How To Start A Shoe Manufacturing Business – Most of the people who make goods in the United States come from poor rural areas in China. Photo courtesy of Shanghai 808 Studio
China Correspondent Jennifer Park and Shanghai Bureau News Assistant Charles Zhang talk to people inside the world’s largest shoe industry about their successes and challenges in recent decades. You can read more stories from the China 70 series here. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– – ––––––––––––––––––
- 1 How To Start A Shoe Manufacturing Business
- 2 New Balance Expanding U.s. Footwear Factories With $65 Million Project In Maine
- 3 America Is Back In The Factory Business
How To Start A Shoe Manufacturing Business
China accounts for nearly 70 percent of US shoe imports — Chinese manufacturers shipped 1.7 billion pairs of shoes to America in 2018, according to the US Commerce Department.
Starting A Footwear Business
The industry includes cheap Chinese labor from poorer parts of the countryside; It is estimated that there are 288 million migrant workers in China’s rural areas. Here is their story in Dongguan, southern China.
Tai Hongling inspects a pair of Kenneth Cole shoes before shipping them to the United States (Charles Zhang/)
2003 Wages: Factory workers receive basic wages plus extra money and overtime pay for each finished shoe. That year, Tai earned 960 yuan ($130) a month, the same as a year’s worth of farming in his village.
The hardest part of working in Dongguan: Being away from family. She was forced to leave her teenage son and 5-year-old daughter behind when she first went to a city 900 miles away from her village to look for work. He didn’t go home to collect money the first year. “I cried when my kids called,” Ty said.
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US President Donald Trump has said that China’s trade relationship with the US has benefited China more than the US. Does he feel like a winner? Tai isn’t sure if he’s the winner. The income earned in the field of production allowed him to send his children to school, pay for his son’s wedding, and build a two-story family house in his village. But the shoe industry is leaving China due to rising labor costs. “A lot of people without jobs went to cheaper places like Vietnam and Cambodia,” Thai said.
Liu Ping, a factory worker, said 14-hour shifts are normal at a shoe factory. (Charles Jean/)
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Working hours: 8:00 to 22:00. a maximum of three days off per month. The working days were long, he said. In 2004, it would start at 7:00 a.m. and run until at least 1:00 a.m. Migrant workers with such long working hours return to their homeland once a year, usually during the New Year.
The Chinese Workers Who Make Your Shoes
Zhao Yanpeng said he worked in a factory where meat was not served in the cafeteria. The sell-by date for the offered rice has also passed. (Charles Jean/)
His current salary: 46,800 yuan ($6,500) a year, less than the 10,000 yuan ($1,400) he earns growing wheat in his hometown.
Family: His wife works in another city, he leaves his two teenage sons with his grandparents in his native village. His family gets together once a year, but he says it’s worth it to earn more and save more.
Plan to spend your savings: Help your two sons get married. Although his two sons are in high school, he and his wife want to save money for their children’s wedding. It is customary for the groom’s family to offer the bride a large sum of money. In Zhao’s hometown, the cash prizes of 100,000 to 200,000 yuan ($14,000 to $28,000) are equivalent to two to four years’ salary. Moreover, when their son gets married, they are expected to buy real estate and cars.
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Yang Yanping needs this factory job to be seen as marriage material to buy real estate for her son in China. (Charles Jean/)
Factors that prompted you to go to the village at the age of 43? To earn enough money to buy an apartment in the nearest city. It will cost 200-500 thousand yuan ($28-70 thousand), which is equivalent to 2.5-6 years of her and her husband’s salary. This property allows the son to be considered marriage material by other families in China. Ian is also saving for retirement, health care and care for his elderly parents. Rural China has a pension system that covers the poor, but the amount is small. In some provinces, the pension is 100 yuan ($14) per month.
Li Xiaoling’s salary is used to pay for his son’s private school. She doesn’t want her son to work in a factory. (Charles Jean/)
How she spends her earnings: She sends her son to a private high school, which costs 40,000 yuan ($5,700) a year, or about two-thirds of her annual salary. School fees are four times higher. than public schools. “I hope she gets a good education so she doesn’t end up working in a factory like my husband and I,” Lee said.
Shoe Making Process
Since the pension in the village is small, Li Zhaoming sends half of his salary to his parents. (Charles Jean/)
Salary: 4,000 yuan ($570) per month, half of which is returned to elderly parents through China’s rural pension system.
Can he live in Dongguan? This is difficult. Lee can’t afford a house in the city on factory wages; Living in Dongguan is expensive. However, Lee said he is not yet ready to return to the village. “I want to work for a few more years when I’m young. Besides, I get a much higher salary here than in my native country.”
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Your donation today strengthens the independent journalism you rely on. For just $5 a month, we let you report on the things that matter. How are shoes produced in factories? The shoe manufacturing process is basically the same for all types of shoes. The manufacturing process for athletic shoes is very similar to the process used to make children’s sneakers, Air Jordan™, or women’s high heels. Shoe factories around the world carry out the basic steps of making shoes.
In this article, we will discuss each of these shoe manufacturing processes. Of course, the number of operations is not 3. Depending on how you count, the act count is over 30,000.
The shoe manufacturing process begins with cutting the material. Shoe parts are usually cut from steel using a hydraulic press. Shoe detail cutters look like regular cookie cutters, but they are very sharp. Each part of the shoe needs its own cutter. Each piece of each size needs its own shelf. These shoe parts are called shoe models. Large numbers of sets are often required to support the production of high-top shoes in popular sizes. The cutter is placed by hand on the leather or cloth material and then the press is closed to cut.
After the pieces are cut, the worker carefully arranges and assembles the shoe pieces. The parts are then processed before being sewn. Parts are marked for alignment or logos are added from the table and print section.
America Is Back In The Factory Business
After preparing the parts, the workers of the shoe factory assemble the parts in the sewing department.
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After processing and arranging the shoe parts, the sewing department of the shoe factory takes care of them. In the sewing section, operations are divided into simple steps. Each worker is given one task. For example, one worker sews the vamp pieces into the clay, then passes the shoe to the next worker to attach the heel pieces. By assigning each activity to a single employee, quality control staff can quickly track down any issues. Separation of duties allows employees to quickly master their duties.
In the sewing department, the uppers are assembled, the lining is glued, and the collar and tongue are foamed.
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The top is completely assembled by connecting the fittings and heating them. The toe and heel counters are made and ready for final assembly.
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