As the outlook for China’s textile and apparel producers — until now, perhaps the strongest in the world — grows ever more bleak with the global economic decline, Chinese denim producers are searching for ways to streamline production and add value to their traditional low-end offerings.
For many, that means investing in new equipment and production techniques to make premium denim and higher-quality fabrics, once the domain of Japan and other, more advanced economies. China, which makes roughly 50 percent of the world’s denim, for years has been the globe’s largest producer of low-to midrange denim fabrics and apparel, while Japan held a corner on the premium market. To stay competitive and increase potential for profits, Chinese denim manufacturers over the past three years have begun angling for a piece of the premium denim pie, with mixed results.
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