35% of Socks In The World Where Are They Made

You know, most of the socks in your drawer are produced in the same place – Datang Street, Zhuji City, Zhejiang Province, China.The population of Datang Street is less than 100,000, but the socks produced account for 35% of the world’s total. In 2020, the output value of socks will reach 75 billion yuan, and this year it may break through the 100 billion mark.Small socks, small streets, how did they develop into hundreds of billions of industries?

In fact, the development of Datang sock industry has five waves.

Article Contents


The first wave was in 1969, when Zhongjia Village next door bought 16 hand sock machines from Shanghai and founded Zhongjia sock factory.The production efficiency of the hand sock machine is very low, and it can only weave 40 or 50 pairs of socks from morning to night. But the profit was amazing. At that time, a pair of socks could earn nearly 1 yuan, while only 40 cents could be earned after working in the production team for a day. Weaving socks for a day was more than working in the production team for a month.

The people in Datang Town were jealous and thought about buying machine knitted socks, but a machine cost 140 yuan, and one person could afford it after ten years in the production team without eating or drinking. So relatives and neighbors began to raise money to buy machines. After buying them, they would knit socks together every night, and the next day they would not delay working in the production team.In this way, Datang Town soon became rich.


The second wave is that after the reform and opening up, people with sock weaving experience completely let go and bought more efficient electric sock looms. The sock industry in Datang Town expanded rapidly.By the mid-1980s, 70% of the local rural households were sock farmers in Datang Town, and half of them had small family workshops.

There are people, weather and time, and good location.The prosperity of sock making in the Tang Dynasty depends on a good neighbor, Yiwu.


This is the third wave. In 1986, the total trade volume of Yiwu’s commodities reached 100 million yuan, and buyers from all over the country poured into Yiwu.However, the distance from Datang Town to Yiwu is only more than 50 kilometers, and sock transport teams go back and forth between the two places all year round. In this way, the pattern of selling products in Datang and Yiwu has gradually taken shape. Is it very similar to the front store and back factory model in Shenzhen and Hong Kong?

With the increasing output, Datang Town began to build an industrial chain and take the path of specialized production.In 1991, Datang Town established the first textile raw material market. In the following years, an industrial chain covering chemical fiber, hosiery weaving, printing and dyeing, marketing, transportation, etc. has been formed throughout the whole production process of the hosiery industry.


The fourth wave was in 2001, when China formally joined the WTO, Made in China began to go global, and the sock industry in Datang Town took off further.By 2005, the Los Angeles Times of the United States said that Datang Town had defeated the American town of Fort Payne, which has a history of 100 years of sock industry, to become the new “sock capital of the world”. In fact, in 2004, Datang Town produced 9 billion pairs of socks, nine times as many as Fort Payne. It has long been the “World Socks Capital”.

However, at that time, Datang Socks mainly took the OEM route, and the proportion of independent brands was less than 10%. Although a large number of exports were made, the profits were very thin.It was also in 2005 that all Chinese people were saddened by the saying: “China can only exchange 800 million shirts for an airplane.” At that time, when we exported shirts, the profit per shirt was only 2.4 yuan, while an Airbus A380 was worth 240 million dollars. This phenomenon is also applicable to Tang socks.


People in Datang began to invest heavily in R&D and build their own brands. Taobao has been very helpful in this process.This is the fifth wave that Datang Socks experienced.Taobao was born in 2003. By 2008, the total retail sales had exceeded 100 billion yuan.For the sock factories in Datang Town, what they need most is to quickly establish a brand and build a good sales channel to reach the end consumers. Before the Internet era, it would take at least two or three years to complete this series of actions, while in the Internet era, it can be achieved in a few months.

After more than ten years of construction, by 2019, 36 innovative enterprises in the global sock industry in China had entered the top 100, including 24 from Datang, 6 more than the United States.Now Datang has four Chinese well-known trademarks and three Chinese famous brands, becoming a typical sample of the rise of Chinese brands.

WIN@TEX have cooperation with hundreds of sock suppliers in Datang, enjoy rich resources, can act as your agent, provide you with the most affordable price and the best quality, and meet your personalized customization needs.


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