We should all do what we can to help the people of Japan.
Tokyo—As the death toll mounts and radiation worries increase in Northern Japan today, fashion industry and retailers are joining in efforts to help victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the island nation on March 11.
One of Japan’s leading retail companies, Fast Retailing, which operates Uniqlo, has donated more than 400 million yen (about $4.9 million) to finance relief efforts to aid groups such as the Japanese Red Cross. Tadashi Yanai, founder and president, donated 1 billion yen (about $12.2 million) of his own fortune toward relief efforts, according to the Nikkei stock exchange. And employees of the company will contribute another 100 million yen.
Designers Tweet for Relief Aid
Uniqlo will also distribute coats, jeans, towels and 300,000 pairs of its Heattech thermal underwear to victims, representing an additional $8.6 million of aid.
In New York, Bergdorf Goodman has transformed its Facebook page into a disaster relief portal, allowing fans to donate to causes including the American Red Cross, Shelter Box and Doctors without Borders. Donations can even be made directly through visitors’ iTunes accounts.
Flash sale website, Gilt Groupe has teamed up with Global Giving to accept donations for organizations providing medical care and other aid to victims. The Gap Foundation made also donation of $200,000 to Global Giving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, supporting the on-the-ground work of International Medical Corps and Save the Children.
Many designers, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, Prabal Gurung, have been urging followers on Twitter and Facebook to help out and donate to relief efforts.
Lady Gaga, who counts Japanese fans among her most devoted, joined the fray, too. The songstress designed a white rubber wristband that retails on her website for $5. "Little Monsters, show your support for Japan with this 'We Pray for Japan' wristband!" Gags wrote on her website. "Choose your price to add an additional donation with your wristband. All proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts." According to the Mainichi Daily News on Tuesday, Gaga’s efforts already raised $250,000 in the first 48 hours.

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