Take a look inside Yiwu, China‘s sweatshop city that builds and sells you Christmas, year after year, like clockwork. This is Santa Claus’ real life workshop, where instead of elves, his little helpers are underpaid and most of the times underage Chinese workers.
The city of Yiwu is home to 600 factories and produces 60% of all the decorations in the world. It has been named “China’s Christmas village” and it produces anything Christmas related. Starting from your basic Christmas decorations to the most complex lighting circuits, all to offer the rest of the world a beautiful winter holiday.
The factories pay ‘Santa’s little helpers’ with a maximum of $300-$450 a month, and they work 12 hours a day, everyday, just to make Christmas possible for the rest of the world.
Located 300 km south of Shanghai, the complex has been declared by the UN to be the ‘largest small commodity wholesale market in the world’. This city of Yiwu is the real life version of Santa’s North Pole shop where we are told that elves work with joy, day after day, just to make all the good children in the world happy on Christmas day.
Unfortunately, life in reality is never as good as the life we see portrayed in fairytales. These underpaid and exploited Chinese workers inhale toxic fumes and vapors everyday and get almost nothing in return.
Kind of makes you think twice about how the people that build and sell us Christmas actually live…