The Future of Chinese Fashion? Going Green

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Blogger Monki Yuki explains what her Shanghai Fashion Week highlight Green Code means for the future of Chinese fashion.

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At Shanghai Fashion Week this year, as usual, we saw many excellent designers showcasing their S/S 17 collections, but this season’s shows were very different for one key reason: the launch of a temporary new venue called Green Code.

Hosted by Lane Crawford and need-to-know Shanghai based PR agency Hard Candy, its purpose was to introduce sustainable fashion. As we all know, garment production has a strong impact on the environment. The dye and the processing of fabric creates pollution which profoundly changes our natural environment. As a major manufacturing hub, this is something that will need to improve in China’s near future. In Europe many brands have already launched more sustainable production lines, including the popular fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M. Since this global conversation is becoming increasingly relevant for the Chinese market, a first step has been taken with the temporary Green Code venue.

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As one of the official venues for Shanghai Fashion Week, Green Code was divided into two areas: pop-up stores and a catwalk space. The pop-up store was open to the public. All the brands participating in Green Code had a sustainable aspect to their brand identity, by gathering these brands, attendees are able to better understand the many benefits of  sustainability. Outside of this venue a clothing recycling box was set up. Here, unwanted clothes could be donated to benefit those in need, while helping donators be more environmentally friendly by allowing their clothing to be reused, which is still a relatively new concept for China due to the strong social stigma against secondhand clothing.

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iLook fashion editor Crystal Gao donating clothes

For the show venue Hard Candy founder Candy Li told us a clear plastic roof was used so energy could be saved for day time fashion shows.

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While Li said there was still a lot of things that could be improved for this project, which will become a recurring part of Shanghai Fashion Week, she felt that this was a great first step forward.

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Hard Candy founder Candy Li and blogger Boynam

Although China’s green fashion industry is just beginning, its importance is likely to quickly grow due to a growing local interest in the environment. For overseas brands entering and developing in the Chinese market, more environmentally friendly offers, transparent production and sustainable materials are sure to become an important part of their brand image, future development and continued relevance for Chinese shoppers as consumers mature and priorities change.

*This story first appeared on WGSN

 

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