Author:
Martina Wengenmeir

East meets West: A Portrait of Down Apparel Brand Bosideng

How the Leading Down Apparel Expert from China is Capturing the World Market

Bosideng is China’s market leader in down garments, and the Chinese brand is also booming worldwide: Bosideng has become one of the biggest customers of Gore-Tex and convinces with international design partnerships as well as award-winning products. High time for a brand portrait.

Bosideng Composite Structure Camping Down Jacket co-designed by IdéesKréationOn

The World's Best-selling Down Apparel Brand in 2021

Bosideng has a 46-year history as the leading down apparel brand in China. In recent years, it actively integrated domestic and foreign resources and has made continuous product innovation and improvement, committing to its brand vision of "Warming the World". Now, it has become one of the largest customers of Gore-Tex in the world. In 2021, Bosideng down jackets ranked first globally in terms of sales, according to industry monitor Euromonitor International.

Gao Dekang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Bosideng, explains that Bosideng is continuously innovating and upgrading to provide better service and products for its customers, which also led to their success so far. But the brand is not about to stop here and has plans for continuing its growth. He explains: "Bosideng has adopted a strategy of "focusing on principal business and key brands" and adheres to brand leadership. We aim to be among the leading brands through the innovation and upgrading of multi-dimensional systems such as products, retailing, supply chain and social responsibility."

Bosideng as multiple ISPO Award Winner

Bosideng's constant commitment is of course also reflected in its products: after winning the ISPO Award 2021 with the "Urban-Ski Jacket", Bosideng received both the ISPO Award and the Red Dot Award in 2022 for the "Composite Structure Camping Down Jacket" and the "Zero Pressure Down Puff Jacket". 

The brand is also proud of this achievement, as Gao Dekang explains: "ISPO Award is the only authoritative product selection platform for the global sports ‎industry, known as the "Oscar of Sports". Bosideng has won two awards in a row, ‎which means that the strength and innovation of Bosideng products are highly ‎recognized by the sports design circle, and also encourages Bosideng to provide more ‎and better products and services for the global consumers in the future.‎"

The Composite Structure Camping Down Jacket was designed by Bosideng in collaboration with the design agency IdéesKréatiOn, fascinating with its versatility and practical structure. It can be disassembled into separate parts, which makes it particularly practical, because this piece can be worn in eight different variations, including jacket and longer coat according to your needs. As well as low weight and small pack size. At the same time, the jacket's modular construction is also exemplary, because when a product can be changed and adapted to different situations, resources are saved because less clothing needs to be purchased and produced. The materials used as well as the adaptability of the garment mean that the jacket meets functional requirements depending on the situation, whether it is worn in camping, urban commuting or travel.

Unbroken Outdoor Trend at Consumer Level

Of course, for a down apparel expert such as Bosideng, the general outdoor trend within society doesn’t go unnoticed. "In recent years, camping and other outdoor fashion scenes have risen rapidly in China's consumer market, and consumers' yearning for an outdoor lifestyle continues to heat up. A number of international luxury brands have captured this trend and launched outdoor-themed clothing, while some specialist outdoor brands have launched fashion branch lines. Bosideng was also aware of this trend and started the layout. In China, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 aroused a passion for skiing. With 46 years of strength in winter protection, Bosideng takes skiing as a breakthrough in outdoor fashion", described Gao Dekang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Bosideng, when talking about the insights on the outdoor industry and the future of the brand.

Bosideng Down Jackets for Extreme Conditions

And the brand is also forging ahead in the technical apparel sector with new models and developments. In 2019, Bosideng launched the "top configuration in history" Qomolangma I down jacket, designed for use in mountaineering at the most extreme, and Antarctic or Arctic expeditionThis series is made from windproof, waterproof and high-permeability fabrics and aerospace nano thermal insulation materials, and redefines down jackets with three core functions of "ultimate warming effect, adaptation to extreme conditions and protection with professional technology" after 489 processes and 217 revisions by applying honeycomb-shaped three-dimensional filling, rubber-based pressure sensitive adhesives, 360° windproof design, FITGO-TECH automatic lacing system, MAGIC CHAIN and RECCO life detector.

In 2021, the Bosideng Qomolangma series was expanded and the "Stronger in history" Qomolangma II was introduced. For the first time, aerospace technology was applied to down jackets, and quadruple thermal temperature regulation ensured that the Qomolangma II could increase thermal performance by 15%, breaking the market norm. Qomolangma II applies China Aviation Intelligent Temperature Control Material (PCM Intelligent Temperature Control) to create a constant temperature of 31-33Bosideng also cooperates with China Aviation Industry Cultural Center to create 3S fabric, innovatively applying aviation material technology to the garment sector. Further, China Beidou positioning system has also been applied to Qomolangma II, realizing the first application of China Beidou satellite navigation system in the garment sector.

With 500+ steps in production, 300+ product tests, and 5 endurance tests in extreme conditions on Qomolangma and in Antarctica, the new design ensures that each down jacket in the series can withstand extreme weather conditions in the real world while providing warmth and protection.

Bosideng Sponsors China's 36th Antarctic Expedition Mission

East meets West: Bosideng's collaborations

Bosideng has established partnerships with internationally renowned designers in recent years to make its brand more visible in the Western world as well. To do so, Bosideng has teamed up with three major international designers from the US, France, and Italy to release the "Bosideng International Designer Joint Series". From 2019 to 2020, a collaborative line were developed and released with Jean Paul Gaultier, one of the French design icons, changing the fashion rules for down jackets and offering consumers fashion-forward designs, while redefining the boundaries between fashion and function. "The co-creation last year has been an enjoyable and revelatory experience for me," revealed Mr. Gaultier in an interview, "I was intrigued by Bosideng's commitment to high quality and investment in technology research. It has the unique capability that allows me to create more freely and translate my ideas into actual products. What’s more interesting, I found that both of us have worked for 44 years in our own specialized areas."

Bosideng has made unflagging efforts to show the world the "Fashion with Chinese Characteristics" and continue to make its presence in the international arena. From 2018 to 2020, Bosideng participated in Fashion Weeks in New York, Milan, and London for three consecutive years, to show the world the strength of Chinese brands and the charm of Chinese fashion. The brand has opened a flagship store in London and is now present at 350 selected high-end retailers in Italy.

And further cooperation is planned as well, as Gao Dekang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Bosideng emphasizes: "In the future, Bosideng will cooperate with high-quality partners in various fields with an open mind to provide consumers with higher quality products and service experiences."

Bosideng and Jean Paul Gaultier Release the New-Generation Down Jacket Collection

Responsible action and sustainability at Bosideng

In terms of product standards for down jackets, Bosideng leads the International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB) site in China, in addition to the Secretariat of the International Standardization Organization for Garment Sizing and the Technical Committee for Codes (ISO/TC133), and the Secretariat of National Garment Standardization Technical Committee Down Clothes Branch SAC/TC 219/SC1, promoting industry standardization and the development of high-quality products.

Bosideng actively strives for a path of sustainable development that also fits its own brand. "Since 2021, Bosideng has established ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) management structure from three levels of decision-making, management and execution, and has integrated ESG management work into all aspects of corporate strategy and operation, and excelled in product quality improvement, supply chain, employee well-being, social responsibility and other issues", said Gao Dekang.

In 2022, Morgan Stanley Capital International ("MSCI") upgraded Bosideng's ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) rating from "BB" to "BBB", leading the textile and garment industry in China. "As of 2021, 49% of raw materials are certified by Bluesign and 95% of our suppliers are RDS certified", Gao Dekang explained.

"In terms of employee welfare and training, Bosideng provides employees with a competitive salary and welfare and humanized working environment. Up to now, Bosideng has implemented five equity incentive plans to improve employee satisfaction. At the same time, we pay attention to the learning and training of employees, optimize the personnel structure, integrate sustainable development into talent management, and build a talent pool for the long-term development of the company", said Gao Dekang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Bosideng.

These are precisely the issues that move consumers and will become indispensable for the fashion and outdoor industry in the coming years. Through a year-round and continuous collaboration, Bosideng aims to improve its open, innovative and sustainable image in the sports and fashion industry to attract more potential technology partners and jointly produce more innovations in the future.

Brand Finance, one of the world's leading brand equity assessment agencies, again ranked Bosideng 48th in the "Brand Finance Apparel 50" in 2022. Bosideng is also one of the world's fastest-growing companies in the fashion sector.

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Author:
Martina Wengenmeir