UNIQLO Launches ‘Clothes for Smiles’ Project

November 17, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. fund (n.) 
[fuhnd] – money that is reserved for a specific purpose
Example The government is raising funds to send more children to school.

2. mean (n.) [meen] – a way or method to do something
Example: Charity is one of the means to help people in need.

3. make a better tomorrow (idiom) [meyk][a][bet-er][tuh-mawr-oh, -mor-oh] – to do something in the present to make the future better
Example: Children should study hard to make a better tomorrow.

4. ongoing (adj.) [on-goh-ing, awn-] – continuing or has not stopped
Example: The ongoing project still needs to be completed.

5. ambassador (n.) [am-bas-uh-der, -dawr] – somebody who is an official representative or messenger of an organization, country or group
Example The Japanese ambassador talked about his country during the international conference.

Read the text below.

With the cooperation of professional tennis player Novak Djokovic, clothing brand UNIQLO recently launched a $10-million fund called “Clothes for Smiles.” The project aims to make children smile around the world by giving them the means to achieve their dreams.

The “Clothes for Smiles” project consists of two programs. The first gathers ideas from people in different countries on how to make a better tomorrow for children. The best idea will later be chosen and made into reality.

In the second program, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) will work together with Fast Retailing, the company that owns UNIQLO, to provide assistance to educational projects.

Both programs will use $5 million from the fund. The money for the fund will come from a percentage of sales of HEATTECH and Ultra Light Down clothes, which will be sold during fall and winter 2012.

“Clothes for Smiles” will first support education programs in Bangladesh, China, the Philippines and Serbia, but more countries will be included as the fund grows.

Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing Tadashi Yanai commented that he is happy to start UNIQLO’s first fund with tennis champion Djokovic. “Clothes for Smiles” is one of the company’s ongoing social responsibility projects.

Djokovic, UNIQLO’s Global Brand Ambassador as well as UNICEF’s ambassador to Serbia, said that he is honored to be a part of the new project, which he believes will help children everywhere. He hopes that many people will take part in the programs.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How does ‘Clothes for Smiles benefit the brand image of Uniqlo?’
·         Do you think customers will want to buy more products if doing so helps give to charity or to a good cause? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Have you heard about other companies doing charity work or starting projects that help people? What did they do?
·         Do you think companies should give importance to helping charities or other social projects (e.g., environmental or educational projects)? Why or why not?


November 17, 2012