The second half of our third day in Hong Kong featured a visit to the L plus H Fashion Limited Company. The company COO Ada Ho greeted us at the door and shared the background of her unique company that stared in July 2009. She describes her company as a social enterprise to create job opportunities for middle aged workers who previously were out of work as a result of factories leaving Hong Kong. She sought out a long term solution that enabled these employees to build upon previuos work skills and further develop their craft.
The average worker is 45 to 60 years old. A total workforce of about 60 to 70 workers makes 200 pieces per day, with quality that rivals Italian factories but at a lower cost. They buy raw materials and knit the sweaters from there, using high technology such as seamless garment makers and an RFID system that enables management to track who touches each piece. L plus H is the first sweater factory to use this system, which is maintained by a young management team.
Ada believes that a company must 'invest in the future to sustain a competitive advantage.' They are currently investing in digital printing that will help the factory stand out from competitors. After a tour of the small yet clean and organized factory, Ada left us with some insightful advice on leadership that will benefit us all in our future endeavors. One lasting impression of this factory was the very comfortable atmosphere, excellent work conditions, and generally high morale. We all additionally have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the clothes we wear and the vast amount of preparation that goes into making each and every piece of clothing.
After L plus H we 'galloped' over to the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Hong Kong Island for dinner. We were seated in the Racing Club overlooking the entire racetrack. The dinner was graciously hosted by LF USA. Thank you! It was certainly one of the fanciest and most delicious dinners of the trip and of many of our lives. The buffet featured a wide variety of seafood such as escargot, oysters, tuna, salmon, scallops, and sushi, as well as foie gras, fruits, lamb, duck, pigeon, beef tenderloin, and sinfully delectable desserts. It was a wonderful final group dinner to cap off our trip. After the meal we explored the bustling nightlife that Hong Kong has to offer. Everyone explored Lan Kwai Fong, a famous bar and club district where we danced the night away. We are extremely grateful to Kohl's, Li and Fung, our advisors, and everyone who helped organize our journey through China.
Thanks for reading! - Emily, Lizzie, and Kevin.