Small electric donkeys and trucks come from all directions to unload and take away accessories and auxiliary materials, making the originally narrow road even more crowded; a crane lifts hundreds of kilograms of cloth, slowly raising it and stuffing it into the limited-width window of the Handshake Building.
In Kangle Village and Lujiang Village in Guangzhou, scenes like this happen every day. Zhongda Textile Business District, located in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, is one of the national clothing raw material procurement centers, and Kang and Le Villages are the two garment-making villages with the highest buzz and attention. However, starting from the beginning of February, Lujiang Village officially entered the demolition violation. According to the plan, the target demolition area of Kanglu area for the whole year 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 that the processing and manufacturing industry of the Zhongda Textile and Garment Business District would be transferred to the Guangqing Special Economic Cooperation Zone. In February this year, it contacted and mobilized more than 7,000 “small workshop-style” enterprises to Qingyuan to build “modern light industries”. Industrial and 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 leave.
The compound at No. 88 Dongyue Xin Street in Lujiang has been demolished. Photo: Zhang Xilong
Big Dress Boss: There was a lot of discussion in the group. When he decided to stay and met 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 worked in factories 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 is no fixed price 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.” In fact, as far as the current orders are concerned, the manpower in the factory is sufficient. 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 Kangyue Village have been closed. Photo: Zhang Xilong
“80% to 90% of the bosses are not willing to go there, and about 30% said they would choose their hometown if they really want to move. There are also a small number of people who say they plan to go there and have a look.” In the group, peers discussed One after another. This group brings together the small bosses of 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 because 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 Zhongda Textile Business District, the shipment cycle of a batch of clothes is only It takes three days: on the first day, the customer takes the pattern and finds the fabric, and in the evening the factory finalizes the pattern and cuts the fabric; on the second day, the factory starts making the goods, and on the third day the goods can be delivered to the warehouse in the morning. Supporting facilities 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, it won’t be as efficient.” However, Chen Sheng believes that he is still “safe” for now, and Kangle Village has not yet received any demolition orders. news. When he really has to make a decision, he may look for another place in Guangzhou: “For example, Datang Village in Haizhu, or go to Panyu.” A garment worker who changed his career from a construction site worker: Wherever there is money, he will go to pull out long strips of fabric , place it on the edging machine. When you step on the pedal, the machine starts edging, and the cut off scraps slide down to the ground along the edge of the equipment. There was already a thick pile piled at Huang Ketong’s feet. She was making a belt out of dark blue floral fine fabric. You can type one in less than 20 seconds. She needs to repeat this action thousands of times a day. After the belt is hemmed, it needs to be turned over with an iron rod. This process is called “flipping”. Huang Ketong is a worker in Chen Sheng Factory, and his hometown is in Hunan. I used to work at a construction site, but later switched to making clothes: “As I get older, the construction site is too tiring, but I can still do this. And young people don’t want to do it and won’t follow us.Processing and other industries are gradually moving to Qingyuan. According to the latest vision, the commercial and research and development parts of the Zhongda Business District will be retained, and the production links will be transferred to Qingyuan, forming a “Guangzhou Headquarters + Qingyuan Manufacturing” model. The transfer of the clothing industry is not an isolated case. The Keqiao Market in Shaoxing, Zhejiang, which is as famous as the Zhongda Cloth Market, launched the cross-domain integration of the printing and dyeing industry chain in 2010, directing Shaoxing’s printing and dyeing industry to the Binhai Industrial Zone; Beijing’s Zoo and Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market have been closed since 2014. Stopped, businesses moved to Langfang, Baoding, Cangzhou and Tianjin. But it is clear that the Zhongda business district is more specific and complex. On the one hand, the region covers multiple links of raw materials, processing, and wholesale, involving more entities; on the other hand, it is still unknown whether the “selective relocation” of moving out low-end industries and leaving behind high-end enterprises can be implemented.
The government has not announced detailed plans for the 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 enterprises, which must be focused on supporting and making them bigger and stronger. ; Category B includes 21 markets and 102 companies, which are retained and promoted to promote transformation; Category C markets and companies are gradually shut down and dispersed in an orderly manner. At present, companies have settled in the Qingyuan Industrial Park, which covers an area of over 10,000 acres, and has been divided into areas such as standard foundries, small order workshops, fabric and auxiliary material production, and e-commerce central warehouses. However, it is still the same in terms of employees, market facilities, and customer sources. A blank piece of paper. In Hong Lok Estate, the process of the small workshop can be refined to just sewing buttons.
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 the Zhongda Business District, the purpose of separating the production link is to focus more on R&D and branding.
However, the long-term strategy of winning by quantity has made “Zhongda International Textile Fashion Center” more like a slogan. Just 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 gains outweigh the losses?” This is also the confusion of 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.