Many hands make light work in glove firm
including Kineed and Suntex.
“If you want to earn more, you have to develop high valueadded products,” Man says.
He has registered the trademark Jining Glove Texx One with the EU Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market and the waterproofing trademark NexTex in China.
Now half of the 1.2 million gloves Man’s company makes that are sold overseas bear the label NexTex in addition to foreign trademarks.
It was extremely expensive building a brand and looking for overseas buyers, he says.
“I spent four years registering the trademark with the EU Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market and it cost me 3,000 euros. It’s hard to break into the European and US markets because their standards are so high. So we have taken care to expand research and development projects.”
OEM orders will continue to account for the lion’s share of women are busy making gloves.
“I’m old, but I am able to support myself, so this makes me happy,” says Cao Yuxiang, 75.
Her job is to trim the thread ends, for which she can earn as much as 900 yuan a month at busy times.
“Before coming here ( the family workshop), I had nothing to do but stay at home,” she says. “So it’s not bad at all.”
Cao and her workmates are on the first floor of the workshop. The ground floor is where the owner’s family live. It is also used to store gloves.
Apart from farmers such as Cao who work in family workshops in the village, some farming families make gloves at home on a piece-work basis.
Chen Jianhua, head of the county’s glove industry association, is delighted with how the industry is improving farmers’ lives.
“Before 2008, dozens of buses would come to the county after the Spring Festival to take hundreds of women to work in cities in the south. It was heartbreaking to see elderly people and children seeing these women off, with tears in their eyes.”
By the end of last year, Jiaxiang had about 700 small workshops located in nearly 600 villages, accounting for 85 percent of the villages in the county. These village workshops created jobs for 50,000 farmers, the county government says.
Wang Lixia, 26, has been working at sewing machines for eight years. She worked in a city in the south for two years before returning to her hometown and working at Jining Hee Ka Lee Sport Products Co Ltd. She now heads a section in the company and is paid 2,000 yuan a month.
“The company is near my home, so I can have lunch at home and feed my son,” she says.
Chen says: “We are seeing people’s lifestyles changing. This is encouraging us to better manage the industry.”
One problem that besets the industry is a shortage of labor. Some companies say they are 10 percent short of the number they need.
“A pair of gloves goes through more than 20 procedures, so it is highly labor intensive,” says Meng Hongjian.
Wang, of the county’s official organization for small and medium-sized enterprises, says solutions to solve the labor shortage include raising workers’ skills and upgrading equipment.
Local authorities plan to set up training programs for novices in the industry over the next two years, he says.
A designer at work.
75-year-old Cao Yuxiang trims thread ends from gloves.