Importing GOTS Organic Cotton Textiles from China

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Looking for GOTS certified organic cotton manufacturers in China? Then keep reading. In this article, you will learn what GOTS is, and how you can find GOTS certified suppliers online.

In addition, I will also explain how you can verify a GOTS certificate, and why should not assume that all cotton fabric suppliers in China are certified.

In fact, only a small fraction are.

What is Organic Cotton?

By definition, organic cotton is grown using methods that leaves a smaller environmental footprint on the environment. For example, organic cotton is only defined as such if the following criteria are met:

1. No use of toxins

2. No use of persistent pesticides (POP)

3. No use of chemical fertilizers

4. No use of GMO seeds

In the textile industry, organic cotton is the exception, not the rule. Further, the reduction of POP and chemical fertilizers reduces yields, and therefore results in higher prices.

Hence, you should expect to pay more for organic cotton, than non-organic cotton.

What is GOTS?

GOTS is the acronym for Global Organic Textile Standard, which is defined as follows:

1. Only fabrics that contain at least about 70% organic fibers can become GOTS certified

2. All chemicals such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria

3. A functional wastewater treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with social criteria

A supplier can be GOTS certified, if they pass a factory inspection performed by an accredited third party. There are only a handful of ‘GOTS accredited’ inspection companies with offices in China:

  • CERES GmbH
  • Control Union Certifications b.v.
  • Ecocert Greenlife

Continue reading Importing GOTS Organic Cotton Textiles from China

Clothing & Textiles Trade Shows in Asia 2020: A Complete Guide

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You can find hundreds of qualified suppliers, all under one roof, at one of Asia’s clothing and textiles trade shows. In this guide, you get a complete overview of the top trade shows this year in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan (ROC) and Vietnam.

For each clothing and textiles show, we also list the type of apparel, the venue location – and whether or not you need a visa.

Hong Kong S.A.R

HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week

The next edition of Asia’s leading fashion event, Hong Kong Fashion Week will take place in Hong Kong in July 25-28, 2020.

As Hong Kong offers visa-free entry for short-term visits to the nationals of 170 countries, you can most likely visit the Hong Kong Fashion Week without a visa (based on your nationality).

You can also check the list of countries for visa-free entry and the number of days allowed for each nationality here.

You can find clothing brands, manufacturers, and latest fashion apparel at the event by some of the top manufacturers mostly from Hong Kong and mainland China. Some top exhibitors at the event include:

  • Jacky Mannequin & Hanger Fty
  • Sun Kee Woollen Knitting Factory Ltd
  • C & V Fashion Design
  • Gorgeous Belts & Accessories
  • Junson (HK) Industrial Limited

In total, more than 1,000 companies are expected to display their products at the week-long event.

The products you can expect on display include:

  • Women Clothing
  • Men’s Wear
  • Footwear
  • Fabrics
  • Pullovers
  • Sweaters
  • Knitwear
  • Party Dresses
  • Casual Wear
  • Embroidery Work
  • Other Apparel Accessories

The Hong Kong Fashion Week is organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) twice a year, every fall and winter. The entry is free, and only for 18 years old and above.

The fair is rated as the leading fashion event in Asia that attracted almost 15,000 buyers from more than 70 countries this year. The last event also attracted more than fifteen hundred exhibitors from 21 countries.

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Continue reading Clothing & Textiles Trade Shows in Asia 2020: A Complete Guide

Clothing and Textiles Quality Control: A Complete Guide – By Renaud Anjoran

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Renaud Anjoran is the founder of Sofeast, a quality control agency based in Shenzhen, and a leading expert in quality assurance. Renaud is also a regular contributor to the Chinaimportal Knowledge Base.

In this article, he explains what apparel and textiles importers must know about preventing and managing quality issues.

Keep reading, and learn more about the types of quality issues in the apparel industry – and how they can be avoided.

Based on your experience, what are the most common quality issues, that Buyers of Apparel and Textiles must be aware of?

I would distinguish between three types of quality issues.

First, some quality issues are due to the materials and accessories. For example, the yarn was not dyed in the wrong color, or a zipper does not come from the agreed supplier or brand. They are widespread on many or all garments. I would include non-conform packing materials here.

How to avoid these issues?

a. If you purchase high volumes, have your suppliers work with directed sub-suppliers that your company vets. Prices might go up a bit, but you will usually get it back through fewer issues. Note, this is especially true of packing materials, and not always applicable to fabrics or to the main accessories. Some companies buy the materials and accessories and pay workshops for a CMT job.

b. Have the supplier make a pre-production sample in the bulk materials. Review that sample, as well as fabric swatches (not small ‘lab dips’) for other colors, if any.

c. Send an inspector in the factory to check all the materials and accessories.

Second, some problems are due to the patterns or to the way the fabric was cut. A common temptation for factories is to reduce fabric consumption. It generally takes two forms:

1. Cutting just a bit smaller. As a consequence, finished garments tend to be smaller than requested – sometimes an entire size under expectation, especially if sewing operators don’t respect the ‘sewing allowance’.

2. Positioning the shapes so as to improve efficiency, irrespective of the desired direction of threads. On underwear this can affect fitting, and more generally it can trigger bad visual defects such as twisting or puckering. This is quite common in China.

There are many other potential issues coming from the cutting. They are more common on knit fabrics since they are not always processed adequately (insufficient time to retract, too many layers…). Continue reading Clothing and Textiles Quality Control: A Complete Guide – By Renaud Anjoran

Importing Leather Goods from China: A Complete Guide

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Leather is used to make everything from shoes and wallets, to furniture cover and handbags. In this article, we explain what Importers of leather goods must know about different types and qualities of leather, labeling requirements and chemical regulations.

We also explain why you need to be skeptical about the origin of certain leather types, and why you need to steer clear of materials that contain Phthalates and lead.

Leather Types & Qualities

There four main types of leather:

  • Full grain
  • Top grain
  • Split leather
  • Corrected grain

Most suppliers tend to provide domestic cow leather, with calf leather as an upgraded option. Some suppliers can also offer more exclusive forms of leather, for example from crocodiles and other animals. Continue reading Importing Leather Goods from China: A Complete Guide

Outdoor Wear Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

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In this product guide, we explain what you must know before importing Outdoor wear from China. In similarity to our other apparel and textiles guides, this article will give you insights into Outdoor wear manufacturing clusters, product specifications and minimum order quantities. In addition, we also explain what you must know about relevant technical standards, labelling requirements and more.

Outdoor Wear Manufacturing Clusters in China

In recent years, Chinese outdoor wear manufacturers have faced increasingly tough competition from producers in other Asian countries. Primarily, Cambodia and Bangladesh. That said, as this industry is largely reliant on technical fabrics, which are also made in China, the country maintains a strong competitive advantage.

Most, exporting oriented, Outdoor wear manufacturers are located in the following cities and provinces:

  • Quanzhou, Fujian
  • Fuzhou, Fujian
  • Xiamen, Fujian
  • Jinjiang, Fujian
  • Shenzhen, Guangdong
  • Guangzhou, Guangdong
  • Suzhou, Jiangsu
  • Wuxi, Jiangsu
  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang
  • Ganzhou, Jiangxi

As you can see above, Outdoor wear buyers are wise to visit the southern, coastal, provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, as this is where most relevant manufacturers are based. Continue reading Outdoor Wear Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

Importing Private Label (ODM) Clothing from China

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Private label products are becoming increasingly common. Re-inventing the wheel is often unnecessary, especially considering the abundance of factory standard products to choose from in China, and other Asian countries. While a Private label product is, at least according to its original definition, based on a fixed set of specification, combined with the buyers branding, the lines blur in China’s apparel industry.

In order to avoid quality issues and severe misunderstandings when buying Private Label apparel from manufacturers in China, you must follow a strict procedure, involving selection of reference designs and fabrics, size measurements and labelling. In this article, we explain how to manage the ODM apparel product development process in two stages. Continue reading Importing Private Label (ODM) Clothing from China

Apparel & Textiles Product Development Explained – Interview with Saral Kochar of Techpacker.com

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Saral Techpacker

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The creation of clear technical specifications, such as a bill of materials and design drawings, is the key to success when developing new apparel designs. Regardless of where in the world your products are manufactured, you don’t want to leave your supplier guessing. To further get clarification on the subject, we decided to reach out to Saral Kochar, Founder of Techpacker.com in Hong Kong.

In this interview, Saral explains what you must know about design drawings and  technical specifications when outsourcing apparel and textiles production to manufacturers in Asia – and how things can turn out if you fail to produce such documentation.

Saral, how did you end up in Hong Kong’s textiles industry?

By luck I guess. I wanted to study chemistry and physics but with poor education system in India and maybe not enough motivation, I was pushed into study business and accounting. So after high school, I was very indecisive regarding my career path but then everyone in our family from my grandfather to all his sons and daughters and cousins are in fashion and textile businesses, therefore I decided to study product design development in fashion from London College of Fashion.

After 3 years of study, I was offered to work at American Eagle Outfitters at their design office in New York. While working there, I came across Li & Fung from Hong Kong as one of the core suppliers. I was very intrigued by its business model as being the largest trading company in the world providing sourcing and logistics for many of the top brands and therefore wanted to learn more about it. So I flew to Hong Kong and interviewed with them and soon was offered a contract which I happily accepted. Continue reading Apparel & Textiles Product Development Explained – Interview with Saral Kochar of Techpacker.com