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China’s garment sector needs to develop circular economy

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China’s apparel sector needs to decrease its carbon emissions and develop a circular economy in lines with the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan, experts said at a round-table conference.

The 12th Plan focuses on development of circular economy that emphasizes on building strategies for circular flow of materials and energy for monetary as well as environmental benefits. In other words, it means circulation of emissions from one business to another to maximize energy efficiency.

Several businessmen, policy planners and academicians attended the conference organized by the International Energy Conservation Environmental Protection Association (IEEPA), in association with the International Cooperation Center of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the All-China Association of Industry & Commerce and China’s Textile & Garment Chamber of Commerce.

The experts discussed the opportunities and challenges facing the Chinese garment industry, especially in reducing its carbon emissions. They also discussed problems related to recycling of used clothing.

China’s garment sector is growing at an annual rate of more than 10 percent, but most apparel manufacturing companies in the country are not environment-friendly.

The experts pointed out that most Chinese clothing firms consume large quantities of natural resources, do not take any recycling measures and discharge pollutants in the environment.

According to them, China produced nearly 2.4 billion apparels in 2011, and their production accounted for a big chunk of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The technology for recycling used clothing is leading to emergence of a new industry in several developed countries, which addresses problems related to environment pollution and shortage of natural resources.

Experts urged the Chinese garment industry to learn from the experiences of developed economies and set up its own clothing recycling systems and contribute to the development of circular economy.

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