The U.S. is known for its fashion-forward ideology; Americans are known to spend approximately $1,800 on clothing every year. In fact, the number of fashion consumers is expected to over 1.2 billion by the year 2020. Although Canada’s $43.6 billion dollar fashion industry pales in comparison to the U.S. (valued at $292 billion) they nonetheless are thriving. Every year, Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada (ATSC) holds a B2B event that allows retailers and representatives from across the continent to get together and discuss the latest in fashion technology, eco-friendly textiles, and sustainable supply chains. This year, the gathering promises to be bigger than ever.
“ATSC sets a new standard for the production of a sourcing event, not only for Canada, but for the apparel industry at large,” said Jeff Streader, CEO of GoGlobal Retail. “Toronto has now anchored itself amongst cities like Hong Kong and Paris as an earmark destination for manufacturers from around the world to meet with brands and retailers at their front door. Connecting with factories is the foundation of the event, however, it’s the education, thought leadership, keynote speakers and panelists that set the show above the rest.”
In 2019, there’s a clear focus on sustainability in supply chains. As retailers and manufacturers begin to understand the global shift toward environmental and social concerns (especially by younger generations), more emphasis is being placed on making the logistics of the industry more environmentally-friendly. Canada’s container trucking industry moves approximately 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs, and the nation’s recent tax on carbon has already begun to change the tide: by increasing the price of diesel fuel, trucking companies will be pushed to make the switch to electric vehicles. At the same time, clothing companies are doing their part to ensure they know where and how their clothing is made.
“People are more mindful than ever before about how and where their clothing is made,” explained Bob Kirke, Executive Director of the Canadian Apparel Federation, a strong ATSC supporter since the show’s inception. “Forward-thinking companies will need to keep consumer preferences top of mind throughout the production process and be aware of the practical solutions they can implement to address sustainability concerns.”
In addition to the spotlight on sustainability, Canadian clothing retailers are pushing for eCommerce developments. As the technological trend takes the world by storm, Canada is looking to export its goods into this major market; this year’s seminar series is expected to provide valuable resource options that help retailers move bulk merchandise in and out of the Canadian market by leveraging cross-border eCommerce platforms and other omni-channel solutions.