In the nineties Thai fishermen pants were all the rage, as backpackers spending their summers in Thailand took them home and began wearing them at raves and festivals around the world.
Today it is all about elephant pants, ubiquitously seen in every major tourist spot across the country.
CityNews visited Chinrada Garment Factory in Doi Saket today to see how big a business these comfy, loose, cottoned pants covered in elephant prints are.
“We have hundreds of different patterns in a multitude of colours,” said Kingkarn Samorn, Chinrada Garment Factory’s manager. “Celebrities such as rapper Jackson Wang have been seen on TikTok dancing in these pants, it has just gone viral and people want them.”
Chinrada has 80 full time staff currently churning out over 2,000 elephant pants per days, supplying orders booked up well into April.
“It all took off last year,” she continued. “Previously it was European and US travellers buying them to take home as souvenirs, they were great gifts because they were free size, easy to wear with anything, came in multiple patterns, packed compactly, were light and cool to wear, unisex and cheap”
There is drama brewing on the horizon, however, as social media users in Cambodia have been increasingly upset at Thailand’s apparent ‘cultural appropriation’, claiming that the elephant pant design came out of Cambodia and not Thailand.
“I don’t agree,” claimed Kingkarn. “These patterns of elephants have been widely used in Chiang Mai for a long time. Anyway, even if it is true, each factory makes its own design so there is no copyright.”