Uniqlo donates innerwear to keep healthcare workers cool

Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia CEO Yuki Yamada said wearing the Airism innerwear under protective gear can alleviate stuffiness. ST FILE PHOTO
Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia CEO Yuki Yamada said wearing the Airism innerwear under protective gear can alleviate stuffiness. ST FILE PHOTO

Japanese clothing company Uniqlo is donating 10,000 pieces of its Airism innerwear to help keep healthcare workers cool while they work in protective gear.

The fashion retailer announced on June 3 that it will be making the donation to three healthcare clusters this month - SingHealth, National Healthcare Group (NHG) and National University Health System.

Uniqlo Singapore had also worked with the Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU) to donate more than 2,300 pieces of Airism innerwear to front-line workers in April. The clothing line uses a fabric weave that wicks moisture and releases heat.

HSEU general secretary Simon Ong said: "We decided to reach out to Uniqlo in March for this partnership, as we learnt that the healthcare staff working in the polyclinic red zones have to work long hours in a non-air-conditioned environment while, at the same time, having to be dressed in full protective equipment."

Mr Yuki Yamada, chief executive of Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia, said wearing the innerwear under protective clothing can help alleviate stuffiness.

He said: "Our business exists to make our society a better place through clothes. The global pandemic means that countries and companies like ours must work together to identify and act on ways to best serve society."

Uniqlo also gave 4,700 clothing items, including T-shirts and shorts, to foreign workers who had tested positive for Covid-19.

These included workers who were treated at locations including Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the community care facility at the Singapore Expo in April and May.

Mr Yamada said: "As they were admitted without much of their belongings, they were given a set of clothes. This enabled them to have a fresh set of clothing when they were discharged."

The donations follow an announcement in March from Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company, to distribute 10 million masks to high-priority medical facilities around the world where there is an urgent need for protective wear.

From this quantity, 100,000 masks have been provided to medical facilities in Singapore under the NHG last month.


Correction note: This article has been edited for accuracy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2020, with the headline Uniqlo donates innerwear to keep healthcare workers cool. Subscribe