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Sustainability, innovation, focus on domestic market way forward for China's textile and apparel sector

Sustainability innovation focus on domestic market way forward for China


The 2023 Global Apparel Conference, themed ‘Together for a Shared Future’ took place from November 16 to 18 in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, hosted by the China National Textile and Apparel Council and the China National Garment Association. Attended by 18 professionals from 20 countries, the conference made a significant announcement and that is: the World Fashion Conference will permanently be in Humen Town, Dongguan City, underscoring its global importance in apparel production.

The event showcased runway presentations by emerging Chinese fashion brands, spotlighting local innovation. The theme, covered key topics: environmental protection technology, digital management for efficiency, addressing disruptive supply chains, exploring fashion trends, and recognizing the impact of cultural traditions.

This comprehensive approach to sustainability, efficiency, and cultural awareness is expected to shape the future of global textile and apparel sector. The insights shared at the conference will influence industry practices, fostering a more responsible and innovative fashion landscape in the years to come.

The key insights: A buoyant domestic market

The 2023 China Textile and Apparel Brand Development Report, unveiled by Yang Zhaohua, Vice President of the China Textile Industry Federation outlines, China's strategic vision. Despite a global export slowdown in the world's largest manufacturing base, the report underscores robust growth in domestic demand. Renowned Chinese brands like K-Boxing, Joeone, Ellassay, Bosideng, and JNBY are globally expanding through participation in international shows.

As reported by Woman's Wear Daily (WWD), brick-and-mortar garment sales in China surged by 10.6 per cent, complemented by a 9.6 per cent increase in online sales from January to September 2023. Impressively, over 70 per cent of China's total textile output caters to its domestic market, solidifying its position as the global leader in the textile industry, contributing over half of worldwide production, exports, and retail.

Projections indicate the Chinese apparel market is set to generate $313.8 billion in revenue in 2023, with an expected annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3 per cent from 2023 to 2027. Women's wear emerges as the largest segment, with a significant market volume of $169.5 billion in 2023. The report emphasizes China's dynamic shift towards a thriving domestic market, demonstrating resilience and the potential for sustained growth in the global textile and apparel industry.

Focus on sustainability, ESG compliance and technology 

The report emphasizes sustainable development is the driving force propelling China's textile and apparel (T&A) sector into the future. Responding to the imperative for low-carbon, green, and circular development, the Chinese apparel industry has implemented initiatives like the Climate Innovation 2030 Action and Carbon Neutrality Vision, establishing a foundation for sustainable progress. Notably, the report underscores that Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria will be paramount in evaluating corporate value, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Identifying intangible value-based trends as crucial, the report identifies athleisure, gender fluidity, inclusive sizing, access to nature, and sustainable fashion as key elements shaping success in the T&A sector. These trends reflect the symbiotic values shared between brands and their audience. Leveraging digitization, intelligent manufacturing, private domain marketing, and AI-generated content, the Chinese textile manufacturing industry demonstrates adaptability and flexibility in embracing smart production and living.

Leading groups like Hongxing Erke exemplify this adaptability by integrating artificial intelligence-generated content (AIGC) in product launches and community marketing. This strategic move reduces marketing costs, while virtual Chinese influencers contribute to sales surpassing $11 billion. Notable brands like Anta Sports and Semir leverage digital influencers in live operations, showcasing the sector's dynamic evolution.

Addressing concerns about the health of China's T&A sector, the report not only affirms its buoyancy and growth but also highlights proactive measures to ensure ongoing relevance and sustained revenue.



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