Written by Julia Ruston
Who has not heard about the concept of sustainable fashion yet? It is certainly a buzz word in the fashion industry, becoming more and more important as people question their choice of clothing and where it is sourced. In particular, sustainable fashion is rapidly gaining attention and influence in the Chinese fashion industry as more people, especially the younger generations, are contributing to addressing the concerns and downsides of fast fashion and want to provide a sustainable alternative.
Why is China making these changes?
Whilst a rapid economic development has been very positive for Chinese people to advance in the direction of a more harmonious and wealthy society it has also brought some safety, health and environmental issues. Since the relocation of most Western fashion giant’s production lines to China, Chinese people have been the ones to personally suffer the health, safety and environmental disasters in the textile industry. The ultimate goal to balance the economy, environment and society is one that the Chinese have realised needs a heavier focus on sustainability. This is why the Chinese government has taken action in the past years, committing to the Paris Agreement, proposing a range of carbon, energy and pollution targets in its 12th five-year plan and launching the new Made in China 2025 strategy which focuses on pursuing green development and upgrading China to be a manufacturer of quality over quantity.
The recipe for sustainability
So, if sustainable fashion is an important part of being more environmentally and socially conscious, what exactly does it englobe? Well, many people are not aware of the extensive area sustainability applies to. Here are the three overarching themes that strive for sustainability and directly apply to eco-fashion:
- Being respectful towards the environment, the producers, the end product’s lifecycle and the consumer.
- Contributing to the preservation of the cultural heritage and tradition of the product.
- Optimising resources by making quality, lasting products with the most natural methods and materials possible
“Made in China” reformed
China has a great opportunity to develop many sustainable fashion brands as it has an efficient and well-developed infrastructure and a skilled workforce. Fortunately, more and more Chinese fashion brands are investing in making sustainable fashion especially Gen Z designers. With the new Made in China 2025 strategy and many Chinese designers taking an interest in becoming more sustainable, it has been a growing force in Shanghai’s Fashion Week (SFW) for the past few years with many emblematic fashion designers having a go at sustainable fashion. For example, Ffixxed Studios was featured in a past edition of SFW for their focus on reducing wastage from manufacturing, using recycled materials and using natural fibres. This label’s commitment to being more sustainable has been acknowledged by winning the Yoox.com Asian Sustainable Fashion award in 2015.
Other Chinese designers that are focusing on this emerging sustainable “Made in China” label are Vega Zaishi Wang who is combining ancient craftsmanship with a modern touch in her clothing line and Angel Chang who is actively involved with local communities, in order to promote and help keep Chinese traditional designs and textiles alive.
In Interact China, we are doing our best to contribute to these sustainable goals and strongly strive to achieve the recipe for sustainability. We help promote the cultural heritage and tradition of our products which are handmade with sustainable materials. Moreover, we respect our producers who are ethnic minorities by providing fair pay and helping to keep their traditional and aboriginal designs and materials alive.
About Interact China
“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”
Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.
So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.
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