Cre­at­ing Green Fash­ion in China

Southern Innovator - - CONTENTS -

China is the world’s largest man­u­fac­turer (Euromon­i­tor) and the largest cloth­ing maker, pro­duc­ing a quar­ter of all tex­tiles and cloth­ing. It is a global fash­ion pro­duc­tion hub, and many ma­jor global cloth­ing brands have their prod­ucts made there – whether they ad­mit it or not.

Although most peo­ple prob­a­bly do not give it a sec­ond thought, the fash­ion and cloth­ing in­dus­tries can be highly pol­lut­ing and ex­ploitive.

Ac­cord­ing to the Eth­i­cal Fash­ion Fo­rum, “it is dif­fi­cult for com­pa­nies sourc­ing from China to be sure of fair work­ing prac­tices. There have been many re­ports of low wages, long hours, and un­fair work­ing con­di­tions in fac­to­ries in China.”

But one in­no­va­tive fash­ion brand is out to trans­form the way that the gar­ment busi­ness works in China and to de­velop a tem­plate that could be used in other places such as Africa.

The de­sign duo of Hans Martin Gal­liker and Ami­han Zemp has set up their cloth­ing brand’s stu­dio in one of Bei­jing’s his­toric hu­tong (al­ley) neigh­bour­hoods – nar­row streets of low-rise build­ings that were the tra­di­tional ur­ban dwelling en­vi­ron­ments for gen­er­a­tions of Chi­nese peo­ple. The NEEMIC brand, founded in 2011, makes sus­tain­able fash­ions and cham­pi­ons green pro­duc­tion meth­ods in China.

The busi­ness belief is that the world has enough fab­ric al­ready to meet the cloth­ing needs of the pop­u­la­tion. In re­sponse, NEEMIC makes its cloth­ing from a mix of re­cy­cled nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and new or­ganic ma­te­ri­als. Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, NEEMIC col­lab­o­rates “with young de­sign­ers from Lon­don to Tokyo to cre­ate a par­tic­u­lar metropoli­tan aes­thetic.” – (De­cem­ber 2012)

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