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A recent study reveals that Chinese consumers are among the most environmentally conscious in the world and Chinese government is not alone in its efforts to bring down pollution level in the country and protect country’s water resources. On the other hand, India, the topper in the survey, 94 per cent consumers want companies to be environmentally responsible and only buy products that align with their beliefs, and 85 per cent feel guilty when they indulge in environmentally unfriendly behavior, the study reveals.

The study conducted by market research group GfK surveyed more than 28,000 people in 23 countries and found that 80 per cent of respondents in China believe brands have a responsibility toward the environment. By comparison, only 66 per cent of U.S. shoppers agree.

As compared to only 53 per cent of Americans admitting green guilt and 54 per cent allowing their ideals to dictate their purchasing habits, 70 per cent of Chinese consumers say they feel guilty when they do something that’s not environmentally sound and 72 per cent only buy products and services that appeal to their beliefs. GfK pointed out if companies promote the health and safety benefits of going green Chinese consumers may be willing to pay a premium for environment-friend products.

According to Ashok Sethi, MD,GfK Consumer Experiences in China, consumers seldom pay to assuage their conscience, but invariably do when they see a clear and meaningful benefit. Chinese consumers will pay if they feel that the premium that they pay today will create better and safer world for their children tomorrow.

The Pakistan Fashion and Textile Week was inaugurated in UAE on April 25 at a prominent five star hotel in Dubai. The event showcased Pakistani designers, fashion, fabrics and textiles at the international level.

Pakistan Fashion and Textile Week also included a two-day exhibition of Pakistani products. This will be a regular occurrence in UAE henceforth. The event was aimed at giving maximum exposure to Pakistani designers, their talent and products.

As a part of its trade and cultural diplomacy initiatives Pakistan will continue to explore new avenues that pave the way to promote Pakistani products, expand trade and boost its exports to the UAE and the Gulf region.

It’s felt such initiatives will not only project a positive image of Pakistan at the international level, but will also create an opportunity to support and encourage talented Pakistanis and give them an international platform to showcase their work.

The first edition of the Pakistan Fashion Week promoted the ‘Made in Pakistan’. It provided upcoming deigners from the region a platform to showcase their work. The event featured fashion shows along with a display of trendy apparel and classic jewelry.

The worldwide market for dyes and organic pigments is expected to grow six per cent per year. While China will remain the dominant player, rapid growth will also be experienced in smaller Asian markets such as Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. The textile market accounted for over half of world dye and organic pigment demand in 2014.

Textile and plastic producers continue to move production to countries with the lowest labor costs. Additionally, consumer preferences for new, unusual textile colours that do not fade and yet are environmentally friendly will boost growth in value demand as textile producers increasingly turn to these newer, higher value products.

The fastest growth in dye and organic pigment demand is expected to be in paints and coatings applications, driven primarily by strong advances in construction expenditures in North America and continued growth in the Asia/Pacific region. While the outlook for many organic colorant applications remains healthy, more moderate advances in printing inks, due principally to the growing publication of information in electronic form, will restrain overall dye and pigment demand. Opportunities will exist, though, for dyes and organic pigments that can be used in digital inks.

Dye and organic pigment consumption will remain concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, where the majority of world textile and consumer plastic product production occurs.

Technological developments are helping garment companies differentiate their products and operate more efficient and cost-effective supply chains. And technology in garments is about sustainability. For example, the jeans industry has moved a long way from stonewash, rinse and bleach finishes.

The use of laser technology to create a worn look on denim was launched in 1999. Today, around 25 per cent of global jeans production uses this technology - and is set to reach 50 per cent in the next two years. Jeanologia’s Light Scraper technology gives a standard denim fabric the authentic look of antique denim. It incorporates a virtual sandpaper to replace manual scraping, which is known for causing chronic tendonitis, muscle problems and breathing difficulties.

The second technology is G2 dynamic ozone technology, which bleaches jeans without using chemicals. The third and biggest revolution is e-flow. The e-flow technology transforms air from the atmosphere into nanobubbles. Chemicals and water naturally distribute themselves onto the surface of the bubbles to form the nanobubble skin. e-flow acts as a carrier to transmit the chemical-containing nanobubbles into a fabric or garment in a more optimal and efficient way using a minimal quantity of water. Applications include softening, resins for 3D effects, easy-care wrinkle-free, and water repellent finishes. This technology is currently used in around three per cent of jeans production.

Prices of Indian cotton are expected to rise in the near to medium term as the minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops is likely to be revised and a deficient monsoon will affect sowing of cotton. Cotton prices touched a four-year low as they dipped to Rs 13,990 per bale in the third week of January. In 2014-15, cotton prices have been falling continuously because of higher production and a lower demand from China. The offtake by China, which used to buy 50 per cent of Indian cotton, came down to 10 per cent this time. Against 11.79 million bales of cotton exported in 2013-14, only 4.5 million bales have been exported till now in 2014-15.

El Nino is anticipated to affect the Southwest monsoon this year and lead to deficient rainfall. If this happens, cotton sowing will be on the lower side and in turn production will be down for the year. This will see prices moving up by June. As the price of raw cotton fell below MSP, the Cotton Corporation of India hiked the procurement of cotton from farmers. CCI has procured over 86 lakh bales of cotton in 2014-15 against 40,800 bales in the previous year.

Germany is sending out a message to global textile industry for fair production. The steering committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, the German Development Ministry and the textile industry have put in place a roadmap for companies and business federations to join the partnership on a broad basis.

The foundation for broad-based support for the Textiles Partnership is an agreed joint action plan. The partners has now made the action plan more specific and precise on a number of important points, particularly with regard to the way in which partnership members have to pursue and achieve binding objectives and how progress can be monitored in a transparent manner.

The Textiles Partnership was set up in October 2014. It was launched by stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, trade unions and the government. Its purpose is to improve living conditions and environmental conditions for workers in producer countries. At present, the partnership has a membership of about 70 organisations.

The Textiles Partnership hopes to be a hallmark of efforts to achieve social and environmental standards for the textile industry. The goal is to improve the social, ecological, and economic conditions in the supply chains for textile and apparel products.

Last year, France, Spain, Italy, the UK and Germany increased their average clothing imports from Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey by 5.9 per cent. Out of these five countries, Turkey remains the biggest Euro-Mediterranean supplier, with a 5.5 per cent increase in orders last year. This is especially true for Germany, with €3.1 billion worth of imported clothing and the UK with €1.9 billion. France comes in third with €1.1 billion.

Morocco got the highest increase in orders in the region. Spain is its biggest importer, with €1.2 billion, while France remained stable at €826 million. Tunisia also saw a 3.5 per cent increase in its exports to these five European countries. France is its biggest customer with €828 million, followed by Italy with €592 million.

Last year European clothing imports accounted for €73.06 billion, including €54.9 billion from Asia and €14.02 billion from the Mediterranean countries.

Morocco’s industrial strategy has made textiles a priority. One factor that has always been to Morocco’s advantage is its proximity to Europe, and the other is the relatively lower wage costs and the natural skill and dexterity of its workers.

Saigon Tex was held from April 9 to 12, 2015. This is Vietnam’s expo focused on garments and textile machinery, accessories and materials. It attracted 655 exhibitors from 21 countries including Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Japan, South Korea, China, Macau, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the US and the UK.

Saigon Tex 2015 served 15 per cent more exhibitors than the 2014 event. Among the displayed machinery and equipment were automated machines for shirt, jeans and trouser making, high-tech pressing machines, multi-needle sewing machines, computerised lockstitch machines and embossed printers, automated checkers, and testing equipment.

There were new concepts in fabrics and materials such as vegetable fibers, spun yarn, filament, pet-chips plastic beads, artificial silk, jute, hemp, acrylic yarn, rubber thread, print, yarn-dyed fabrics, adhesive paper, reflective tape, sanding band, hair band, and pearl buttons.

The number of Asian exhibitors increased 16.8 per cent compared with 2014. Attendance from Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan climbed 40 per cent. The return of a separate India pavilion was also a highlight.

The participation of fabric and garment accessories jumped 23.6 per cent over 2014. The presence of textile machinery exhibitors also grew by 13.4 per cent over last year.

There were workshops on preparatory steps for the Trans Pacific Partnership and on better understanding the rules of origin of textiles in major export markets. A four-day fashion show had the catwalk decorated with laser-printed denim.

Textile industry stakeholders in Tamil Nadu have impressed upon the government the need for setting up a Textile Board in the state and a separate export policy in line with the foreign trade policy of the Centre. These were among the 10-point suggestions put forth by knitwear exporters of Tirupur for possible incorporation in the new Textile Policy of Tamil Nadu.

Exporters feel the establishment of a Textile Board with government and industry association as representatives would strengthen focus towards the development of textile industry in the state and a separate export policy in line with the policy of the Centre would help boost Tamil Nadu’s exports. The garment sector in Tirupur contributes to 11 per cent of the state’s export turnover. The industry feels there is potential to double this with friendly policy interventions.

The textile industry in Tamil Nadu also wants a Technology Upgradation Fund scheme providing 5 per cent interest subsidy or 10 per cent capital subsidy; a special package for the textile sector as in other states; capital subsidy for investment in effluent treatment plants; power subsidy to reduce the cost of treatment and processing charges; strengthening of infrastructure amenities; and incentives for setting up technical textile units in Tamil Nadu.

The Indian government plans to amend the Handloom Act of 1985. The Act lists goods and textiles reserved for production by traditional craftsmen and weavers. India’s hand-crafted textiles are not only in high demand worldwide, but their diversity represents genuine non-mechanised silk, cotton and wool. Handloom exports have risen steadily, even during recession years. At home, demand is huge even without strong market mechanisms.

According to the 1985 Handloom Reservation Act, handloom means any loom other than powerloom, and a powerloom is a loom worked by power as defined in the Factories Act, 1948. But the handloom sector is scattered and finds it difficult to function as a lobby. Issues of definition demand attention, including embroidery and printing.

Redefinition of handloom would at one stroke convert handlooms into powerlooms, robbing them of their fundamental USP. Handloom propenents say there is pressure to remove saris from the list, since saris are the mainstay of the handloom sector. The powerloom lobby that accounts for 60 per cent of fabric production (handlooms come next with 15 per cent) wants to blur the differences between powerloom and handloom so as to claim benefits limited to handlooms.

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