The 6th WTMC Opens, Focusing on Transformation and Cooperation of Global Textile Industry

(Written by Xiang jing, CNS)

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) Annual Conference 2023, as well the 6th World Textile Merchandising Conference (WTMC), was opened in Keqiao Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province on Nov 5. Around the theme of “Green, Circularity, Digitalization, – Megatrends Shaping the Textile Industry”, the cloth merchants and experts in textile industry all around the world gathered to discuss the transformation and cooperation of global textile industry.

The Opening Ceremony (Photo by Wang gang)

With the accelerated evolution of a new round in scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, the global textile industry, as a labour-intensive industry facing the challenge of transformation and upgrading, is of great urgency to build up industrial consensus and deepen industry exchanges.

“At present, the textile and apparel industry has entered a period of transformation. The industrial transformation characterized by digital and green is unstoppable”, Sun Ruizhe, the President of ITMF and China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) said at the scene. He added that the global textile and apparel industry should have a higher perspective and pattern, lay out future industry in multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural integration, and promote the implementation of social responsibility in the development of green Circularity.

Holding the thought of “Buyi Tianxia” (a Chinese idiom meaning treating others as equals), China has provided high-quality textile raw materials and apparels for more than 180 countries and regions around the world. Li Qiang, deputy director of the Department of Consumer Goods Industry of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, said in his speech that China’s leading textile enterprises would integrate into the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, actively forming a highly efficient and synergistic supply chain system with the textile and apparel industry chain in peripheral countries and regions of China. “In the future, China’s textile industry is willing to work together with other countries to create a textile industry ecology aimed at win-win development, open and inclusive, mutual learning and mutual understanding”, he added.

According to the 2024 World Textile Industry Trends Outlook released on site, greening, intelligence and high value, which are the keywords of the development of textile science and technology, mainly involve innovations in specific domains such as textile recycling and reuse, nano-materials, high-performance materials, bio-based materials, advanced processing technologies and equipment, and environmentally friendly chemicals and processes.

Taking green development as an example, a large number of cloth merchants are exploring the sustainable development of the textile industry, which includes the creation a renewable system for waste polyester textiles, exploration of photovoltaic power generation to optimize the energy structure, promotion of the recycling and processing of regenerated cotton, and introduction of a platform for green evaluation of the whole life cycle of textiles.

The textile industry accompanies the development of human civilization. Besides transformation towards green and digital, the fashion industry, as an important part of the entire textile industry chain, has also become the key to the transformation and upgrading of the textile industry as well as the promotion of world civilization exchange.

“Fashion is a bridge for cultural exchange and commercial cooperation between Italy and China”,

said Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister of Italy, spoke on the ceremony. He said that the textile industry related not only to economic development, but also to promotion of civilization exchanges and mutual understanding. He added: “The textile and fashion industries between Italy and China are closely linked. Both Italy and China need to carry out more exchanges and cooperation, from the perspectives of culture, innovation, and sustainable development.”

The conference was held in Keqiao, Shaoxing, where located the China Textile City, is currently the world’s largest textile distribution center. Keqiao is striving to build a modern “International Textile Capital”. According to Chen Hao, Secretary of the Party Committee of Shaoxing Keqiao District, the district endeavors to bring togather more fashion design and creative platforms, plan and build high-end clothing parks, introduce and cultivate first-class fashion brands at home and abroad. By 2025, the fashion creative industry will be built into a billion yuan (RMB) level industrial cluster.

Chen Hao, Secretary of the Party Committee of Shaoxing Keqiao District, launched the “Keqiao District to Build a Modern ‘International Textile Capital’ Action Plan”.(Photo by Wang gang)

China Textile City “Silk Road from Keqiao · Fabrics Connect the World” Overseas Public Platform is also officially launched on Nov 5. The Platform will help China’s textile industry to “go out” and to “bring in”, and deepen the global textile industry exchanges and cooperation.

Official Launch of China Textile City “Silk Road from Keqiao · Fabrics Connect the World” Overseas Public Platform. (Photo by Wang gang)