SEOUL (Reuters): The “Made in Korea” green tracksuits and pink jumpsuits that were worn by characters in Netflix’s global hit ‘Squid Game’ have become quite popular in South Korea.
A 500-square-metre (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 with loud knocking noises in a race to meet orders.
“October is usually a slow month for the sewing industry, but thanks to Squid Game and Halloween, we are scrambling to stitch,” factory owner Kim jin-ja, 54, told Reuters. “We are now sewing 6,000 teal-green tracksuits for toddlers and children,” she added.
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.
“The two years of COVID have been a tough time for domestic fashion corporations,” said Seongbuk Mayor Lee Seung-ro. “(But) Squid Game, which has become a global sensation, has also made tracksuits popular domestically, leading to a flood of orders.”
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 jewellery.
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.