Can Fast Fashion Be Sustainable? Uniqlo’s ‘Doraemon Sustainability Mode’ Collection Debunks Greenwashing Myths

Three Reasons Why UNIQLO's New 'Doraemon Sustainability Mode' Products Are Authentically Sustainable

Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection

The Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection is an integral part of Uniqlo’s sustainability efforts. The collection includes newly designed T-shirts and bags featuring Uniqlo’s Global Sustainability Ambassador, Doraemon, in his green ‘Sustainability Mode’ appearance. While Uniqlo is often classified as a fast fashion brand, similar to H&M and Cotton On, it is important to explore whether Uniqlo is engaging in greenwashing or genuinely striving for sustainability.

Understanding Greenwashing

It is not a new concept, but with increased environmental consciousness among customers and widespread discussion on social media platforms, it is becoming more popular. Greenwashing refers to the strategy employed by corporations to present themselves as environmentally friendly in order to enhance their public image. Companies may create a false impression of their sustainability efforts or provide misleading information about their products.

The Uniqlo Join: The Power Of Clothing’ Campaign

While Uniqlo’s actions may initially appear like greenwashing, their commitment to a more sustainable future is genuine. The Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection is an integral part of Uniqlo’s Join: The Power Of Clothing’ campaign, which operates in 23 countries. Its primary objective is to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of plastic waste on our oceans and ecosystems. From 5th June to 4th July, Uniqlo has collaborated with non-profit organisations to support activities aimed at reducing plastic waste. Customers can participate by purchasing eligible items from the Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection and the Mens and Kids Dry-Ex T-Shirts, which are partially made from recycled polyester.

Charitable Donations

Uniqlo has pledged to donate up to US$1 million to the Asian-Pacific Culture Centre (ACCU) for UNESCO to fund programmes that educate children about ocean pollution. Additionally, Uniqlo Singapore will contribute S$50,000 to the Garden City Fund, a registered charity established by the National Parks Board, to support the Plant-A-Coral and Seed-A-Reef programmes. 

Recycling Non-Biodegradable Materials

The newly designed Doraemon Sustainability Mode T-shirts and pocketable bags are crafted from 100% recycled polyester. It’s a significant step in the right direction, considering the majority of polyesters are non-biodegradable and can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to decompose. In addition, the sustainable Doraemon collection is available at affordable prices, with adult T-shirts priced at $19.90 and kids’ T-shirts priced at $14.90. The pocketable bag combines convenience with a spacious design and features a drawstring closure, priced at $19.90.

Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection
Doraemon Sustainability Mode collection

Raising Awareness and Educating about Plastic Waste

Uniqlo Singapore, in collaboration with the Garden City Fund, is organising an exclusive tour on St John’s Island for customers, as well as a Coral Lab workshop for employees, to deepen their understanding of how Singapore nurtures its coral reefs in the Southern Islands.

Furthermore, in April, Uniqlo Singapore also arranged a Kayak Clean-up event in the Kallang River during Earth Day to raise awareness about plastic waste in our waterways.

Uniqlo Malaysia and Uniqlo Indonesia are also actively engaging customers in inclusive activities as part of the ‘Join’ campaign. Uniqlo Malaysia aims to raise awareness about plastic litter in the water by cleaning up the historic Melaka River, while Uniqlo Indonesia plans to organise a beach clean-up and coral transplantation event at Bali’s Tulamben Beach.