China has discovered the outdoors. Apart from mega-cities and huge industrial centers, the Chinese seek relaxation at the borders of the big hullabaloo. While 20 years ago the outdoors meant to sew your own backpack and use plastic bags as tents, the Chinese have become highly sophisticated when it comes to their free time spent outside. Going hiking, fishing or skiing have therefore become new trend sports.
Some analysts say it is also the rise of the Chinese middle class and an improved general education which carries along a wider conscience for the environment and appreciation of nature. Whichever the case – Chinese have gone wild about being in the wild. For most of them it is a fun way of enjoying nature and pursuing a healthy life style. Accordingly, the Chinese outdoor textile market keeps sky-rocketing with a yearly growth of 40% which makes China a huge market for national as well as international outdoor companies. Amongst the most popular outdoor goods are snowboarding jackets, hiking boots, running shoes, sleeping bags and tents as well as special clothing. The regulations for outdoor clothing are actually very strict and keep up with international demands. Special materials and fabrics as well as functionality have to be considered.
Chinese customers value the high quality and are willing to pay more for outdoor goods. Obviously, it is mostly the upper middle class who can afford practising these expensive outdoor sports. Generally, Chinese organize themselves for activities such as camping or skiing over online communities. Finding a sports group or jogging partner over the internet is quite common. On outdoor websites mostly young Chinese look for partners to stay fit. Spending time outside is not only a fashion and a new market – it has become a fashionable life style.
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