• China’s Pet Fashion Industry

China’s Pet Fashion Industry (Photo : Getty Images)

China’s pet fashion industry continues to be a booming business. The growth of the industry seems inevitable as Shanghai sidewalks have become a catwalk for dogs.

Loved by their owners, Chinese pets have been adorned with bright and colorful outfits and accessories. They walk on the city’s streets, showing off their fashionable clothing.

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The hobby of Chinese animal lovers became a growing industry, generating sales of around $17 million a year. Pet clothing is sold in at least 40 percent of pet merchants in the country.

According to Yourpet Market Research Institute, a 20 percent annual growth is expected for China’s pet fashion industry. The institute has been conducting studies of the country’s huge pet industry.

In an AFP report, Zhang Jiequn, a psychologist at Shanghai's Huada Institute of Applied Psychology, said that pet ownership is “a kind of escape from interpersonal relationships.”

“'The pet becomes a projection of the opposite sex for some people who do not find a partner,” Zhang added.

The main customers of this growing industry are the Millennials. They are willing to spend more on their pets.

Alongside the fast expansion of China’s middle class, dog ownerships continue to increase. Many in this group consider pet clothing and accessories as a status symbol and a means of showing off wealth.

A great example for the case is Wang Sicong, China's richest man Wang Jianlin’s son. His dog has been reported multiple times for being bought countless amounts of iPhones and iWatches.

According to a survey conducted by China Daily in 2015, there were at least 100 million registered pets in China. Dogs make up the vast majority of China’s pet population.

Shanghai, a home to 24 million people, has around one million dog population. The city was compelled to pass a “One Dog Policy” in 2011 to reduce the noise made by barking and to cut the waste on sidewalks.

As the middle class continues to grow, China’s pet fashion industry assumes a bright future.