Hong Zheng founded Adventi Communication in Shanghai in 2004. They host events and provide marketing solutions to international fashion brands operating in China. They have worked with globally recognized brands such as Lacoste, Gucci, and Piaget. She is an expert on the emergence and development of the sustainable fashion market in China. This is a growing market in China which fashion brands cannot afford to ignore, and is striking chords with young and affluent consumers, particularly in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Chongqing. For the record, a growing trend in China can include millions of consumers, while still being a small or niche market in terms of the country’s total population.
“Although there are some businesses, particularly those in Tier 1 and 2 cities which push for sustainability in fashion in China, on the whole, most businesses in China are focused on growth. In this respect, they are slightly behind the West but I think this will change more in the future as the pool of environmentally conscious fashion consumers in China grows and becomes cooler and more mainstream. ”Hong Zheng, founder of Adventi and GREENTEXT
The trick to surfing any wave is to identify the trend early.
Despite her professional work being dedicated to developing PR solutions for international fashion brands operating in China, Hong Zheng actually started her professional career in engineering after graduating from a prestigious university in France. When she and her husband moved back to China in 2003 they identified the trend of the growth of the luxury consumer goods market in China and have ridden that wave since. Her company has worked with hundreds of international brands over the past 15 plus years.
Ever the trend spotter, Hong Zheng has latched onto the rise of the sustainable fashion market in China. This industry mostly includes slow fashion brands that encourage the repurposing or recycling of old materials to create sustainable and beautiful clothing. But its remit is not limited to clothing brands in China, it can also be expanded to include cosmetics brands that use sustainably produced materials or organic ingredients. In 2020 she founded Greentext to provide sustainability-related advice to brands in this sector.
“Icicle and LangerChen are 2 strong brands in the sustainable fashion market in China which are … really adopting some interesting practices and leading the way in terms of attracting environmentally conscious fashion consumers in China”Hong Zheng, founder of Adventi and GREENTEXT
Being at the top of the wave and prepping for the descent
Despite the massive popularity of fast fashion both in China and globally, there is a demand for environmentally friendly yet more expensive fashion in China. What is driving this demand in China is the emergence of a new generation of young, urban, and wealthy consumers who are more environmentally aware or activated than previous generations generally were. The idea of being earth-friendly resonates more and more with consumers in China and they are happy to identify themselves with foreign brands who share their values. However, there are a number of rising domestic brands who sing from the same hymn sheet in terms of being environmentally conscious yet fashionable.
In her recently founded consulting firm, Greenext, Hong Zheng aims to advise fashion brands on how to incorporate sustainable business practices into their operations in China. The solutions Greenext provides will include advice relating to developing an environmentally friendly supply chain as well as marketing work to target sustainability-conscious consumers for the brand.
“…in particular the younger consumers are concerned about environmental issues and sustainability. In some cities up to 85% of consumers say sustainability in fashion in China is a concern. So, you will start to see more companies looking to market themselves and compete on this front in China. At Greenext, we want to be the link between the supply chain, the brand, and the consumer. Part of our job will be to educate the consumers about the sustainable process in order to create more environmentally conscious fashion consumers in China and to work with fashion brands in China and help grow the sustainable fashion market in China.”Hong Zheng, founder of Adventi and GREENTEXT