Makeover! move! Where will the 300,000 garment workers in Guangzhou’s urban villages go?

Small electric donkeys and trucks come from all directions to unload and take away accessories and auxiliary materials, making the originally narrow and narrow road even more crowd…

Small electric donkeys and trucks come from all directions to unload and take away accessories and auxiliary materials, making the originally narrow and narrow road even more crowded; the crane lifts the cloth weighing hundreds of kilograms, slowly lifts it and stuffs it into the handshake building with the limited width. window.

In Kangle Village and Lujiang Village in Guangzhou, scenes like this happen every day.

Close to the Zhongda Textile Business District in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, the national clothing raw material procurement center, Kangle Village and Lujiang Village have the highest buzz and attention.

However, starting from the beginning of February, Lujiang Village officially entered the demolition violation. According to the plan, the annual target demolition area of ​​Kanglu area is 200,000 square meters.

Here, it covers an area of ​​only one square kilometer, but has a permanent population of more than 100,000. A large number of garment factory owners, self-employed workers and textile workers were also involved in this old reform, forming a microcosm of the urbanization process.

Guangzhou intends to transfer its clothing industry to Qingyuan. In December 2022, Haizhu District made it clear to transfer the processing and manufacturing industry in urban villages to the Guangqing Special Economic Cooperation Zone, and in February this year contacted to launch 7000 “small workshop-style” enterprises The Yu family went to Qingyuan to build a “modern light industrial textile industry cluster”.

But for the large and small garment factories that have started their business here, they have not yet made up their mind whether to stay or go.

The compound at No. 88 Dongyue Xin Street, Lujiang has been demolished. Photographed by: Zhang Xirong

Large size dress boss: There was a lot of discussion in the group and he decided to stay

When I saw Chen Sheng, he was putting rice into the rice cooker. This large rice cooker is nearly twice the size of an ordinary household rice cooker and can hold more than ten people. However, today he only ordered three cups of rice, which was enough for himself and four workers.

The owner of this plus-size dress factory is from Maoming, Guangdong. In addition to taking daily orders and being responsible for importing and exporting goods, he also plays the role of a chef and is responsible for three meals a day for the workers. “Being a boss requires you to know a little bit about everything.”

Chen Sheng has also entered a factory and nailed clothes before. It has been 7 or 8 years since we opened the factory in Guangzhou. There are about ten people in the factory, all long-term workers, working two shifts.

This garment factory in Hong Lok Estate is located on the fifth floor, which is also the top floor. Even though it’s not March yet, the temperature can already feel noticeably higher in the afternoon. There are two air conditioners in the factory, and there are dark green ceiling fans above every two workstations.

At its busiest times, the entire factory can be full. However, there were only 4 workers among the 20 workstations that day, and several edge machines near the windows were already covered in thick dust.

Difficulty in recruiting workers is still a problem. There are no fixed prices in this industry, and price wars often occur when there is a shortage of workers. Hourly wages can range from 30 yuan to 90 yuan. It is common to compete for people: “You can work at 30 yuan per hour, and I will work at 40 yuan per hour.”

Actually, as far as the current orders are concerned, the factory has enough manpower. Even though it has been more than a month since the Lantern Festival, the entire market has still not regained its original vitality. Chen Sheng said that the factory, which is open all year round except for important holidays, even had a day off yesterday.

Many shops in Hong Le Village have been closed. Photographed by: Zhang Xilong

“80% to 90% of the bosses are not willing to go there, and about 30% said that if they really want to move, they would choose their hometown. There are also a small number of people who plan to go there and have a look.” In the group , colleagues were talking about it. This group brings together small bosses in this area, including Kangle, Shangchong and other areas. Some colleagues also said that even if they want to go to Qingyuan, it may take three to five years to wait until the market there matures before considering it.

Chen Sheng belongs to 80% of them. He admitted frankly that he had not considered going to Qingyuan. The biggest problem was that the market was not open: “There are no fixed orders and workers, and the supply of goods is unstable, making it difficult to survive.”

In the garment manufacturing area, the delivery cycle of a batch of clothes only takes three days: on the first day, the customer takes the pattern and looks for fabrics, and in the evening the factory finalizes the pattern and cuts the fabric; on the second day, the factory starts making goods, and on the third day The goods can be delivered to the warehouse early in the morning.

Supporting facilities have become the primary consideration. Customers are used to pulling fabrics on the first day and shipping them to stalls or warehouses on the third day. “If we go to Qingyuan, we won’t have this efficiency.”

However, Chen Sheng believes that he is stillAfter 2 years of sales, I came to Guangzhou again, opened a stall in Shahe, and made the second batch and the first batch.

“It’s better to have more freedom to run your own business. I don’t like a fixed clock and nine-to-five job.” Meng Tinghao said. After the factory opened, Shahe’s original stall also became one of the sales points, and his wife was responsible for the e-commerce and live broadcast sales channels.

“It’s very tiring to open a factory. You have to serve workers and customers.” But with only a stall and no processing factory, it is very passive. Especially in the peak season, the factory will raise prices. In his view, the most difficult problem is “payroll”: “If you pay too much, you won’t make much money; if you pay too little, you’re worried that no workers will come.” strong>

“If the whole thing is demolished, I will move there if I continue to make a living.” But he also observed that there are also a large number of garment processing industries in Baiyun District and Panyu District. “I personally feel that Qingyuan and There is no advantage between the two places.”

Most of Meng Tinghao’s customers are from Shisanhang and Shahe. “Six out of 10 customers are from stalls.” With the small order quick return model and the three-day delivery cycle, he thinks it is possible for him to move to Qingyuan Not very sexual.

Young bosses such as Meng Tinghao also broke the stereotype of the older generation “sticking to” Kang Lu. He lives in Tianhe District and enjoys the convenience of infrastructure facilities such as subways and business districts in first-tier cities. “Guangzhou is actually quite good. Guangzhou is very ‘nurturing’, not exclusive, and prices are not high. My wife and I often go to Grandview Square, we all like shopping.”

Industrial transformation and upgrading is the trend of the times

There are no buildings in the fenced-in compound at No. 88 Lujiangdong, and there are piles of bricks, sand and gravel along the walls. A worker at the construction site told Jiemian News that many illegally built iron sheds on the top floor were demolished. In addition, two three-story buildings were knocked down. “This is a building belonging to the village community. We should take the lead.”

The government has not announced detailed plans for relocation. According to “Nanfang Daily”, Haizhu District has classified 61 professional wholesale markets and 7,480 garment factories into three ABC categories. Category A includes 5 leading markets and 28 garment companies, which must be supported and made bigger and stronger; Category B includes 21 markets and 102 enterprises, which should be retained for improvement and transformation; Category C markets and enterprises must be gradually closed down , orderly relief.

Currently, companies have settled in the Qingyuan Industrial Park, which covers an area of ​​more than 10,000 acres, and has been divided into areas such as standard foundries, small order workshops, surface and auxiliary material production, and e-commerce central warehouses. However, in terms of employees, market facilities, and customer sources, Still a blank sheet of paper.

In Kangyue Village, the process of the small workshop can be refined to just sewing buttons. Photo: Zhang Xilong

Guangzhou has also had examples of production transfer before. In Xintang Town, Zengcheng District, the “denim capital”, an average of 2.5 million pairs of jeans were sold around the world every day at its peak, but it also brought problems such as wastewater pollution and low-end brands. Since 2016, Xintang has shut down 76 companies, moved washing and bleaching plants to Guangxi, Hunan and other places, transferred production and manufacturing links, and retained high value-added links such as R&D, design, branding, and marketing.

From 2019 to 2020, Xintang has upgraded 177 denim clothing companies to above-mentioned enterprises, guiding companies to reform from brand development, technological transformation and e-commerce development. On the one hand, it develops a well-known C-end denim industry belt by entering platforms such as Tmall and 1688 Factory Store; on the other hand, it develops denim intangible cultural heritage handicrafts and advances into a cultural industry.

If the example of the separation of production and R&D is placed in an enterprise, the public will be more familiar with it. Take the sports brand Nike as an example. It has outsourced manufacturing to many Asian countries since the 1970s.

When Nike outsourced all production tasks, Japan warned the United States that its manufacturing capabilities would be extremely weakened in the long run and lose the foundation of a strong nation. But the fact is that Nike is still the “big brother” in the field of sportswear, and its strong R&D and marketing capabilities are the backing of its production outsourcing.

For Haizhu District garment factories, the purpose of separating production links is to focus more on R&D and branding. As one operator questioned: “At present, our brand accumulation is still not enough. In this case, we lose the advantage of quick return of orders. Will the gain outweigh the loss?” strong>

This is also a confusion faced by many domestic professional markets. Decades of urban expansion have allowed former suburbs and small towns to integrate into the city center. How to settle the once wildly growing market system has become an urgent issue for urban upgrading.

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Author: clsrich