BEIJING - Innovation will drive environmental improvement in China's textile industry as it seeks to operate more sustainably and reduce its environmental footprint over the next decade – that was the message of the president of the China National Textile & Apparel Council (CNTAC) in a recent interview with Ecotextile News.

Talking exclusively to the magazine for our tenth year anniversary edition, the views of Mr Sun Ruizhe chimed very much with the findings of our recent report – pictured – on China's textile industry which suggested the sector is using innovation to move towards the production of higher added value products and technical textiles.

Mr Ruizhe was asked what he thought had been the biggest step forward for China's textile industry in terms of sustainability in the past decade. He told us: "I think the biggest step forward for environmental progress in China's textile sector is the innovation-driven sustainable development. Innovation-driven sustainable development includes three aspects. Firstly, energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental compliance as the basic duties for enterprises in the manufacturing process. Secondly, green manufacturing and green products have been the main trends in the transformation and upgrading of the Chinese textile industry. Finally, China has now adopted a key role in promoting the environmental progress of the global textile supply chain."

We also asked him whether local enforcement of government environmental regulations was still a problem for the textile sector. He told us: "In 2016, the local governments have been paying more and more attention to environmental management.

"According to state laws and policies, local governments have taken many effective steps to promote local textile industries transformation and upgrading. Many industries were ordered to stop production for consolidation and industrial parks were built to enhance the concentrated manufacturing, energy conservation, emission reduction and pollution control. In addition to the State laws, many local governments have established provincial laws and industrial standards for green manufacturing."

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