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Fashion reinvents itself in China with the PILLOWBOOK company

3. Labor relations / working conditions

Working conditions


Often  regarded as a product of great consumption and not very ethical, clothing turns over gradually to its origins. Fashion has to be directly in contact with the human skin and therefore it should be ethically produced. It is in this perspective that Irene Lu has created a line of top quality lingerie complying with the principles of sustainable development through the use of recycled materials, the preservation of handicrafts and local manufacturing destined in priority to a local clientele. Finally, Irene Lu reanimates the Chinese cultural tradition by basing her collections on the "pillow books", books usually offered at Chinese weddings.


  • Break the “made in China stereotype” and create a new awareness of the Chinese culture. The company wants to show that China can also create high quality products.
  • Sell sustainable fashion which is environmentally friendly (low impact on the environment). The goal is also to respect the employees.
  • Innovate and design but also respect of the inheritance of the Chinese underwear
  • Locally manufacture for local people


The key objectives are achieved by three main pillars:

Pillar 1: Transparency.  Pillowbook organizes several visits of the show room. Thanks to that, the customers can see the prototypes. They also can see how the employees are working. Indeed, this company is also responsible towards its employees. The 3 seamstresses are working from 8am to 5pm and they have 2 free days per month.

Pillar 2: Sustainability. Waste is very important in the fashion industry because unsold goods are destroyed.  Thus Pillowbook creates on demand and thus reduces its waste. Moreover, thanks to this system, the products can be high quality products. Last but not least, the customers can chose the colors. Each product is a unique product: labels are signed by the employees and there is also a personalized note in the package.

Pillar 3: Reuse of the rests of silk:. Every product produced by Pillowbook, also generates waste. But the company is solving the problem with an outstanding solution. Sleeping masks or bags are produced out of the waste of the underwear. Thus, each element of silk is used.


The company seems to be profitable and attracts French customers. Moreover, the company is gaining brand awareness and is listed in the 2015 Louis Vuitton guide for Bejing.


The company has a small impact on the environment, since it isn’t producing a lot of waste.Towards the employees, the company has a great impact, because it provides good working conditions for its employees: the working hours are different than those usually applied in China.

4 (2015)


Irene LYL Lu, fondatrice et directeur de la création (designer) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mise à jour le 08/12/2016

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