
Founded:
2014

Contact Details

Address:
L4, 50 Market St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Website:
www.uniqlo.com/au/

Products / Brands

Uniqlo Australia