How China Plays an Important Role in Sustainable Fashion

Vincent Djen



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When looking at the road to net zero and achieving circularity in the fashion industry, we see a surge of new technology startups, solution providers, programs by traditional companies, policies, and advocacy driving the industry forward. It is encouraging to witness these developments; however, one critical aspect often overlooked is the global nature of the industry. Given this global context, China plays a pivotal role in the sustainability journey of the fashion industry.

My parents, the original CKG founders, and now my brother & I run the family business

My parents, the original CKG founders, and now my brother & I run the family business

From my perspective, having led CKG through the evolving landscape of fashion manufacturing, China's contributions to sustainability are immense. As the world's largest apparel production country and one of the largest apparel retail markets, China has significant opportunities to make a lasting impact.

Recycling Rates and rPET Production

China boasts a high recycling rate for PET beverage bottles, reaching over 94%. This capability allows us to provide rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) from bottles at scale, which is crucial for sustainable fashion initiatives. In 2020, China produced around 22 million tons of textile waste, with a recycling rate of approximately 20%.

The government aims to increase this rate to 30% by 2030, significantly boosting the supply of textile-to-textile rPET. These efforts are essential for brands seeking sustainable material sources. We are already working with brands on textile-to-textile recycling programs and it is exciting to see how this is developing.

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Decarbonizing Retail Operation

China is making strides in promoting low-carbon solutions for retail operations. The country is investing heavily in renewable energy, which can be leveraged by fashion brands to decarbonize their retail operations, including store fixtures, packaging, and lighting. For brands with a major retail and e-commerce footprint in China, decarbonizing retail operations is crucial and achievable with the resources available here.

Factory Production and Renewable Energy

More & more China-based factories are embracing solar & other renewable energy solutions

More & more China-based factories are embracing solar & other renewable energy solutions

Encouraging factories to adopt renewable energy sources is a key strategy. China's rapid adoption of renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power, is helping to reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing sector. This transition is crucial for the fashion industry, which relies heavily on Chinese factories for fabric and clothing production. As we push forward, it is clear that renewable energy adoption in manufacturing will play a significant role in our sustainability goals.

Worker Safety and Social Compliance

The adoption of stricter worker safety and workplace wellbeing policies in China has led to a decrease in factory-related incidents, contributing to enhanced social compliance and overall industry performance. At CKG , we have witnessed firsthand the positive impact of these policies on our operations and the wellbeing of our workforce. These measures are part of China's broader commitment to improving working conditions and ensuring sustainable practices in its manufacturing sector.

Government Policies and Circular Economy

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The Chinese government has implemented several policies to promote sustainability in the fashion industry. For example, the 13th Five-Year Plan includes commitments to improving environmental standards and reducing pollution from the textile industry. Additionally, China is reinforcing circular economy concepts, such as reusing and reducing waste, extending the life of garments, and investing in eco-friendly technologies. These policies align closely with our own sustainability goals at CKG .

By leveraging its production capabilities, high recycling rates, and commitment to safety and sustainability, China is well-positioned to play a vital role in the global effort to create a more sustainable fashion industry. These initiatives not only help reduce the environmental impact but also set a benchmark for other countries to follow.

About CKG

With 50 years of experience, CKG stands as a beacon of sustainable manufacturing, specializing in outerwear and garments. Rooted in a family-owned tradition, our journey reflects the industry's shift towards ethical and innovative practices. Serving a diverse array of clients, we demonstrate that sustainable manufacturing is accessible, enhanced by our flexible MOQs that make it attainable for brands of all sizes.

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CKG specializes in sustainable outerwear and high-end fashion. This commitment to sustainability, coupled with our expertise, propels us to continue to set new standards for the future, ensuring our legacy contributes to a more sustainable and innovative manufacturing landscape.