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The Silk Route to the Future

Gina Tricot is a young company and we are still expanding internationally – not only by opening new stores, but also by improving our presence at the locations where our clothes are manufactured. Our most recent news is that we've opened an office in Shanghai, which is one of the most exciting cities in China. We've done this so that we can be closer to our important suppliers.

Manufacturing and trade is not simply about products. It also has to do with exchanging ideas. Shanghai is one of the world's most dynamic cities and it is in a state of constant change. We are very excited to now be established there and we're definitely looking forward to the challenge.

Manufacturing and trade is not simply about products.

This is an experience of a lifetime for those of us who will now have the opportunity to work in China," says Emma Garotte, Head of the Shanghai office. "However, it will also involve many challenges. We will need to cope with the differences between Sweden and China, with a focus on being able to communicate. The pace is very fast in this business, which requires our presence here and building confidence."

China is the world's biggest manufacturer of clothing. It is also produces more cotton than any other country in the world. Approximately half of all the clothing sold in the world has been manufactured in China and approximately 200 million people are employed in the Chinese textile industry.

Right now, the biggest challenge for the Chinese textile industry is the decline in international trade resulting from the economic uncertainty in recent years, rising prices for raw materials and challenges having to do with sustainability.

"The importance of transitioning to a greener textile industry is being clearly communicated by the Chinese authorities. Among other things, it is part of the country's five-year plan," says Marcus Bergman, Head of Sustainability at Gina Tricot. "We certainly want to do our part and make an impact wherever we can. Already, our Shanghai office has managed to supply us with more innovative, sustainable materials much more quickly and easily than was the case when we were located far away from our suppliers. This is the kind of thing that makes a difference and we feel good about playing a role in an industry that still has a long way to go when it comes to sustainability. During the 1200s and 1300s, the constant exchange of ideas was what made the Silk Road so important. Similarly, exchanging a multitude of small ideas is what's creating an impact today," he says.