From imitation to creation

From imitation to creation

China’s rise to become a global fashion powerhouse

  • May 2018

The term ‘Made in China’ has not always been synonymous with perceptions of quality, but a significant shift is currently underway.

This ongoing transformation has partly been set in motion by the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, which outlines the importance of improved brand image and quality of products from China.

Rapid economic growth, increasing urbanisation, and a growing middle class have also influenced the increase in demand and production of quality apparel and footwear. And as millions of Chinese turn into eager consumers in pursuit of designer clothes and personal wellbeing, China looks set to become a global fashion as well as economic powerhouse.

China is now a nation blazing a trail in manufacturing, technology and innovation. According to, clothing sales in China could climb to as much as USD 300 billion by 2019 and may even overtake the United States as the world’s largest clothing market by the end of the decade.

This change is not surprising when one considers China’s millennials, a new breed of consumer numbering more than 415 million. This demographic outnumbers the working populations of the US, Canada and Western Europe combined. And in their quest for exclusive quality garments, this new type of consumer has created several new challenges and opportunities for the fashion industry.

In order to effectively respond to these new developments, clothing manufacturers need to apply new technologies and strategies across their entire supply chains. Guided by the key objectives of ‘Made in China 2025’, these include:

  • greater investment in research and innovation
  • a heightened focus on differentiation and quality
  • the use of smart, green manufacturing processes
  • digitised and automated manufacturing facilities
  • the creation of globalised Chinese brands

This shift has created opportunities for greater collaboration between textile suppliers and Chinese companies in key areas including innovation, quality, sustainability, and branding of textile products.

The skills, experience and capabilities of Coats closely aligns with China’s ambitions. Our deep expertise and pioneering culture enable us to provide complementary services to the apparel and footwear industries and develop thread, yarn and zip solutions that add significant value to our customers’ product ranges. We apply innovative techniques to develop technical products in new areas such as aramids, tracer threads and fibre optics, as well as provide services to enhance productivity. Annually, our thread goes into more than 10 billion garments, 300 million pairs of shoes and into a diverse range of products, from seat belts and handbags to sporting goods and mattresses.

As China’s population continues to grow, and as companies move up the value chain, the benefits of Coats quality products, services and solutions offers brands and manufacturers the opportunity to deliver added value to their customers, as well as improve efficiency, productivity and speed to market.

Our goal is not just to make sewing thread; it is to develop products that offer solutions to everyday life.

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