Emily's Silkbody factory visit

Silkbody designer Emily Cooper in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong in my Silkbody Swing Skirt and Sleeveless Crew.

Last month I took the family with me to the place where our Silkbody Silkfleece garments are being produced in China. With a holiday stop-off in Hong Kong on the way, my capsule wardrobe of Silkbody was put to the test and, not surprisingly, kept me comfortable and stylish most effortlessly! Read on for details of what I wore and some photos of our wee trip.


What I wore:

I took just 10 items for 10 days. They easily fitted into the 7kg carry-on limit, especially as I was wearing four of them! All were in black, except for the v-neck cardigan in Atlantic and the wrap scarf in Sage:

Wrap Scarf (these first four were my plane uniform there and back)
Sleeveless Dress (worn for three days straight in Hong Kong)
Crepe Boat Neck Top (worn with the crepe pants and beads for meetings)
Short Drape Cardigan (teamed with the crepe pants and camisole for dinner out)

Plus I found a new use for the Wrap Scarf on the plane! By tying the ends to the outside hinges of two closed tray tables I made a sling for my legs and feet to keep them elevated. What a difference it made to sleeping in economy class!


The factory:

This is a small, boutique outfit of just 15 workers, who are highly skilled in sewing silk knits. The Silkfleece fabric had just arrived when we did, so cutting and sewing was just underway. We inspected the production and toured the facility. Our timing was off for viewing the silkworms being reared in the farms nearby. They were about a week from hatching out. I'll make sure to bring you photos next time. You can see some of our snaps of the trip below. Enjoy!

By they way, I love in China how every available space is utilised for food production. Here in the factory grounds, shown below, are broad beans, spring onions and brassica crops. These are used to make lunch for the workers in the factory kitchen, usually served with some pork and rice.

Silkbody factory

The exterior of the small factory producing the Silkbody Silkfleece. Note the 'kitchen garden' in the grounds.

Silkbody factory workers

The main sewing room.

Silkbody factory inspections

Inspecting the fabric and patterns.

Silkbody factory detail

A corner in the sample room; a skilled sewer at work.

Silkbody factory portraits

Posed shots showing me and my travelling companions in my very comfortable outfit of Silkbody Crepe Pants and Crepe Boat Neck Top.

Silkbody factory sightseeing

Sightseeing during a free day in China (in a Silkbody Wrap Skirt, Crepe Camisole and Short Drape Cardigan); this shot of our daughter taking a casual seat next to a man fishing is a favourite of mine. It says so much about China's rapid expansion of infrastructure into rural areas (and the unabashed curiosity of children!).

Silkbody factory visit - views

Views from our hotel in Nanjing; the serene Nan Lian garden beside the Buddhist Chi Lin Nunnery in Hong Kong. It's well worth taking the MTR to the nearby Diamond Hill station and enjoying the five-course vegetarian set meal in the garden restaurant.

Comments

Hi, Kay. The monthly wages always be paid on time and, all the worders’ human rights are fully respected by the manager.

I feel highly honored to be a supplier of SILKBODY for 16 years. I do believe the biz relationship with wll be sustained for next decade because of mutual understanding,mutual trust and mutual support!

Hi Kay. Thank you for your comments! To reassure you, yes, the workers are paid a fair wage. In fact, wages have increased in China and it is now difficult for many factories there to compete with the low cost of production offered by those in places like Cambodia, which is around one third the cost of Chinese production. Our workers are skilled and valued. Thanks, Emily.

Great pictures, and your factory and workshop looks like a good place to work!

I love travelling with my silkbody… Especially love the way it keeps me warm (in a cool plane, or a Wellington winter) and cool (in Singapore’s humidity or the Middle East’s dry heat).

A question about the factory: are the workers paid a fair wage?? – The question behind the question, I am interested in support a NZ company who, is also an global citizen and respects the working conditions of women and men – who like me – are trying to feed a family, educate my children and access medical care.

Thanks Emily. Kay

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