Swakara, a VIP at China’s Summit

Swakara, a VIP at China’s Summit

The Swakara Board received a VIP invitation in January from the Haining Municipal Government and International Fur Federation Asia Region, to participate in the 2018 International Fur Industry Summit. A total of 300 delegates and 25 VIP’s attended this event, which was held in Haining Leather City in Haining, Zhejiang, China. The VIP’s represented 20 countries.

 

The Board’s chairperson, Julene Meyer attended on behalf of Swakara. This summit connects to the Swakara Board’s strategy to enter the Asian Market and especially China, and it was a phenomenal opportunity for Swakara to rub shoulders with global trendsetters and market leaders.

 

After the summit Meyer attended the Shanghai CHIC fashion week, where Swakara had a surprisingly big presence in the IFF stand. Swakara was represented by Bourtsos, Manakas Frankfurt, Jonevon Furs, Manzari and EGO.

 

During this summit, Swakara was given the platform to collaborate at various levels with stakeholders such as the CEO of Fur Europe, MetteLykke Nelson as well as Roberto Scarpella form One Milano and Italian Fur Chair. Swakara also collaborated with Alexey Plekhanov, the CEO of the Sojuzpushnina Auction House; Mr Sergei Stolbov from the Russian Fur Industry and Maksim Chipurnoy, the IFF Eurasia President, among others. It was learned that Swakara occupies a 21% market share in Russia. About 79% of the Swakara products produced, falls into the mid- to highend price bracket in this market.

 

This collaborations will also help Swakara for example to create skinning manuals, entering new markets, ensure the education of staff and consumers on Swakara brands as well as obtaining market information regarding Swakara pelts in Russia.

 

During the summit it was stressed that consumers should be given peace of mind by ensuring all stakeholders in the production process - from farmers, auctioneers, those involved in dressing and the dyeing processes, manufacturing, marketing and aftersales services are adhering to a certain standard and are part of a system which can be monitored, evaluated and governed. This will ensure that information is available and customers will have the freedom to choose fur from value chains that guarantee them integrity.

 

At farm level this includes animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals and pelting processes; in the dress and dye process it refers to the elimination of the use of harmful chemicals and a more efficient use of energy and water; in manufacturing a conducive working environment should exist for employees and in the marketing and sales environment, sales staff should be well-educated in order to inform consumers about the integrity and quality of products.

 

Many countries which are of the largest producers of fur, do not have effective laws against the use of harmful chemicals to treat fur or the necessary governance and regulatory bodies. The consumption of nonrenewable energy, the impact on global warming and the percentage of waste will become major issues in the future.

 

Many of these issues are addressed on an individual sector level, but it also need to be addressed in the value chain. Consumers must be aware of the levels of integrity, performance, governance and the adherence to this by all stakeholders involved in the process of producing a luxury fur item. In the coming years the fur industry will be declining its production capacity. There are two main reasons for that, namely global warming as well as the invention and the increased production of the warmthproducing materials which serves the function to provide heat and are a compatible substitute to real fur.

 

Meyer says she believes the pillar of opportunity for the fur industry, will be the focus on real fur and the reason why real fur is the only option, namely biodegradability, sustainability, longevity and the fact that it is environmentally friendly. This will be where the fur industry has to educate and inform consumers as to the benefit of wearing real fur.

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