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Flying the flag for products 'Made in China'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, May 21, 2015
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Tonglu County in East China's Zhejiang Province is home to more than 600 textile companies, with most original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, for international labels.

Some of these companies have now begun to branch out and create their own labels, offering the same quality and craftsmanship as that of global brands. However, for many this is proving an uphill battle.

CCTV reporter Zhang Nini talked to some of the companies trying to change people's perceptions of the term "Made in China"

Maxmara, Armani, and J Crew, fashion brands you would expect to see in the high street, are made here in this factory.

For more than ten years now, this Zhejiang based textile company has been manufacturing some of the most popular international brands.

And today, OEM still takes up a good half of their business.

"We have started from just a few hundred pieces, to over tens of thousands of pieces in one OEM order. But despite this, our business has also taken a hit from various trade disputes as well as the downward international economy. Labor cost is also rising. This has added urgency for us to develop our own brands," said Wang Zhimei, manager of Milan Seagull Garments.

But building up a brand name from scratch can be a long and arduous battle. Increasing its value is harder,.

Wang's own brand, the Milan Seagull, sell for only about one fifth or tenth of the price of international labels, despite having the same quality and craftsmanship.

There are many factories like this one in the small town of Tonglu County. While these companies may enjoy success in producing for international labels, their own brands aren't not doing very well. The companies are facing an uphill battle countering the old image of "made in China", which often translates to some as meaning poor and cheap quality products.

Chinese consumers accounted for 46 percent of global luxury sales last year.Most of this consumption occurred overseas, for something that is possibly made in China in the first place.

Tonglu's Spring River Knitting Group, an OEM for Calvin Klein, Macy's and 25 other fashion brands, has branched out to selling on online retail platform TMall.

Their own brand "Inmine", made of fine quality knitwear, is catered towards a young clientèle.

"Our own production and technical experience has given us a head start in building our brands. Sales figures from TMall are rising fast in recent years, and we are prepared to cultivate this value producing products of good quality in the long term," said Hu Xiaoming, general manager of Tonglu Spring River Knitting Group.

E business sales currently account for a meagre portion of Hu's overall business. But he's determined to expand the volume in the coming five years. Hu hopes his persistence and experience could, in the long term, draw consumers back to China's homegrown brands.


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