Office workers ready to dress down as Shanghai heats up

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2007, 12:00am

After more than two weeks of blistering temperatures, Shanghai's financial district will shed suits for shorts and T-shirts today in a bid to save electricity.

Organisers hope more than 100,000 office workers will swap their white collars for more casual clothing as part of a campaign called 'Cool Dress Day', which is being backed by 31 office buildings in Lujiazui.

'We usually set the air conditioners at 18 degrees Celsius, but on Cool Dress Day we'll turn them up to 20 degrees, so the indoor temperature will be around 25 degrees,' a campaign organiser told the Oriental Morning Post.

Shanghai had its 17th consecutive day of temperatures over 35 degrees yesterday and the mercury is expected to stay at those levels until the end of the month.

In a test run at the New Shanghai International Centre on Friday, nearly 90 per cent of workers in the building dressed down, helping to bring about substantial electricity cuts.

Most of the companies in the designated buildings have signed on for the campaign, which is being promoted by signs in office lobbies.

Organisers say they will consider the campaign a success with 80 per cent participation.

The campaign might even be extended to every Friday throughout the summer, with hopes that office buildings in the Jingan and Luwan districts will join in.

Some workers are welcoming the change of pace, as foreign companies and financial institutions in Lujiazui typically have strict requirements for workplace attire.

Office worker Tang Min said he was looking forward to the day.

'Usually, I can only see three colours in our building, white, black and grey. But this Friday I will see various kinds of styles and colours. I think it will put me in a happy mood for work,' he said.

Still, organisers warned participants not to go too far. 'For multinational companies, slippers and sleeveless shirts should still be prohibited,' one said.


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