Monday, May 14, 2018

The Hat Industry: Foundational

According to Google maps, near Laiji in Alishan an exotic people has taken root.

From The Taiwan hat industry: Pre-war roots of the post-war miracle
Taiwan's pre-war hat industry was a precursor of the export-oriented living-room factory industries which played a leading role in Taiwan's post-1960 economic miracle. After World War I, success in the global hat trade required quick reaction to ever-changing fashion. Taiwan's hat industry was based on a flexible subcontracting system which could respond quickly to fashion change and ramp up production at short notice. Taiwan's early hat industry has been overshadowed by its larger agricultural exporting industries, but the hat industry itself was, by many standards, large and influential. Evidence suggests that Taiwan's early experience in the hat trade was a key factor behind Taiwan's later post-war success.
The miracle years are long over, and flexible production is increasingly moving elsewhere....
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