Japan’s most beloved cheap and cheerful fashion brands are taking another step to reduce damage to the planet.

Pressure is mounting for companies to take action against climate change, and Japan has always been at the forefront of these efforts. From developing an eco-friendly urban village inside of Tokyo to idols running plastic bottle donation drives, every level of Japanese society has people doing their part to heal the world — and fashion brand Uniqlo, as well as its sister store GU, is no different.

Uniqlo, known across the globe for colorful and stylish clothing staples and cheap price tags, already took eco-friendly measures in September 2019 by replacing their plastic bags with forest-certified paper ones. Now they plan to reduce their environmental impact even further by charging 10 yen (US$0.09) apiece, plus tax, for providing shopping bags with any given purchase.

From April 1, 2020, customers will have a strong incentive to bring a reusable bag from home whenever they’re shopping for bed sheets, underwear or anything else on sale. Customers who haven’t yet picked up a reusable bag of their own can rectify this by purchasing a Uniqlo-branded eco tote bag for just 190 yen plus tax.

▼ The bags have a plain design and come in medium and large sizes.

But both fashion stores don’t plan on stopping there. According to their website announcement, Uniqlo intends to minimize the amount of plastic packaging on their products as well, citing examples of changes made in 2019 such as cardboard tags for Airism brand products and the removal of plastic packaging for indoor slippers. In the coming year, Heat Tech and GU undershirts will also undergo packaging reworks.

Other companies such as Kit-Kat have started using paper packaging in Japan too,so it will be interesting to see if Uniqlo’s new stances will inspire other companies to follow suit. There’s sure to be a considerable, positive environmental impact just by inspiring people to bring their reusable totes out shopping!

Source, images: Uniqlo
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