Clothing giants have a new move: Uniqlo and Adidas at the same time eyeing this project…

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Japanese fast-fashion giant Uniqlo has launched a campaign in Japan to collect old HEATTECH or down jackets, that consumers do not want to wear for a fee.

Until November 30 this year, consumers who have HEATTECH T-shirts, down jackets, down undershirts, and other clothes they don’t want to wear can bring them to a store and “sell them back” to Uniqlo and receive an electronic coupon of up to 1,000 yen (about $8.50).

This event is part of UNIQLO’s previously launched RE.UNIQLO Recycled Used Clothes Program. Each HEATTECH product will receive a coupon of 200 yen, and down products (down jackets/vests) will receive a coupon of 1,000 yen. However, it is worth noting that the redemption limit for HEATTECH products is 1,000 yen.

The 200-yen coupon can be used for purchases of 201 yen and above, and the 1,000-yen coupon can be used for HEATTECH products of 10,001 yen and above, or down products of 5,001 yen and above.

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UNIQLO pointed out that the clothes that can be worn after recycling will be donated to refugee camps, non-profit organizations, UNHCR, etc., while the clothes that cannot be worn anymore will be recycled and made into new clothes.

Uniqlo said it launched the current round of the campaign to urge consumers to truly participate in environmental activities by not throwing away their clothes, and since mid-to-late October to November coincides with the usual clothing change season, “we hope to promote (the concept of) environmental protection to immerse consumers’ lives with winter necessities.”

UNIQLO also emphasized that there is a shortage of about 1 million children’s and baby clothes to support refugees, so it will strengthen recycling in the “children’s and baby clothes” category.

UNIQLO’s “predecessor” was the “All Products Recycling Campaign” launched by UNIQLO in 2006, which added “clothing donated to refugees” and “REUSE” to the campaign. The current RECYCLE system has been gradually built up by adding “clothing donations to refugees” and “REUSE”. In addition to being donated and recycled into new clothing, some of the clothing collected from consumers is also recycled into materials for other uses, such as soundproofing materials for automobiles and solid fuels.

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As the concept of environmental protection and sustainability becomes more and more important in the fashion industry, UNIQLO and its parent company Fast Retailing have been making more and more moves in this area, including participation in industry organizations, making sustainability commitments, launching products made of 100% recycled materials, sustainable materials, etc.

For more details, see.

UNIQLO: First down jacket made of 100% recycled materials

Uniqlo’s parent company, Xpress, is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the first time

Uniqlo launches sustainable sportswear line with eco-friendly fibers

Uniqlo’s parent company signs the Microfiber Pledge to minimize the impact of microfiber on the natural environment.

Note: Currently, 100 yen is about 5.6 yuan.

UNIQLO is reflecting its brand’s social responsibility by recycling old clothes such as T-shirts, down jackets, and down undershirts to reduce its impact on the earth, and it is no coincidence that Adidas is recycling used products for reuse or resale.

Adidas will recycle any brand of used goods

Adidas has announced the launch of its “Choose to Give Back” program, which aims to help extend the life cycle of sports and everyday wear apparel and footwear to continue its sustainable mission to end plastic waste, according to the textile fabric platform.

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Leveraging the Resale-as-a-Service technology platform and expertise of thredUP, the U.S. used apparel trading platform, the program will invite consumers to send any brand of used products back to Adidas for reuse or resale through Adidas’ Creator’s Club app.

“Choose to Give Back” was launched to members in the Adidas Creator’s Club app on October 7 and will be rolled out more widely online and in stores in early 2022.

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Consumers can generate a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label through the app and use it to send any brand or category of apparel and accessories, including previously used athletic gear (from running shoes to soccer shirts or other athletic apparel).

If an item is not eligible for resale, it will be sent to thredUP’s network of selected textile reuse partners for sale. In exchange, the consumer will receive a reward.

The fashion industry is one of the world’s largest polluters. It is estimated that 36 billion pieces of clothing are thrown away in the United States each year, 95% of which could be reused. The textile industry relies heavily on non-renewable resources, and this linear system creates a tremendous amount of waste and puts a strain on the world’s resources due to low utilization and low levels of recycling. By giving old clothes and shoes the opportunity to be reused or repurposed by new people, Adidas wants to create a circular product lifecycle.

We believe that great sports performance should not come at the expense of the environment,” explained Katja Schreiber, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Adidas. Helping people see new possibilities for giving new life to old gear through the Choose to Give Back program is why we are committed to building a circular future for sportswear.”

By providing leading brands and retailers with customizable solutions for mass resale, we can make high-quality clothing last longer and prevent fashion waste,” said Pooja Sethi, senior vice president, and general manager of thredUP’s Resale-as-a-Service division. “

“Choose to Give Back” is the latest in a long line of Adidas sustainability programs. Adidas’ other sustainability programs include a low-carbon shoe program with Internet footwear brand Allbirds, sustainable footwear brand Stan Smith Mylo and a line of Made to be Remade recyclable running shoes that have been launched.

Adidas is also committed to achieving carbon neutrality in all of its North American facilities, including retail stores, distribution centers, and employee offices, by 2025.

Sustainable fashion: material innovation companies are becoming potential stocks in the eyes of capital and consumer markets

According to McKinsey’s Global Fashion Landscape 2020 report, 45% of apparel companies surveyed want to integrate more innovative bio-based materials, and >67% of production and sourcing executives say using innovative sustainable materials is important to their companies. The majority of companies surveyed agreed that functional materials are also important for overall business growth. For example, outdoor brands like GORE-TEX and POLARTEC, and companies like Uniqlo have been deeply involved in functional materials for a long time. McKinsey also estimates in the report that the annual number of patent applications in the textile sector in terms of innovation will increase eight times from 2013 to 2019.

Over the past five years, 49 new material innovation companies have emerged in international markets, offering less resource-intensive, more affordable, and animal-friendly alternative material options to a wide range of brands and consumer markets. Both the many strategic initiatives in sustainability and the growing interest in and adoption of environmentally friendly alternative materials are no longer unfamiliar industry models in the fashion industry. But with capital market investment, more and more brands getting involved, and recognition from the consumer market, new alternative materials with sustainable fashion in mind will become an increasingly robust track and drive more innovative companies to change the fashion industry’s traditional values and development models.

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Materials innovation companies raise up to $599 million

So for brands, how do they use the “sustainability concept” to impress consumers in the post-epidemic era? How to practice sustainability with new thinking? How to understand the concept of sustainability in the context of the new era? How to promote social progress while assuming social responsibility? These are the real-life issues that they need to think about and solve urgently. Through these questions, brand companies can better understand consumers and help them better communicate with them, thus promoting the realization of sustainable development goals.

For consumers, apart from rational consumption, what other channels are available for them to practice responsible consumption and how to use their individual power to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. These questions are a testimony to the gradual deepening of the concept of sustainable development, and a reflection of its core and enriching content.

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17 Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations

Policy. According to data released by the UN’s Action Now campaign, “The fashion industry (apparel and footwear) accounts for more than 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 20 percent of global wastewater emissions each year. It takes about 7,500 liters of water to make just one pair of jeans, from cotton production to the final product on the market.” China has been promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in the apparel industry in recent years. In 2017, the China Textile Industry Federation released an online carbon emissions data filling system to assist textile companies in setting scientific carbon targets.

Will the new material be accepted by more consumers and brands in the future?

At present, the development of new materials is still subject to many uncertainties from the consumer side and the supply side.

Let’s look at the supply side first. The biggest demand of the footwear industry on the supply side is to make good products with lower cost, however, most of the new materials today are not low cost, and the material performance is not stable enough compared with the traditional cotton and hemp materials.

On the enterprise side, probably most enterprises on the new material cognition are not accurate and clear. In addition to some brands in the game, most companies are still waiting and hesitating.

This also involves the game, balance. The concept of sustainability that accompanies new materials is, to some extent, advocating consumers to be more low-carbon, more environmentally friendly, and buy fewer clothes, which is at odds with the high frequency and high repurchase pursued by consumers enterprises.

Standing in the consumer perspective, the acceptance of these concepts of sustainable and environmentally friendly consumption in the population is currently increasing. However, overall, in the mass consumer market, sustainable environmental protection does not yet have a high enough weight in the purchase decision. There are also many people who believe that new environmentally friendly materials are just a gimmick. It can be said that the popularity of new material products still needs market education for potential users.

Although there is uncertainty about the road to widespread use of new materials, their positive impact on the development of the footwear and apparel industry cannot be concealed. The more feasible and universal solution at present is not to make the new materials the backbone of apparel and footwear materials, but as the part that consumers NICE to have (would love to have). Because the advantages of these new materials in terms of windproofness, water-resistance, and comfort are hard to match with some traditional materials.

In addition, from the perspective of industry chain innovation, whether production or recycling, new materials are more efficient and environmentally friendly compared to traditional materials. The production cost of new materials still has a lot of room for compression and adjustment. If we stretch the timeline, we can realize more clearly that new materials are actually reducing the cost of production and consumption for enterprises and society.

There are already some more optimistic phenomena that show that more and more consumers are willing to pay for sustainable materials and functional materials. According to the 2019 study, more than 40% of the 5,002 consumers surveyed were willing to pay a 10% to 20% premium for sustainable textile and apparel products.

We have reason to believe that when the concepts and production methods related to new materials are more widely accepted by consumers, the technology of synthetic biology behind new materials will have the opportunity to change the whole value chain of new material production, and the lower the cost and higher the efficiency of new material production, the more widely it can be used in the market, forming a virtuous cycle.


Business Director at Shanghai Fumao Clothing Co.,LTD

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