China / Now and Then

This Day, That Year: Making clothes

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-19 07:55


This Day, That Year: Making clothes

Item from Aug 19, 1990, in China Daily: City dwellers are no longer buying material and making their own clothes, but are sporting fashionable ready-made garments.

The rate of wearing ready-made clothes is considered to be an important factor in judging the standard of social, economic and cultural development of a nation. By early 1980s, that rate in developed countries had already reached 90 percent. In China it is about 20 percent.

Over the past few decades, China's exports of textiles and clothes have witnessed exponential growth.

The country is now meeting more than one-third of the global demand for clothes, thanks to labor and production cost advantages.

Meanwhile, tailored clothes are making a come-back, with more Chinese spending their rising incomes on customizing their outfits.

Domestic fashion is also getting a shot in the arm from the first lady, who is encouraging more Chinese to try local designs.

From the moment President Xi Jinping's special airplane touched down in Moscow in March 2013, it was clear that his wife, Peng Liyuan, was making a fashion statement.

Marking a sharp contrast with the growing appetite for foreign brands, Peng chose Chinese designs. Although officials strived to play down the global interest in her fashion tastes, the Chinese design and tailoring industry received a big boost.

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