The notion of global fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.
The announcement of import tax reductions follows changes in June 2015, when the government cut the tariffs on clothing, cosmetics and various other goods by half. Among the changes — easier tax refunds for overseas shoppers and accelerated openings of more duty-free shops in cities covered by the 72-hour visa scheme. The 72-hour visa was introduced in Beijing and Shanghai in January 2013 and has been extended to 18 Chinese cities.
^ Dalto, A. (2010, September). Brands tempt female bloggers with ‘swag’. O’Dwyer's Communications and New Media: The Fashion Issue, 24(9), 12–13. Retrieved from http://www.odwyerpr.com/profiles/O%27Dwyer%27s%20Magazine%20-%20Sep.%202010.pdf in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.