High Demand for ‘Squid Game’ Tracksuits Cheers S.Korea’s Struggling Garment Sector

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SEOUL—The “Made successful Korea” greenish tracksuits and pinkish jumpsuits worn by characters successful Netflix’s planetary deed “Squid Game” person proven a pre-Halloween agleam spot for a South Korean garment manufacture struggling during the pandemic.

A 598-square-yard garment mill successful the Seongbuk territory of the superior Seoul was humming this week, greenish and pinkish thread flying disconnected stacked spools disconnected serger machines with large knocking noises successful a contention to conscionable orders.

Epoch Times Photo A pistillate works connected tracksuits inspired by Netflix bid “Squid Game” astatine a covering mill successful Seoul, South Korea, connected Oct. 21, 2021. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

“October is usually a dilatory period for the sewing industry, but acknowledgment to Squid Game and Halloween, we are scrambling to stitch,” mill proprietor Kim Jin-ja, 54, told Reuters. “We are present sewing 6,000 teal-green tracksuits for toddlers and children.”

Kim says her yearly income of $1.27 cardinal plummeted to a 3rd of what she utilized to marque aft the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Most of her orders came from Japan but question restrictions forced her to unopen down successful August and September.

She present hopes orders volition past past Halloween and sees amended chances of renewed exports with “Made successful Korea” labels.

The South Korean garment manufacture had been successful diminution adjacent earlier the pandemic with higher wage levels making it hard to vie with China, Vietnam, oregon Indonesia.

Of the 2,144 manufacturing businesses successful Seongbuk, 70 percent-or 1,510—are apparel companies, Seoul Fashion Textile Sewing Association president Oh Byung-yeol told Reuters.

“The 2 years of COVID person been a pugnacious clip for home manner corporations,” said Seongbuk Mayor Lee Seung-ro. “¨[But] Squid Game, which has go a planetary sensation, has besides made tracksuits fashionable domestically, starring to a flood of orders.”

A child’s Squid Game tracksuit was selling for $25.50 successful Namdaemun Market, the country’s largest accepted marketplace wherever banal ranges from kitchenware to jewellery.

Epoch Times Photo A granddaughter of covering mill proprietor Ko Jong-hyun leans connected tracksuits inspired by Netflix bid “Squid Game” astatine his works successful Seoul, South Korea, connected Oct. 21, 2021. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

A garment vendor successful the marketplace said helium and others did not person capable tracksuits to conscionable soaring demand.

Squid Game has been watched by 142 cardinal households since its Sept. 17 debut, according to Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, helping it adhd 4.38 cardinal caller subscribers.

Many tiny concern owners successful South Korea recognized themselves successful the cash-strapped characters of the wildly fashionable thriller, who vie desperately for a accidental to triumph $38 million, exposing a indebtedness trap that is each excessively familiar.

By Yeni Seo and Sangmi Cha