Cotton shirt maker Esquel Group has teamed up with China's Zhejiang Institute of Science & Technology (ZIST) to establish an eco-textile research centre.

The centre, launched on April 20, represents the first joint venture between academia and private enterprise in China to foster scientific research into eco-textile production.

It will undertake fundamental and practical research and development projects encompassing all aspects of eco-textile applications.

"We are very happy to be able to achieve our mutually beneficial goal through an alliance of strength with the Institute of Science & Technology," Esquel chairwoman Marjorie Yang said.

"At the same time, we can also introduce new philosophy and vitality into the research of ecological aspects of the textile industry in China."

Esquel has agreed to finance the centre, as well as providing support at the final stages of research for converting technologies into practical use and for commercialisation.