Uniqlo to set up children’s fund

Kyodo

Casual clothing chain operator Uniqlo Co. will establish a $10 million fund to help improve the lives of children around the world.

Uniqlo said it will raise funds for the “Clothes for Smiles” project through sales of its Heattech innerwear and Ultra Light Down jackets, popular items in its lineup, this fall and winter.

Half of the money will be used for projects aimed at helping children around the world that will be launched after ideas are solicited online in 13 languages through the end of December, according to Uniqlo.

The final selection of projects will be made by a panel composed of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, architect Tadao Ando, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic and Tadashi Yanai, chairman of Fast Retailing Co., Uniqlo’s parent company, with projects planned to commence around March, Uniqlo said.

The remaining $5 million will be used for UNICEF programs aimed at improving child education, initially in Bangladesh, China, the Philippines and Serbia, under a five-year alliance between UNICEF and Fast Retailing.