Yao Yunfei, a son of a traditional Chinese tailor and second successive founder of Jiaxing Getelan Garments Co Ltd, shared his view on how the Internet has transformed the traditional garments industry of a China’s historic town.
Yao’s company is located at Wuzhen, a South China’s water town, a permanent home for World Internet Conference event.
Back in 1970, the company’s predecessor was a local State-owned factory that produced shirts and blouses. Yao’s father worked with hundreds of workers in the factory. Yao filled his father’s shoes and began to upgrade the factory in the beginning of 1980s.
“We started to use Internet to raise funds, develop distribution channels and even crowdfund our designers since last year,” said Yao Yunfei, founder of Jiaxing Getelan Garments Co Ltd. The clothing company was re-established in 2003 and registered as “Wuzhen”.
“Even the buttons of our clothing can be designed by designers from Shanghai or other cities through our online community,” said Yao. “We’ve built our enterprise’s account on WeChat to promote our brand and interact with our existing and potential consumers.”
Currently, the company operates a physical store at the Wuzhen tourist scenic zone, right inside the hometown of the WIC.
The company is making use of its location advantage, which is based at the WIC conference venue, to combine designers’ crowdfunding, online to offline (O2O) sales model and digitized fitting experience.
“We’ve introduced 3D full-body scanning and printing technology to provide tailored clothing to our customers,” said Yao.
Although the system is still used as a prototype, Yao believes that by introducing 3D technology into the traditional industry will revolutionize the sector and provide more interactive experiences for its consumers. The company is in talk with a Chinese 3D tech firm to improve the system.
According to the company, by creating high-quality pure silk and linen fabrics, the “Wuzhen” brand demonstrates the ethnic characteristics of “hometown of silkworm and silk”,
“We recorded a turnover of 70 million yuan ($1 million) this year”. “I hope our dresses will be chosen as the official ceremonial dresses for WIC’s staff next year,” Yao said.
With a history of 1,300 years, Wuzhen hosted the first WIC in 2014 and the delegates were impressed by its modern Internet facilities and local people’s awareness about the Internet applications that can benefit their daily lives.