Senior General Manager & Director of the Board
Messe Frankfurt (Hong Kong)
International trade fairs
Can you elaborate on the role of sustainability in textiles? How is China textile market contributing to sustainability?
More could always be done to improve sustainability in the textile sector, but I believe the industry is on the right track. The year-on-year increase in the number of exhibitors with eco-friendly fabrics at Interstoff Asia Essential, as well as those who have certifications such as GOTS, Oeko-Tex, bluesign, GRS and others, are just two signs that this is the case. Improvements will also continue to happen, as consumers demand them more. In this regard, of buyers surveyed at the autumn 2013 fair, 27% were interested in recycled fabrics, and we have seen this demand encourage more exhibitors to offer eco-friendly products at our fairs.
Awareness of sustainability in the textile industry has been increasing for some time now, and major changes are underway in China. The government is creating new policies to regulate the market and, importantly, these are starting to be enforced; many textile manufacturers are upgrading their production technology; and industry associations are raising awareness of the issues. At trade fairs, we are also seeing more awareness. At our Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics 2013 fair, an All about Sustainability zone was held for the first time. Featuring sustainable fabrics and products, technologies, business services and retail companies, it was particularly popular with local visitors who had a strong interest in learning more about the trends and developments from overseas.
Developing markets still have ground to make up on developed countries when it comes to sustainability in textile production, but in China, there have been rapid changes, with one of the biggest motivations for change coming from consumers. The issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly important for Chinese citizens as they become more conscious of environmental protection, and as the buying power of the middle-class in particular becomes stronger, their influence on the country's production processes will be quite apparent.
Published on: 07/01/2014
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.