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Chikuma: The uniform specialists committed to society and sustainability

Article - December 18, 2023

A Japanese company that sells uniforms on the domestic and international markets, Chikuma looks to take care of the planet and give something back to society.

“We aim to showcase our recycling capabilities to position ourselves as a sustainable and environmentally responsible company.”

Wataru Horimatsu, President, Chikuma & Co., Ltd.

A specialist B2B supplier of uniforms, Chikuma is a socially and environmentally conscious Japanese firm whose products are in demand.

“Japan has witnessed an influx of tourists following the pandemic, leading to more orders for company uniforms from clients such as airlines, hotels and restaurants,” says Chikuma’s president, Wataru Horimatsu.

Chikuma’s school uniforms are selling well, too. “Despite a 2% decrease in Japan’s student population, we achieved a 4% increase in revenue last year,” Mr. Horimatsu reveals. “We’re now targeting elementary school students: only 10% of them wear uniforms, so there’s huge untapped potential.”

As well as being popular in Japan, Chikuma’s top-quality uniforms – which can even be equipped with in-built fans – could be exported worldwide.

A company that also sells fabrics to domestic and international clothing manufacturers, Chikuma is dedicated to minimizing waste, having established an environmental-protection office in 1995.

“We've set up a recycling loop to collect and recycle the items we produce, transforming them into new products,” Mr. Horimatsu says. “At our recycling facilities in Shizuoka, we convert clothing into automobile interior materials.”

A commitment to sustainable fashion was also among Chikuma’s motivations for creating Fukuiku, a social-outreach program that encourages people about the significance of clothing in daily life.

“We emphasize that clothing is effective for communication and social participation that leads to health, safety, and environmental sustainability,” Mr. Horimatsu explains.