The Changing Face of Textile and Apparel “Made in Asia”

Video 1: How one Chinese shirt-maker uses automation to safeguard its future

Video 2: Chinese investors move clothing factory to Bangladesh

Video 3: Can Vietnam become the next China?

Discussion questions (for FASH455: Please finish watching ALL the three short videos above before sharing your viewpoints)

  1. How are textile and apparel “Made in Asia” changing its face? What are the driving forces of these changes?
  2. What are the examples of the “flying geese model” from the videos? Overall, why or why not do you think this model is still valid today?
  3. Why or why not do you think the U.S.-China tariff war has fundamentally changed the patterns of textile and apparel production and trade in Asia?

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

4 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Textile and Apparel “Made in Asia””

  1. 1. How are textile and apparel “Made in Asia” changing its face? What are the driving forces of these changes?
    The textile and apparel industry in Asia are increasing automation and steadily implementing more technological advances throughout their factories. Such elements include robots and military grade camera lens for precise results in regards to measurements and details on clothing. The driving forces of these changes include older employees and difficulty finding younger employees willing to do the tedious work. Most older employees begin to struggle with eye-sight and dexterity which is crucial in the garment industry. More automation makes the handy work for secondary.
    2. What are the examples of the “flying geese model” from the videos? Overall, why or why not do you think this model is still valid today? The flying geese model is a dynamic regional division of labor in manufacturing based on the hierarchy of economic development in the region. I think the second video highlights how the in factory process can become more automated as the country becomes more economically stable. In certain aspects of the world this model is still relevant in developing countries.
    3. Why or why not do you think the U.S.-China tariff war has fundamentally changed the patterns of textile and apparel production and trade in Asia?
    The U.S China tariff war has certainly impacted the apparel production in Asia as many manufacturers are seeking different countries to make their clothing. The video highlights that Bangladesh and Vietnam have been increasingly acquiring more business, which is likely due to the political issues of the U.S-China tariff war.

    1. great thoughts. As you said, while apparel production seems to be moving out of China as a result of the trade war, it still stays in Asia. This phenomenon is highly consistent with the conclusions of the flying geese model.

  2. 1. How are textile and apparel “Made in Asia” changing its face? What are the driving forces of these changes?
    The production of textile and apparel “Made in Asia” has become much more automated and technologically driven as nations in Asia become more economically developed. Many apparel manufacturers in China like the one featured in the video are beginning to replace human labor with automated machinery, signaling a significant shift in the level of their economic development.

    2. What are the examples of the “flying geese model” from the videos? Overall, why or why not do you think this model is still valid today?
    One example of the flying geese model is demonstrated through the ways in which Vietnam and China produce apparel. Although production in China has become more automated, Vietnam, a tier-four country, still employs a substantial amount of human labor to produce basic apparel items. In addition, about 90% of the textiles used by Vietnam to produce garments come from China, a tier-three country. This model is still valid today because according to this theory, there is a dynamic regional division of labor in manufacturing based on the hierarchy of economic development in the region. Based on the relations between Vietnam and China, it is evident that garment production in Asia is divided based on the nation’s stage of economic development.

    3. Why or why not do you think the U.S.-China tariff war has fundamentally changed the patterns of textile and apparel production and trade in Asia?
    I think the US-China tariff was has fundamentally changed the patterns of textile and apparel production and trade in Asia because US retailers are shifting sourcing from China to other regions in Asia in order to avoid high tariffs. This shift has placed enormous cost pressures on regions like Vietnam and Bangladesh that wouldn’t normally be experiencing them. However, it is also important to note that China still remains the top exporter in Asia of apparel to the US and this will likely not change during the tariff war, especially for high-end products like dresses or outerwear.

  3. #1 Textile and apparel “Made in Asia” are changing its face by an increase in automation. As mentioned in the first video, there has been an extreme shift from human sewing and manmade products to machinery and automation, which has shifted the type of worker needed for manufacturing which will stem from technology.

    #2 Examples of the “flying-geese model” from the videos are seen in both China and Bangladesh, both which are considered developing countries. Both countries started out driven by their labor intensive practices, however, now the countries both have technological advancements that are shifting their economy and allowing for advances in the “flying-geese model.” I think this model is still valid today because it shows how countries progress from developing to developed and reflects how countries need to be able to handle the basic levels of manufacturing before they can move on to a more advanced level.

    #3 I think that the U.S.-China tariff war has fundamentally change the patterns of textile and apparel production and trade in Asia because it has brought up many issues post people did not realize were happening. Additionally, the tariff war has caused many companies to reevaluate where they conduct their business, which has ultimately led to a wider globalized economy.

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