TOKYO -- Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, Japan's biggest clothing retailer by sales, has disclosed all of its major suppliers for the first time in a move toward greater transparency that shows its rising presence in South and Southeast Asia.
The new list of core sewing factories contains the names and addresses of 242 workshops in 11 countries.
China still accounts for more than half of the total, at 128 locations, despite the company's efforts to reduce reliance on Chinese works as labor costs there rise.
Vietnam ranked second in importance for Fast Retailing's supply chain, with 44 factories, followed by Bangladesh with 24.
The company also uses garment workshops in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as six factories in India, where Uniqlo will open its first store later this year.
The group relies on just two sewing factories in Japan, which make socks and stockings.
"It's hard to do garment production in Japan," founder and President Tadashi Yanai has said, blaming the country's aging workforce and high factory wages.
Fast Retailing began disclosing suppliers for its Uniqlo and GU brands in 2017 in an effort to make its supply chain transparent and ensure proper work conditions. The latest list includes factories that produce for its other clothing lines, including PLST and Theory.