Sharjah24 – Reuters: The "Made in Korea" green tracksuits and pink jumpsuits worn by characters in Netflix's global hit "Squid Game have proven a pre-Halloween bright spot for a South Korean garment industry struggling during the pandemic.
A 500-square-meter (598-square-yard) garment factory in the Seongbuk district of the capital Seoul was humming this week, green and pink thread flying off stacked spools off serger machines in a race to meet orders.
The South Korean garment industry had been in decline even before the pandemic with higher wage levels making it difficult to compete with China, Vietnam or Indonesia.
Of the 2,144 manufacturing businesses in Seongbuk, 70% - or 1,510 - are apparel companies, Seoul Fashion Textile Sewing Association chairman Oh Byung-yeol told Reuters.
A child's Squid Game tracksuit was selling for 30,000 won ($25.50) in Namdaemun Market, the country's largest traditional market where stock ranges from kitchenware to jewelry.
Squid Game has been watched by 142 million households since its Sept. 17 debut, according to Netflix, the world's largest streaming service, helping it add 4.38 million new subscribers.
Many small business owners in South Korea recognized themselves in the cash-strapped characters of the wildly popular thriller, who vie desperately for a chance to win $38 million, exposing a debt trap that is all too familiar.