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Downpass exhibits in China for the first time

The association enjoyed a successful appearance together with three certification bodies from Germany, Japan and the US/China.

13th April 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Mainz

Interiors, Sustainable

The Downpass association for down and feather industry has exhibited for the first time at the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles trade show, which took place in Shanghai last month. The association presented together with the three certification organisations Wessling, QTEC and IDFL.

The aim was to promote natural resources and transparency, to present the association’s zero-tolerance standard, which combines animal welfare and is designed to ensure product quality and, as well as to show its potential for the Chinese domestic and export markets.

“We aim to promote the sustainable use of natural resources across the globe and to increase transparency in the supply chain,” explained Dr Juliane Hedderich. “Animal welfare and guaranteed product quality are our hallmarks. We did a great job in Shanghai of jointly informing others about these and finding new collaborators.”

Committed companies

The association’s representatives and rotating teams from the certification bodies Wessling, QTEC and IDFL advised visitors at the show. These independent testing institutes and auditing organisations are companies’ direct contacts for audits and product monitoring. According to the association, the largest crowds were seen in the afternoon, on the first two days of the event.

“We met many committed companies – primarily from China – that showed great interest in traceability and the ethically sound sourcing of feathers and down. The potential that Downpass offers as a traceability standard together with continuous quality control was clearly recognised and won companies over not only for export-oriented purposes, but also for the domestic Chinese market,” explained Dr Juliane Hedderich, Managing Director of Downpass.

The association enjoyed a successful appearance together with three certification bodies from Germany, Japan and the US/China. © Downpass

“The follow-up after the trade fair will be crucial to translate Chinese companies’ interest into actual memberships.”

Increasing transparency

The markets demand materials that would guarantee trading partners, and, therefore, consumers are looking for the greatest possible security when it comes to ensuring ethics and sustainability, alongside the high product quality. Products certified by independent testing institutes gain in importance and set sales standards, according to the association.

“Our presence as a consulting, analysis and testing company at Intertextile Home gave us the opportunity to talk to visitors and thus allowed us to increase transparency on the Chinese market such that retailers and consumers are suitably informed of the highest requirements of product quality and of the origin of bedding filled with feathers and down,” commented Anna Elisa Wessling, legal representative of the subsidiary Wessling Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd. and representative of the German Wessling Group at the trade fair.

As a German family company, the Wessling Group has stood for continuous improvement in the quality and security of products and processes for 35 years and is set to move into new, larger premises for its subsidiary in Shanghai in the near future, so that it can fulfil the increasing number of testing requests in Asia, with a larger team. “We expect constant growth in our analysis and consulting segment feathers and down, especially as our international customers see Downpass as a clear advantage for customer acquisition domestically and abroad,” highlighted Ms Weßling.

The association’s representatives and rotating teams from the certification bodies Wessling, QTEC and IDFL advised visitors at the show. © Downpass

Top contact for manufacturers

The Japanese institution QTEC also confirmed Downpass’ high level of visitor interest and, like its colleagues, stressed the importance of the institute’s independence. The managing director of Shanghai QTEC Testing Laboratory, Hiroyuki Nakamoto, who successfully presented the company’s three Chinese sites, explained: “Our knowledge of the Japanese market, together with our testing expertise, make us a top contact for manufacturers of bedding and clothing products filled with feathers and down to ensure the supply chain is ethically sound.” The institute expects a steady rise in the number of testing requests for Downpass, especially at Chinese sites.

Recognised standard

A large, bilingual English-Chinese sales team from IDFL China, based in Hangzhou, was available at the trade fair to answer all questions relating to audits and testing procedures, with its varied specialist expertise. Together with its cooperation partner, the Chinese national down and feather laboratory CIQ Xiaoshan, IDFL has capacities for a broad range of different tests and audits.

IDFL’s Global Audit Manager Bryan Mortensen highlighted that Downpass had become a standard and, therefore, a seal that is recognised worldwide and in China in particular. The joint appearance with other certification bodies provided the opportunity to answer the questions of Chinese companies along the supply chain, from wholesalers to clothing and home textile brands and trading partners.

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