Fast Retailing has committed to eliminating its use of ancient and endangered forests as well as advancing conservation solutions in places such as Québec, Canada’s, Broadback Forest

Fast Retailing has committed to eliminating its use of ancient and endangered forests as well as advancing conservation solutions in places such as Québec, Canada’s, Broadback Forest

Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, has become the latest company to sign up to Canopy's policy that commits brands to stop sourcing the raw material for their viscose and rayon textiles from ancient and endangered forests.

The Japanese retailing giant has committed to eliminating its use of ancient and endangered forests as well as advancing conservation solutions in places such as Québec, Canada's, Broadback Forest.

Fast Retailing is the world's third-largest apparel retail company. Its largest brand Uniqlo has more than 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide including Japan, South East Asia and Oceania, East Asia, Europe (including the UK and Russia), and North America. Recently, Uniqlo has grown rapidly outside its native Japan, and is especially strong in the Asia region.

"Fast Retailing has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. Forest conservation is key to climate stability, which is why we have made it a priority to join CanopyStyle," says Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing group senior vice president, and head of sustainability. "We look forward to collaborating with Canopy, our supply chain partners and the entire apparel industry to drive innovation through the viscose supply chain."

Canopy is an environmental not-for-profit working to protect ancient and endangered forests by transforming the impacts of the paper and fabric supply chains. Four years ago it launched the CanopyStyle initiative, which now has over 150 international clothing brands and fashion designers, including H&M, Zara/Inditex, Stella McCartney and VF Corp, committed to end their use of ancient and endangered forests.

The organisation recently released ambitious new targets for 2020. In addition to ensuring no endangered forests are logged to produce viscose and rayon, there is a strong focus on catalysing the production of innovative fabrics such as those made with recycled and flax fibres. These next generation solutions carry lower environmental footprints and will significantly alleviate the stress off our forests and climate as they make their way into the supply chain, says Canopy.

"The addition of an ambitious and growing retail powerhouse like Fast Retailing will take this work to transform the viscose supply chain to the next level," says Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy. "In this past year, we have seen a galvanisation of brands from Europe, North America, and now Asia step forward to tackle the critical issue of forest conservation and bring audaciously sustainable solutions to the marketplace and fashion lovers."