Workers in a sewing factory in northern China have a new choice: buy uniforms from a local company, or buy their own from a foreign company.
The workers, some of them women, have been using the overseas brands of their choice for the past two months to earn the living wage in the capital Beijing, where they are in a joint-stock company with an Indian clothing maker.
“The clothes we make here are very high-quality, the quality of the work we do is good and we’re very proud of it,” said Nandini, the 27-year-old seamstress.
The sewing workers at a sewing company in northern Shaanxi province, China, in August.
Al Jazeera’s Mark Robinson, reporting from Beijing, said many of the factories are not as cosy as the one in Sichuan, China.
“Many people are wearing the uniforms they made with Chinese fabrics,” he said.
“We’re getting a little bit nervous because they’re making uniforms that are made from other people’s clothes, and that’s a real problem.”
He said the sewing workers’ bosses told them that they had to work very hard, and they had no choice but to buy their uniforms from overseas.
“It’s very scary,” he added.
“They said, ‘we’ve got to pay you more than our workers here in China, but if you work hard, we’ll make you a lot more’.”
A few of the sewing factory’s sewing machine operators at the factory in Shaanghai.
Al Arabiya English has spoken to some of the workers in the factory, who told Al Jazeera they were unhappy about the outsourcing and working conditions.
Nandini said the workers have been told by the workers’ boss to work even harder.
“He said he’ll pay us a lot and we can buy more clothes.
We can buy better clothes,” she said.
Alarm bells are ringing in the workplace as Chinese manufacturers are increasingly using the outsourcing industry to make clothes in India and the US.
Earlier this year, the US Commerce Department warned the use of outsourcing could put the economy at risk.