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Cashmere World: Renaissance of Cashmere
Oct '11
The 2011 edition of Cashmere World was unveiled at the China National Convention Center in Beijing.

Staged over three days, from 24-26 October 2011, Cashmere World was organised jointly by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) and leading international trade fair organiser, UBM. The three-day event attracted a sizeable increase in the number of visitors from some 30 countries compared to the number who attended the fair in 2010.

China holds a central position in the cashmere industry both as a producer and consumer. Cashmere World's exhibitors reflect this importance by presenting the whole breadth of the industry, from the production of raw material and its transformation to its retail; and from large, established companies like Erdos and Viction to newborn venture Myak, which revealed its first baby Yak fibre collection at the fair.

Finding alternatives to cashmere and finding new sources of production without compromising the quality of the end product is one of the challenges faced by the cashmere industry and one that Cashmere World addressed through a number of conferences and seminars. During the first two days of the fair, participants of the Sino-Italian exchange seminar discussed the issues of quality and sustainability of cashmere and shared ideas and solutions.

Opening the first day's session, Italian Trade Commissioner from Beijing, Dr. Antonino Laspina, emphasised on the role Italy can play in the 'Renaissance' of cashmere by contributing to the expansion of the cashmere industry in China.

According to Maurizio Castello, KPMG's Partner, Head of Fashion and Luxury Products, the outlook for the cashmere market in China for the next few years is positive. 'China is demonstrating a large and growing market demand, mainly in casual wear', he said.

'Casualisation', as well as 'men-isation' are two of the factors of the growing demand for luxury goods including cashmere, according to PGDS Consulting's President, Prof. Piergiorgio Dal Santo.

Indeed, both foreign and domestic brands have designed and exhibited casual collections for daily wear along with their usual classic ones. Known for their stylish traditional cashmere qipao, the Shanghainese company, Sen Koshi presented a collection of informal, free style dresses.

With progress in digital textile printing technologies, as demonstrated by mechanical and electrical equipment company Saishun, has enabled the printing of endless creative designs on cashmere. A return to natural colours was noticeable, even in domestic brands that usually favour colourful and rich patterns. 'About 30 per cent of our new product line is in natural colour shades', explained Xuerun Cashmere's Deputy General Manager, Deng Jie.

Underlying the trend is the growing concern about the damages the textile industry in general and the cashmere industry inparticular inflict on the environment.

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