Fast Retailing Co, operator of the thriving Uniqlo clothing chain, said Wednesday it will go beyond just ensuring it broadens its standard recruiting to expand support for refugees in the world under a global partnership agreement with the U.N. refugee agency — the first Japanese company to conclude such a deal.
Under the agreement to be signed with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the company will accept refugees in Japan to participate in an internship program at Uniqlo stores and dispatch its employees on internship assignments to help the UNHCR’s mission.
The retailer, which has rapidly grown since the late 1990s by selling inexpensive clothes amid Japan’s difficult economy, will also expand the scope of its existing program launched in 2007 to donate used Uniqlo clothing brought to outlets by customers.
UNHCR has so far signed the kind of agreement with companies of other countries like Microsoft Corp.
Uniqlo has said that it is getting involved to encourage interest in refugees inside Japan as well as elsewhere in the world and has designed its employment strategies around that.
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