China National Group Co. Ltd
China National is a Japan-invested supplier of
parkas and windbreakers based in Wuxi, Jiangsu
province. Its 500-worker factory focuses on high
volume production of midrange and high-end jackets
primarily for the Japan market.
OEM orders account for 60 percent of exports and
ODM, 30 percent. The company also markets its
products under the in-house cnclady brand.
The company is building a new factory in Yixing,
about 100 km away from the current site, with a
total area of 30,000 sqm. In October 2005, the first
phase covering 12,000 sqm was put into operation.
Apart from jackets, the company makes shirts and
sweaters for export.
Windbreakers, down jackets and parkas account for
more than one-third of China National's output.
Priced at around US$20 each, the jackets mainly have
a micro suede or polyester taffeta shell and down
padding. Zippers, snaps, buttons and toggles are
used for closure. All of the jackets do not have
China National sources materials from Jiangsu or
Zhejiang, but also imports from Japan, South Korea
or Taiwan on buyers' requests.
The 30-member R&D team releases 20 to 30 new
styles for the autumn/winter and spring/summer
seasons. Counter samples can be made within three to
five days provided the warehouse has enough supply
of needed raw materials and accessories.
Some of the company's new jacket releases have
sleeve cuffs similar to those seen in shirts. Many
of these will come in shades of dark pink, shell and
wine. China National will also releasing more
jackets that come with a sweater in matching color,
fabric and style.
Because of higher labor costs, the company will
raise product prices by 10 to 15 percent in coming
months. The government is requiring companies to
provide better benefits and insurance to workers,
effectively raising labor costs by about 10 percent.
China National has two three-storey buildings, one
each for sweater and jacket production.
In the jacket factory, one section of the third
floor serves as the warehouse for accessories, which
are sourced locally. The cutting workshop, also
located on this floor, has eight or nine workers
with four cutters.
Workers first plan the design's layout to
maximize usage before the fabric is cut. The current
utilization rate for jacket fabric is 90 percent.
Each cut piece is examined for defects such as
stains, oil, grease or holes before it is sent to
the sewing workshop.
There are two sewing workshops on the second
floor. Both workshops are equipped with local and
imported mechanical and computerized sewing
Plain jackets or those with silkscreened patterns
are sent to the first floor for finishing and
ironing. But models that need embroidery and crochet
work are sent to subcontractor factories.
All outsourced fabric is inspected by machine.
All finished garments are visually inspected before
they are packed for shipping.
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