Fiber Journal Focuses on China's Apparel Industry
Fashion Article Posted February 20, 200

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If you want to do business with clothing manufacturers in China, you need to know much more than how to properly greet your prospective business partner (that's with a bow versus a handshake).
The latest issue of fiber, the online journal for the global fashion and apparel industry produced by the University of Delaware, focuses on China, its maturing apparel industry, the outlook for the U.S.-china textile and apparel trade, and how to do business the Chinese way.

China has the largest apparel industry in the world and continues to be a major business partner for both large and small companies, said the journal's editor, Hye-shin Kim, associate professor of fashion and apparel studies at the University of Delaware.

Additionally, China also has millions of young consumers with unprecedented spending power, who are interested in buying top brands, including apparel by foreign manufacturers, she noted.

Industry and academic experts share best practices and tips for conducting business in China, as well as valuable insights into young Chinese consumers, and the changing face of social responsibility in the Chinese apparel industry, with the rise of social media.

Kin-fau Au, associate professor and associate head of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, provides an overview of China's apparel industry, and Priscilla Y. L. Chan, also a faculty member at that institution, writes about foreign brand expansion into China.

An interview is included with Brian DeLeu, design director for JC Penney, on future sourcing design and product development in China. DeLeu, a University of Delaware alumnus, is responsible for the design and merchandising of JC Penney's St. John's Bay brand.

Maria D'Andrea, supervisory international trade specialist in the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), U.S. Department of Commerce, details the status of the U.S. textile and apparel trade with China and provides an overview of the office's responsibilities and services.


Here is a summary welcome from Dr. Hye-shin Kim Project Director,
and Editor, University of Delaware

As we begin the Western New Year with deepening financial troubles in the United States and its worldwide global impact, the fiber journal focuses on China -- a country that has reported record-breaking economic growth in the past years and impressively showcased its strength as a global economic power during the 2008 Summer Olympics. The slowdown of the world economy and recession fears have become a painful reality in developed markets that are major importers of Chinese goods such as the U.S, Japan, and Europe.

China's big economy now is being tested to prove it is a strong economy. As the Chinese economy transitions with the shrinking worldwide demand for goods and services, many Chinese workers are being laid off. Traditionally a country for manufacturing low-cost, export-oriented goods, China is now working to rebalance its economic profile to be similar to that of the U.S. and Japan, where technology-based manufacturing and the service sectors dominate. At the same time, China needs to increase Chinese consumer spending and increase consumption of both domestic and imported goods and services to stimulate demand for production.

A similar pattern of change is seen in China's textile and apparel sector. Although China is the world's largest supplier of apparel items, accounting for more than half of U.S. apparel imports, we see China's economic growth impacting its competitiveness in the textiles and apparel sector. In this issue of the fiber journal, we provide an overview of the U.S.
China textile and apparel trade and discuss the impact of its slowing growth rate on the maturing textiles and apparel industry in China.

As China continues to be a major business partner for big and small companies, we present current practices and insights by business professionals, as well as academic scholars, and also recognize the significant role of Chinese consumers in the global marketplace. In addition, you may read about student and faculty experiences in Hong Kong, learn about
kid-centric garment therapies,
and see the results from our poll that asked readers about the future of U.S. apparel production.

Finally, this issue of the fiber journal highlights social responsibility in the textiles and apparel industry. Articles shed light on current attitudes related to social responsibility in China and a futuristic view of sustainable business practices in our industry.

The journal also announces the first fibercast, a 45-minute audio program set for Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. on social responsibility in the apparel industry.

Learn more about fiber Journal.

Apparel Search guide to fashion and clothing

Here are a few links to some of what is in the China Apparel Issue:

2009 Fashion Articles

Fashion Industry

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