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Scale Up GOTS in China - 2018 Seminar was successfully held on 28th September 2018 at National Exhibition and Convention Centre (Shanghai) during Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition in Shanghai, China as one of the GOTS series regional round tables held worldwide.
The seminar brought together over 80 guests including keynote speakers and panelists who are the important stakeholders in the area of organic textiles, including: international organizations, international brands and retailers, Chinese organic brands and retailers, traders, leading GOTS certified processors and manufacturers, chemical producers, standard setters, industry associations, media, certification bodies as well as consultancies, shared the business case of GOTS for brands/retailers, and the improved performance to processing and manufacturing mills through GOTS, as well as the latest requirements and market trends to GOTS and its certification, discussed the challenges and possible solutions to communication of organic textiles worldwide and in China.
Despite signal of rising demands from the market, growth of GOTS certified facilities in China is relatively slow compare with other major production countries due to the challenges for example, the brands and retailers are not connected with potential suppliers in terms of efficient sourcing, China's relevant regulation and standard setting on organic labeling, as well as the accessibility to the GOTS approval procedures to chemical inputs. The seminar also openly discussed and tried to find solutions for these challenges.
The attended brands and retailers included C&A, H&M, Target, Home Depot, Etam Group, John Lewis, BESTSELLER, Klee Klee by ZUCZUG, Lefang, Luüna Naturals, and so on.
In her opening speech, Ms. Claudia Kersten, GOTS Managing Director gave a warm welcome to the speakers and attendees, with thanks to the sponsor Hemp Fortex for the beautiful GOTS certified scarf gift. She introduced the latest development of GOTS from global level, and the increasing recognition of GOTS both from the government and consumer market.
After that, seminar moderator, Ms. Felicia Shi, the GOTS Representative for Greater China, gave a presentation in the subject of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): the standard evolution, market updates and Labeling Guide. She especially introduced GOTS development and promotion activities globally and in China in the year of 2017, as well as GOTS endeavors in figuring out the controversial issue of GM cotton in organic textiles.
Session 1 included 5 keynote speakers.
Mr. Mark Edwards, Divisional Merchandise Manager to C&A, shared their sustainability strategy, the strategy and performance on organic cotton, especially their organic cotton project in China.
As an expert in organic farming, Mr. Youting Zhang, Vice Co-founder to Zheng Gu Organic Farming Foundation presented an overview of organic forming in China. This included a detailed introduction about the comparison between conventional and organic farming, the development history of organic farming in China, as well as the market data in the past few years and trend in organic food consumption.
Next, Mr. DING Hongliang, President, Hemp Fortex Industries shared their story about how GOTS certification improves the market competence of Hemp Fortex and makes them an innovative leading vertically integrated company in the niche market.
Miranda Chen, as the co-founder to Langerchen which started from a GOTS certified manufacturer to a company with its own brand, shared her views on how sustainable brands can make a difference to the environmental and social areas of textile industry. In particular, she openly shared many of her insights and lessons learnt out of her 20 years of work experience in this area.
Mr. Vincent Duret and Ms Alice Zhao, Textile Business Unit Manager for the ECOCERT Certification Centre and ECOCERT Certification China led a speech session that focused on the overview of key issues in organic textiles and its certification at the global level and in China.
Session 2 Efficiency through GOTS Criteria and Certification
Peter Wang, the Senior Auditor, Control Union Certification gave a detailed introduction about GOTS requirements and certification procedures as well as chemical compliance.
Mr. Eric Sun, the CMO of Kingdom Group shared their experience on how to enhance ecologic and social efficiency through GOTS as the existing global leading producer to linen yarn and is making their endeavors to take a lead in the area of GOTS certified organic linen yarn.
Session 3: The rising retail market: Opportunities and challenges of organic textiles consumption in China
The session was moderated by fashion professional Mr. Hans G sustainable, who advises several fashion brands and conferences on sustainable and circular fashion.
Dr. LI Feng, IFOAM Organics International-Asia
WANG Liping, Senior marketing officer, China's pioneer eco brand KLEE KLEE By ZUCZUG
Olivia James, Founder Luüna Naturals
TIAN Lixin, General Manager, Beijing Lefang Textiles
CHANG Tianle, Founder, Beijing Organic Farmers' Fair
Dr. Li shared his insights on China's organic policy and certification.
Ms. Liping Wang introduced the story of eco brand Klee Klee.
Ms. Olivia James introduced the brand Luüna Naturals shared their inspirations on organic cotton Tampon and their expeiriences of consumer education via social media platforms in China.
Mr. Lixin Tian was one of the pioneers of China's organic brands. The brand he founded-Tian Yuan Shi posesses both GOTS and China's GB standard organic certification, which, so far, was belived to be the way of legally labeling GOTS in view of China's relevant regulation on organic labeling.
Ms. Tianle is a famous organizer and advocate to organic food farmers and retailers in China. The bazaar she founded called Beijing Organic Farmers Bazaar was China's first organic marketplace and has made great impacts to China's consumer behavior.
During the coffee break of the seminar, Ms. Claudia Kersten also received the video interview from Messe Frankfurt - the organiser of Intertextile Shanghai.