Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Flashback Production Post, Shenzhen – Guangzhou Part 2 (December 2008)

With no idea what to expect, and only a few phone calls and emails to prepare our itinerary, we launched into our first trip to China. We were excited and nervous, and prayed that something decent would come out of our work. Several months passed and we found ourselves back in bustling Shenzhen, this time to check on our production, size up facilities, finish up sampling, and meet with fabric mills

guangzhou train station
Waiting for the train to Shenzhen

Here’s a rough outline of our itinerary.
Day 1: Arrived in Guangzhou. Rested, then caught up with our friends in the city.
Day 2: Caught an early morning train to Shenzhen, where we visited several fabric companies. Had a great lunch and spent the remainder of the day viewing our main production factory. We finished off the night editing garments in the meeting room.
Day3: Back to Guangzhou, where we visited several fabric stores, and market areas.
Day4: Checked out some of the garment markets to see if there were any B-Grades, and sussed out the production opportunities.
Day5: We visited Guangzhou textile center, a complex too big to describe.
Day6: Spent the day relaxing before we returned to Singapore.

Boarding the train to Shenzhen

We woke early on our second day to catch the first train to Shenzhen, where we met with our production manager Ben, and started our first appointments with fabric mills. The meetings went well, with our conversations running smoothly in English, but I decided its time I brushed up on my Mandarin. The quality of the show rooms and offices surpassed our expectations, and there was a decent selection of stock fabric, but we ended the day mindful that our sourcing was far from complete.

In the fabric show room

After scrutinizing fabrics for hours I took a break and went to the window to look out over the city. It was an endless sprawl of factories and building complexes. As I scanned the skyline it was overwhelming to consider the volume of goods produced there and shipped around the world.

guangzhou, productionscape
Production City Scape

This awareness of size accompanies all travel through China. Super highways, mega complexes, and skyscrapers confronted us everywhere we went. On our first trip we mistook with sensation for giddiness and excitement, but this time we were sure it was the urban sprawl that created this staggering sensation. Ben told us this massive development has only taken place within the last 10-15 years. Although the media has been quick to document this growth, nothing can accurately capture the experience of seeing the unending rows of factories that make up Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Slurping to our heart's content

After a delicious lunch of freshly made noodles, which I can still taste right now, we drove to our production facility to inspect our production and sampling lines. We were happy to find out we share the same facility with world-renowned labels that adhere to high quality standards. We toured the facility and meet some of the staff, we headed to the meeting room for a long run of sample editing.

To be continued in part 3


cjf said...

to those of you who took the time to email in and notify us about the glitch with comments, thank you very much :)

your support and diligence is valued greatly

Anonymous said...

eh cmon lah post more juicy info, i know you all party party one--- where the photos?????

cjf said...

Anon: That's a good idea. Initially we wanted content to be a little more selective in terms of keeping more personal bits out but I guess we could include some drunk photos from business travels... hahaha!

Dave said...

you gonna write about the osaka trip soon??? haha