Japan’s Uniqlo Joins Grameen Bank to Help Poor in Bangladesh

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Japan’s casual clothing brand Uniqlo and Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus said Tuesday they would create a textiles company in Bangladesh to help poor women gain financial independence.

Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, plans to invest some 100,000 dollars to set up Grameen Uniqlo Ltd in October.

The new company will source materials and make garments in Bangladesh — including women’s underwear, school uniforms and blankets.

It plans to hire up to 2,000 local people within three years, drawn mainly from the eight million borrowers of Yunus’ “microcredit” Grameen Bank, and train them to become financially independent by selling clothes.

Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his Grameen Bank, which gives tiny loans to help the very poor start businesses. Of its borrowers, 97 percent are female.

Source: AFP (link opens in a new window)