Japanese lifestyle and clothing brand Muji is to develop an eco-friendly dyeing plant in Cambodia, where it will also plant indigo as a future source of dark blue dye.

The move is part of its commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) that aims to support business efforts to fight poverty.

Muji, which has nearly 600 stores across Japan, Asia, Europe and the US, plans to source its products locally and increase the number of local producers it uses.

The retailer has been promoting eco-friendly dyeing with various natural materials since 2012.

It expects the 2,000 square metre eco-friendly dyeing and sewing plant in Cambodia to employ over 300 local people by 2015. Indigo planted around the facility will be used as a future source of dark blue dye.

Muji is also working with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to source wool felt products from Kyrgyzstan, and plans to increase production here by 8% by 2015.

Operated by Ryohin Keikaku Co Ltd, Muji has also committed to buying organic cotton from suppliers who engage in sustainable sourcing practice including small scale farmers from Tanzania, Egypt and India.