Fashion retail brand Uniqlo has enlisted leaders across fashion, design, art, literature, science and sport to design UT T-shirts, with 100 percent of profits going to humanitarian charities including the United Nations Refugees Agency UNHCR, Save the Children and Plan International.
Entitled ‘Peace for All’ this is a new global charity project from Uniqlo that is described as “ongoing,” rather than a one-off collaboration it will be an evolving collection. The first five T-shirts are being launched today, June 17, and have been designed by Uniqlo collaborators fashion designer Ines de la Fressange and Samurai creative director Kashiwa Sato, alongside architect Tadao Ando, novelist Haruki Murakami and scientist Dr. Shinya Yamanaka.
Each of the participants volunteered their time to the project, added Uniqlo, and all have designed a T-shirt that embodies their individual call for peace. Sato used the words ‘Peace for All’ in his design by repeating the words over and over in a bold typeface, while model and designer de la Fressange opted to use the words alongside a drawing of a dove, and Ando created a design centred around the phrase ‘The Earth is One’.
Murakami wanted to highlight how conflicts also affect pets as well with the slogan ‘save humans, save cats,’ alongside a sketch of a cat’s face, while scientist Yamanaka, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012, showcased his call for peace with the message ‘Technologies progress. Humanity must progress. Science progresses,’ with what looks to be a DNA structure.
Uniqlo launches “purposeful” charity campaign ‘Peace for All’
Fast Retailing’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tadashi Yanai, said in a statement: “In May this year, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced that the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide now exceeds 100 million. For people who have been forced to flee their homes, support such as clothing, water, food, medicine and a safe place to sleep, are vital. Over the years, we have engaged in a number of initiatives to assist those forcibly displaced, thanks to the support and cooperation of our customers.
“Uniqlo ‘LifeWear’ is everyday clothes for daily lifestyles. Peace for All is a new LifeWear initiative aimed at aiding those affected by conflict and war and helping to spread the message of peace all over the world. T-shirts have the power to convey a message. Even if you find it difficult to express your own voice, you can participate easily by wearing one of our UTs. The world needs peace now more than ever, and I hope that with Peace for All, this message can be even stronger.”
Uniqlo to sell T-shirts to raise funds for UNHCR, Save the Children and Plan International
The ‘Peace for All’ T-shirts are priced 14.90 pounds each, and Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing will donate all profits from the sales, explaining that no less than 20 percent of the sales price of each shirt will be donated to UNHCR, Save the Children and Plan International. The three organisations were chosen as they provide humanitarian aid to those affected by poverty, discrimination, violence, conflict and natural disasters.
To launch the initiative, Uniqlo held a press conference, simultaneously in its London showroom and in New York, to share the work of the three organisations that will benefit from the sales of the T-shirts, as well as showcase the first five designs.
From New York, Fast Retailing's president of global creative, John C. Jay, said that the initiative was the retailer’s first project that would “engage customers globally" for the first time to help people who are facing natural disasters, poverty and discrimination.
Jay added: “This has been a highly creative process for us, deeply emotional and deeply important to us, as we look to make an impact in the world. This is ongoing - this isn’t a capsule collection - this is an ongoing commitment and about ongoing creativity as more creator’s take part.
“This is about using our strengthens as we open in new cities and markets around the world to make a difference.”
Other collaborators who will be designing their own ‘Peace for All’ charity T-shirt include fashion designers Jonathan Anderson, Christophe Lemaire and Hana Tajima, alongside athletes Ayumu Hirano, Kei Nishikori, Gordon Reid, Adam Scott and Shingo Kunieda, as well as Rei Inamoto and Kosuke Kawamura.
With Jay explaining that “more collaborators will be added in the future”.
The first five designs of the UT T-shirts are available worldwide at Uniqlo stores and online from June 17 in sizes XS to 4XL.