Chinese textile industry all set for social responsibility and sustainable development

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-09-17 18:00:00 – China

The textile and apparel industry of China is determined to fight back the trend by becoming more efficient, innovative and environmentally friendly, although textiles and apparel industry growth in sales and exports has slowed down from January to July by 1.5 percentage points and 1.2 percentage points, respectively.

Also many labor-intensive manufacturing industries in China have declined with the country's economic slowdown, as per the industry's 2013-2014 social responsibility report.

But the industry's net profit in the first seven months hit 58.69 billion yuan ($9.83 billion), up 14.29 percent year-on-year. The profit ratio of sales was 5.28 percent from January to July, 0.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

According to Chen Dapeng, vice-chairman of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the current decline in sales is not the same cyclical decline as before, but a new normal state. The new situation means the industry must take the initiative to adapt to changes and make step forward to realize stable growth.

The 2013-2014 report by council focuses on the new normal state in terms of the environment, product safety, human resources, fair competition and international trade that the industry faces amid economic transformation while fulfilling its social responsibilities.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members replaced Japan as the third-largest market for China's textile and apparel products last year after the European Union and the United States. And the gap between ASEAN and the two leading markets is dwindling fast.

The enterprises must develop core competitiveness in research and development, design, production, management and marketing.

Last year, China implemented binding environmental protection codes and higher standards on wastewater and waste gas discharged from reeling, wool and flax spinning, dyeing and printing enterprises.

Textile and apparel enterprises must make more transparent use of 51 textile dyestuffs and 17 dye auxiliaries, which were added to a list of dangerous chemicals in response to media exposure of apparel safety issues. This change is aimed at forcing the companies to make their products safer and more environmentally friendly.

Social responsibility is now a core element of enterprises' quality and competitiveness in the global market. Today, social responsibility and sustainable development are not only a must for enterprises but also principles of China's national development strategy and governance.

A new form of social responsibility report in the textile and apparel industry in China is based on a group of enterprises in a county. It serves to unite an otherwise slack industrial cluster and as well as improving efficiency and raising social responsibility awareness.

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