Interview with Helen Du

Face2Face
Helen Du
Helen Du
Deputy Director
Hotel Plus – HDE
Hotel Plus – HDE

What innovations are Chinese manufacturers bringing into hospitality design materials and supplies?

Many innovations in linen have occurred since 2018. For example, to meet the environmental protection policy, the upgraded natural textiles debuted at Hotel Plus-HDE 2019. In addition, the coloured washable fabric manufacturers brought more innovative products. The innovative dyeing provided more choices for hotel rooms.

Did the trade war with the US have any effect on the nature of the fair?

At present, the impact seems manageable. Since 2017, Hotel Plus-HDE has experienced rapid growth. Even under the tough economic situation, the event kept moving forward. Up to now, 80 per cent booths at Hotel Plus-HDE 2020 have been sold out, and the signing rate of hotel linen, uniform and mattress categories has reached 90 per cent. It's closely related to the precise market positioning and brand effect of Hotel Plus-HDE. We hope to explore the market potential and help the industry cope with crisis.

From which countries is the representation the strongest in the hotel linen, uniform and hotel mattress categories? Which countries are the buyers from?

China has rich resources, whether as buyer or as supplier; it plays an irreplaceable role in hotel textiles market. At present, Chinese manufacturers mainly produce middle-level hotel linen products. Of course, there are some high-end brands like Canasin. They are supplier of five-star hotels in Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East, including JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai and The Ritz-Carlton Dubai. European linen is mostly from luxury brands like Frette which is commonly seen in St Regis.
From which countries is the representation the strongest in the hotel linen, uniform and hotel mattress categories? Which countries are the buyers from?

What are the key trends in the hotel industries? Can you share trends in hotel linen, uniform and hotel mattress in the industry?

In recent years, there have been many trends in the hotel industry. The rise of medium and boutique hotels and high-end residences are typical cases. In order to help them create features different from traditional high-end hotels, linen and clothing focus on customisation. It has formed a very mature supply chain in the hotel linen, uniform and mattress industry. Under the background of Internet+ and consumption upgrading, standardisation can no longer meet customers' needs, and individualisation, technology and ecology have become the mainstream. Customers' diversified demands are gradually resulting in the change from supply chain to value chain. However, business competition, waste of resources and increasing costs caused by information asymmetry will turn into the profit and responsibility of both sides on the Internet, and build up equality, trust and respect. When we define or classify a company in the future, it may depend not on product functions or features but on connection with consumers.

Do you see the use of sustainable materials growing in this industry?

The trend has become more obvious in the last two years. Ecological bleaching and dyeing are becoming more mature and has been widely used in hotels. ATour Hotel Group is a typical case. They have promoted the ecological products in member hotels. Industry leaders have recognised the importance of the sustainable development of the industry chain, and in the production process, they have paid more attention to the traceability, environmental protection and the rights of animals as raw material. It embodies and values consumers' benefits. The industry leaders, like SIDEFU, have increased investment in the replacement of eco-friendly chemicals in dyeing and finishing. They have also cooperated with National Cotton Council of America and Badminton Europe and established strategic cooperation with universities to produce energy-saving, sustainable and renewable functional fibre materials.

What major disruptions do you see in the hotel linen, uniform and hotel mattress niches?

There are three major disruptions. First is the malicious low-price competition. Although the linen and uniform market is highly standardised and transparent, it can still cause homogeneity due to the information asymmetry between suppliers and buyers. It leads to both industry deactivation and reshuffle. Some manufacturers get orders by offering low prices but make trouble because of quality problems. Second is the requirements of energy conservation and environmental protection. As a result, production costs increase while profits decrease. Some small and medium-sized enterprises may even go bust due to the excessive operational pressure. Third is the weak protection of patent technology. It weakens the energy of production and research and will be harmful to long time development of the whole industry. (HO)
Published on: 23/10/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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