China Textile Industry Leaders Discuss Sustainability at Esquel Gathering in Foshan

by Russell Flannery, Forbes Staff    

August 14, 2013


Leaders from China’stextile industry ended a three-day gathering in the southern Chinese city of Foshan today afterexchanging about trends that advance both environmental sustainability as wellas business.


The meeting was organized by the HongKong-based Esquel Group, chaired by Marjorie Yang.  Esquel, a shirtmaker that employs more than50,000 people globally and counts Nike, Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren amongits customers, has been recognized for advances in green manufacturing. Yang, agraduate of MIT and Harvard, was a member of the 2012 Forbes Asia Power WomenList.


“Sustainabilityis about people changing a way of life,” Yang said in an interview. “It’slittle things that add up. There is no killer app that’s going to solve thewhole world’s problems. It’s lot of people thinking of lots of clever ways ofdoing things better.”


Besides Yang, speakers at the eventincluded Hau Lee, a business professor at Stanford, Ma Xiuhong, chairman of theChina Foreign Trade Center, Jiang Hui, chairman of the China Chamber ofCommerce for Textile Import and Export, Sun Ruizhe, a vice president of theChina National Textile and Apparel Council, water expert Ma Jun, the foundingdirector of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs,  Stephen Gray, global marketing and planningvice president of Huntsman Textile Effects at Huntsman Inc.,  Andreas Dorner, the global marketing directorof the business unit textile for Lenzing AG, and John Cheh, CEO of Esquel.


More than 300 people attended. Yang, anactive supporter of education, has served on the board of Novartis, SwirePacific and HSBC.


Together with her family, she ranked No. 50on the 2013 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List with wealth of $1 billion.