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Fast Retailing has joined forces with Shima Seiki, a knitting machine production company, to impulse the development and manufacture of WHOLEGARMENT knitwear.

As announced by both companies Tuesday, Known as the Innovation Factory Co., Ltd, the joint venture of UNIQLO’s parent group Fast Retailing with Shima Seiki is aimed at establishing a new production system for the Japan-based fashion retailer utilising Shima's latest knit production technologies.

"Fast Retailing is launching a joint venture with Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd., a firm with world-leading knitting machine production technologies, with plans to produce high-quality, value-added WHOLEGARMENT knit products," Fast Retailing said in a statement. "In future, the joint venture company is expected to function as the lead factory in the production of innovative knit products for the Fast Retailing Group."

Innovation Factory was originally established in December 2015 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd., and producing WHOLEGARMENT knitwear.

Once the deal materialises, Shima will start producing garments for the Fast Retailing Group, principally the Uniqlo brand.