'Qiuku village' gets to work as temperature drops
As the weather cools, many people put on qiuku to fight against the cold, firing up the economy of a small village in Tai'an, Shandong province.
Qiuku (autumn trousers), known as long underwear, thermals, or long johns in English, is a type of two-piece underwear with long pant legs and sleeves normally worn in cold weather.
Yaojiapo village in Qiujiadian town, Tai'an has been given the name "qiuku village", as about half of the local villagers are involved in the business.
Shi Xijun, secretary of the village's Party branch, said that the village has been making long johns for 41 years, and 160 of the village's 370 households make a living from the industry.
The village buys more than 30 tons of fabric every day and produces more than 50 million long johns worth about 160 million yuan ($22.66 million) per year.
The products are not only sold throughout the country, but also in foreign markets such as Kyrgyzstan, Africa, India, and more.
"We also provide contract manufacturing for many famous underwear brands. Many of the European and Japanese products on the market are made in our village," said Li Mei, a self-employed entrepreneur in the village.
Li Yanqin, 49, has been making long johns for more than 20 years. Her workshop is neatly stacked with fabrics and soon-to-be packaged long johns.
"My workshop sells more than 300,000 long johns per year, bringing in a revenue of more than 100,000 yuan," she said.
"We produce high-quality pure cotton thermals and sell them at a reasonable price, that's why new orders keep pouring in."
The village Party branch secretary said that local thermal workshops will become more integrated in the future so the village can establish its own brands and make higher-quality products.
Li Yanqin sorts out soon-to-be packaged long johns at her workshop in Yaojiapo village, Tai'an, Shandong province. [Photo/sdnews.com.cn]
A villager sews long johns at a workshop in Yaojiapo village, Tai'an, Shandong province. [Photo/sdnews.com.cn]
A worker cuts fabric at a long underwear workshop in Yaojiapo village, Tai'an, Shandong province. [Photo/sdnews.com.cn]
Villagers unload fabric in Yaojiapo village, Tai'an, Shandong province. [Photo/sdnews.com.cn]