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Fast Retailing Revises PFC Elimination Goals

Uniqlo Soho New York flagship store

Fast Retailing is prolonging its chemical reduction plans.

The owner of Japanese retail giant Uniqlo is setting back its PFC elimination goals, as a result of challenges with maintaining repellency, physical properties crucial for product lifespans and item alternatives. Because of these obstacles, Fast Retailing was not able to meet its original compliance deadline for this year.

“Although we are pursuing alternative substances and technologies for the water and dirt repellency of our fabrics, it continues to be challenging for us to maintain the same level of repellency while not sacrificing the physical properties that are vital to prolonging a product’s lifespan and to identify alternatives for certain items or parts of our products by July 2016,” a Fast Retailing statement said.

Although Fast Retailing didn’t meet its original PFC elimination date, it has made some progress in the compliance department.

In 2013, the company pledged to Greenpeace that it would develop safer alternative substances and solutions with suppliers to meet the original PFC elimination mark of July 2016. As of May, Fast Retailing had reduced the amount of its PFC-containing products to 2 percent, which is still a significant amount compared to previous years. These PFC-free products include coats, jackets and parkas, which were tested for water repellency, oil repellency, product texture, leak protection and stability on progress. The company said it is still looking for more sustainable alternatives for oil repellency and product texture to fulfill its PFC elimination plans.

The company has also established other compliance initiatives, including Uniqlo Global Quality and Safety Standards, an environmental Code of Conduct and the Environmental Guidelines for Fabric Production.

Transparency is also a crucial mission of Fast Retailing. The company disclosed its restricted substances list, its hazardous chemicals screening methodology details and its APEO (alkylphenol ethoxylates) investigation results, to open communication among industry stakeholders and consumers about chemical management.

The company set a new PFC elimination goal of removing all hazardous chemicals from its 2017 fall and winter collections and future apparel lines.

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