Beyond Denim at Intertextile Shanghai event had beyond basic products to satisfy buyer interest in innovative denim garments. “It’s about striking a balance between price and quality,” says Vincent Lai of Sunhwa. “There was more interest in a wide range of qualities this year, with buyers interested in new denim products – jackets, sweaters and prints.” The economic recovery in the US and Europe has pushed exhibitors to adapt sales strategies to account for a more stringent buyer focus on price. “I’ve been coming here for six years. Earlier people would almost buy anything we produced because China was relatively cheaper, but the climate is much tougher now, especially for denim,” explains Lucky Textiles Group General Manager Billy Wong adding that buyers have been attracted to softer, high stretch denims.
The focus on price has pushed some big brands away from China towards cheaper markets like Pakistan, according to Business One Inc Director Ayaz Musharaf. “I think brands began moving to Pakistan after China changed its labour laws,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in printed denims and not so much in basic products but it is all about price; people come to China looking for price, not high-end products.”