While people debate the Eurozone “miracle”, China continues to show weakness. This time the socks industry is feeling the pinch, and remember, we all have to wear socks. From The Guardian.
The foolish man built his house upon sand; the wise man built his house on a rock. The ambitious entrepreneurs of Datang chose a sturdy nylon and wool foundation. “People always need socks,” points out Xu Leile, whose company clothes the feet of the British and US armies, European hikers and pampered pet dogs.
Thanks to Xu and hundreds more like him, “Sock City” – north-west of Tie Town, east of Sweater Town – epitomised China‘s economic success story. The obscure settlement in eastern Zhejiang province became an export-driven boomtown, producing as much as a third of the world’s sock supply and thriving even through the financial crisis in 2008 and the subsequent global recession.
Last year, Datang made roughly two pairs of socks for every person on earth. Long and short, Argyle or polka-dotted, they cram the stores of the nearby wholesale market. In Xu’s spacious new factory, the shelves are stacked with huge reels of red, blue and orange thread. But ask Xu about the future and he grimaces. “I’m very worried. This year is much worse than 2008-9,” he says.
Full article here.