“CmiA-labelled Textiles will offer consumers values-based purchasing options”


Shinsagae International, a South Korean retail company, and one of its lifestyle brands, JAJU, are the first CmiA partners in Asia. Lee Seock-koo, the co-CEO of Shinsegae International and the head of JAJU, is convinced that this co-operation puts them among the first to respond to the growing trend, especially apparent among the younger generation, of buying clothes with social and ecological value.

Mr Seock-koo, in which markets does Shinsegae International operate, and what products does JAJU sell?

Shinsegae International is an affiliate of the Shinsegae Group, a major distribution company in South Korea. JAJU is a lifestyle brand. Under the slogan of “the best of the things you often use”, it sells primarily clothing, bedding, daily necessities, and kitchenware online and in 260 stores offline. Our aim is to provide products consumers use every day, at the best quality and for a good price.

As the market leader for fashion and lifestyle in South Korea, you market international fashion brands as well as your own. How important is sustainability for your company?

The Shinsegae Group prioritises value creation and sustainable development. In keeping with these priorities, our company is actively practising sustainability management by introducing ethical management in Korea for the first time. Sustainability is also an important brand value for JAJU, which strives to produce products in a sustainable way.

More and more companies are prioritising and publicising sustainable production practices. How prevalent is the issue of sustainability in South Korea, and how important is it for your end consumers?

In Korea, sustainability has become an important factor in consumption and corporate management. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact that the products and services they buy now will have on society and the environment in the future. That’s why we hope the trend to buy sustainably produced products will further increase in the future. In particular, awareness of values-based consumption is becoming more popular in the younger generation, born between 1990 and the early 2000s. They are leading the eco-friendly consumption movement and have even created a new word for it, GREEN + CONSUMER.

You have been a partner of Cotton made in Africa since 2021. Why did you choose to reach your sustainability targets through CmiA?

As a lifestyle brand pursuing wellness, JAJU has been strengthening its eco-friendly product lineup since 2020. We paid attention to the value that CmiA places on sustainability, as we do not focus only on the environmental impact but also on the social and economic aspects of our work. By collaborating with CmiA, we would like to inform Korean consumers about products produced in a sustainable way and spread the broader meaning of values-based consumption.

What opportunities do you see arising for Shinsegae in the South Korean market from the sale of CmiA-labelled textiles?

JAJU is the first CmiA partner and the first brand to sell products with the CmiA label in Asia. CmiA-labelled textiles will offer consumers values-based purchasing options and differentiate us from other brands. Furthermore, I think it will be a good opportunity to demonstrate how we at JAJU and Shinsegae International put sustainable management into practice.

How do you advertise and market Cotton made in Africa to your customers?

To inform the general public about our co-operation with Cotton made in Africa, we are planning to send out a press release about our newest partner and engagement. In addition, we plan to start a full-scale promotion for CmiA products and to advertise CmiA extensively in stores and our own online mall. We also plan to organise a sales campaign in connection with a future community project. By funding this project, we will be able to provide additional support to the farming communities from which we source our CmiA cotton.

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