China’s Once-Booming Textile and Clothing Industry Faces Tough Times

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China’s once-booming textile and clothing industry faces tough times
South China Morning Post, Apr 30, 2018

At the bustling Canton Fair in southern China, second-generation textile manufacturer Pan Jing has drastically marked down her prices. The sign at her booth says it all: “Stock very cheap, factory for sale … stock clearance.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for Pan’s family to sell the 32-year-old cotton mill started by her father in 1986, a time when China was emerging as the global centre for textile and clothing production.
For years, they have been making household cotton products – from pot holders and oven mitts to dishcloths and towels – and exporting them to the United States and Europe.
More recently they tried to upgrade their product lines at the 40,000 sq m factory in the southern Guangxi region, adding recycled cotton shopping bags and pillows in the shape of emojis in a bid to bring in more customers. But rising labor costs and slow growth in overseas demand left Pan with no choice but to sell the business to a bigger textile manufacturer with a domestic focus, in the hope that new capital can keep it afloat.
“I don’t see a future in continuing to sell these low-value goods,” said Pan, who has been attending the Guangzhou fair for over a decade. The trade fair, which runs until May 5, is the country’s oldest and biggest export-oriented event. Read More

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