Hanfu industry thrives in Caoxian county, E China's Shandong

By Yuan Meng, Zhang Wenjie, Zhou Linjia, Fanny Pittemans (People's Daily Online) 08:36, February 07, 2024

By embracing e-commerce, the Hanfu industry has developed rapidly in Caoxian county, Heze city, east China's Shandong Province, in recent years.

Today, Caoxian is responsible for 40 percent of Hanfu sales nationwide, a style of clothing traditionally worn by the Han people, making it the largest production hub for Hanfu in the country.

Currently, Caoxian hosts more than 2,000 companies engaged in the Hanfu business and over 13,000 online Hanfu stores. In 2023, the county's Hanfu sales reached 7 billion yuan ($983 million), with nearly 100,000 people involved in the Hanfu industry.

Caoxian has developed a comprehensive Hanfu industrial chain that includes original research and development, design, production, accessories, performances, exhibitions, and more.

Zhang Zichen, a young Hanfu designer who graduated last year, has a deep love for Hanfu and traditional Chinese culture. Following her graduation, she returned to her hometown to pursue a career in Hanfu design.

"The rise of guochao, a consumer trend translated as 'China-chic' that has captivated the nation's younger generations, was bound to happen. I feel a sense of pride when others acknowledge that my Hanfu comes from Heze's Caoxian county," Zhang remarked.

"The key challenge for designers is to adapt and innovate traditional patterns, combining them with the modern elements or colors that people prefer to enhance our Mamianqun," Zhang further explained.

She is currently designing a Mamianqun, a type of Hanfu, which incorporates elements of blue and white porcelain. "It features the elegant hues of blue and white porcelain and peony flowers, emblematic of Heze's local culture," Zhang noted.

The Hanfu industry in Caoxian is increasingly engaging local residents. Many women, who previously stayed at home caring for children and older adults, are now producing Hanfu as a means of earning income.

"We have employed local people and trained them to become skilled workers," said Gao Yan, head of the production department at Caoxian Yunmu Apparel Co., Ltd.

Caoxian also hosts a dedicated livestream center to promote Hanfu. The exhibition hall of the center showcases nearly 4,000 types of Hanfu. The center has 40 livestream rooms and has attracted 15 livestreamers so far, whose total daily sales volume amounts to about 250,000 yuan.

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Du Mingming)


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