All to Support Each One of Us to Be a Proactive Person to Get Involved with the Local Community

PROJECT2021.09.01

  • #Act proactively and with accountability.
  • #Focus on the local community and the world.
  • #Headquarters Creators
  • #Inspiring
  • #Progressive
  • #Project Stories
  • #Understand and engage with others to create new values.

We interviewed Kanai, who belongs to the Corporate Communication Department and promotes public relations and sustainability in the entire JINS, about the sustainability JINS promoted. We asked Kanai about what sustainability in local communities is all about, and how we should think about it and what we should start for it based on his personal experiences.

To become a proactive person
who has interests in challenges around us and takes action

Kanai
Corporate Communication Department,
Future Value Creation Division, (JINS JP)

As for my work to promote sustainability, there are two things largely divided. One is to gather all initiatives for sustainability promoted by the various departments at HQ, and support those to turn into reality. The other one is to craft a beloved brand and stores by people via cooperating with all JINS stores nationwide and enlarging our contributing action to the local communities and society, and this was newly kicked off.

Whenever the term of local or social challenges is used, people tend to take these as a difficult thing because of those exaggerated sounds, such as “The economic action toward declining areas is etc....” On the other hand, if people think “somehow we have to do something,” they try to do the things that could be done right away.
However, what I want to promote the most is that each of the JINS employees has interests in challenges around us and becomes a “proactive person” to take action against those. Therefore, I’m working with my passion on aiming to become that proactive person, including me.

For example, speaking of “eyewear” which we are producing, there are many people and things have involved in that single word. That single word implies our customers, their families, people handling manufacturing and logistics, our stores and surrounding communities, local environments, and global environment. In thinking about it, the number of relevant people and things is enormous, and challenges in these regardless of its size and category variably exist.
Through my job, I want to make our store creators focus on what customers and their families struggle with and what happens around your store or the facility where your store locates little by little based on your own work and life, while supporting each one of our creators to get involved with people in front of them proactively, and together with it, I would like to realize this action as one of our movements.
By keeping on forwarding such movement, I believe the sustainability vision raised by JINS will be formed, that is “Change the future landscape by eyewear.”

“Do you need some help?”
The very first step of local contribution is a dialog with the people around

A trigger which made me focus on local challenges is when I was a student, I attended an event named “Local Revitalization Plan Contest” held in Sabae city, Fukui Pref. I was very stimulated by the participants who were eager to make their local communities better and tackled challenges around them. Since I’ve become a working adult up until now, I’ve kept on doing the things that I can do while cooperating with various local communities via my activities of joining a community-reactivating cooperator squad in Nagano Pref., where my hometown is, and promoting local municipalities nationwide through my job.

What I realized during such activities was the reality that although there are a lot of challenges dispersed in local communities, people don’t see those as challenges or just remain abandoned due to lack of manpower. Yet, the blood flowing of a local community improved so much once I helped to solve a challenge after a bit of my consideration; consequently, people got to appreciate me. The charms of proactive local contribution activities I see is an improvement of local challenges even if not sufficient in which I’ve been involved and the smiles brought by the people there, which I feel quite rewarding.
The first step in finding out about local challenges is to have an interest in the community. In addition to that, a dialog between the people in the community and around is essential.

For example, when you provide a service to a customer who has a child, you might have a chance to hear a complaint related to raising a child in that community. At that moment, I would like you to listen to that complaint one step deeper in thinking that as your own complaint. If your store locates inside a shopping mall, it could be good to share recent trouble with a sense of small talk to a contact person of the shopping mall or store staff next to your store. I bet there should be a hint to find a challenge.
My advice is when you find a challenge, do not try to solve it only by yourself. There are no magic ways to solve challenges in just a second. It will take time to head for a solution while getting many people involved or getting proponents. Therefore, when you find something which JINS should take action as a company, please try to discuss with area directors and the people at HQ to verify the resources and the assets held by our HQ. By that, I presume you will find the right path to enlarge the range of the solution to the extent possible.

Each one of the store creators has a potential
to move the feelings of the locals

My experiences told, you may meet some people who are not supportive of your action to improve the community there, even though you are trying to make desperate efforts to let more people get involved in it. However, you should rather think like “people who are indifferent and always bystanders are so out of fashion.” Honestly speaking, when it comes to initiatives for sustainability, it might not be able to bring us our future double sales no matter how we tried. Having that said, you will get nothing as long as you are indifferent.

Needless to say, there are also tons of daunting things and minor work in my local contribution activities in which I am privately involved. This is, however, what I want to do, so I’ve kept on doing it, never been told by someone or forced to do so. This can be said it could apply to my job as well, I can rather be more enthusiastic and craft ideas under my state of being, “I’ll do what I want to do.” Furthermore, the way of community involvement is different from my normal work, so I could feel the happiness a bit different from normal ones, such as the way of the locals to show gratitude, and that’s one of my pleasures.

In that sense, I think the three attitudes “Progressive, Inspiring, and Honest” which JINS raises should be focused on in our daily lives to be able to be myself who can do whatever I want, unlike focusing on those just because of the company’s evaluation items.
Sustainability, particularly local contribution, requires a human connection. That’s why this “Attitude” will be spotlighted. Once people noticed that there is a store called JINS where everyone tries to embody this “Attitude” all for the local community, the locals will love the brand, JINS. As far as you communicate with the locals with this “Attitude” as one of the individuals, even if you meet someone who belongs to the community and doesn't know much about JINS somewhere apart from JINS, he or she might have a positive feeling toward JINS, like “that brand could be trustworthy because that person is involved, I want to support.” The event that led to the brand-building is sometimes like this, in fact.

Store creators have many opportunities to touch with local customers astonishingly, so each one of them has the potential to move the locals’ feelings greatly through activities for local contribution. Thus, I want you to have an interest in people close to you and your community and embody what you want to do while obtaining more and more supports from the people around you, including me. By doing so, our JINS brand will be accelerated its growth for sure if all the people who have been involved with someone among roughly around 4000 employees of JINS have positive feelings toward JINS.

※The contents of this article are the information on services and initiatives provided in Japan.

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