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Asics Becomes First Japanese Company to Join The Fashion Pact

Asics Corp. became the first Japanese company to join The Fashion Pact, it announced Monday.

Created in 2019 during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, The Fashion Pact is a global coalition of fashion and textile companies that have all committed to environmental goals in three areas: mitigating climate change, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans. In the year since its creation, the number of signatories has grown from the original 32 to more than 60. These companies cover multiple sectors across 14 countries and represent more than 200 brands.

Asics’ decision to sign on to The Fashion Pact comes just months after it joined another global environmental initiative, RE100. As a member company, Asics will aim to use only renewable electricity by 2050. Run by the Climate Group and CDP, the initiative counts 278 companies as its members, including other footwear companies like New Balance and Nike, as well as tech giants, car manufacturers and banks.

Last year, Asics committed to setting science-based emissions reduction targets to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Currently, ASICS aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent at business locations and by 55 percent per product along its supply chain by 2030. These goals, Asics said, are measured against a 2015 baseline, with new reduction targets slated for introduction next year.

In terms of restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans, Asics has committed to sourcing 100 percent sustainable cotton for its apparel and accessories by 2025. By the end of the year, the company plans to transition from plastic to paper as the main material used for its shopping bags at all directly managed stores. Where plastic is necessary, it will switch to eco-friendly substitutes, it said.

“Since our founding in 1949, our purpose has been to help people achieve a sound mind in a sound body,” Yasuhito Hirota, president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “In order for people to achieve that, we need a sustainable Earth. To further expand our collective action on climate change, biodiversity and ocean ecology, we would like to be part of The Fashion Pact to drive transformation in our industry through collaboration.”

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Asics is also a signatory of the United Nations-spearheaded Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Collection. This November, it was listed as a component company of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia/Pacific Index for the sixth time.

In May, Asics Corp. announced that its investment subsidiary, Asics Ventures, had invested in Seevix Material Sciences, a company that produces man-made spider silk. Dubbed SVX, the material possesses natural spider silk’s superior strength, elasticity and durability, while also being sustainable and biodegradable.