Keynote Message For ATSC — Apparel Manufacturers, Retailers Must Change Focus To Respond To Today’s “On Demand” Consumer

TORONTO — June 23, 2016 — When it comes to fashion, the demands of today’s consumer have changed and apparel manufacturers and retailers need to be more flexible and responsive to cater to shoppers’ “see it now, want to wear it now” mindset in order to survive and thrive.

That’s the message of leading global industry expert Jeff Streader, who will be giving a keynote speech at Canada’s first apparel and textile sourcing show — Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada (ATSC) — to be held August 22-24, 2016, at the International Centre in Toronto.

A comprehensive trade show and conference, ATSC will bring to Canada more than 200 apparel and textile manufacturers from around the world, including China, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, the U.S., Honduras, Peru and other countries. Delivering an unprecedented platform for making global industry connections, ATSC will provide attendees – including small businesses, retailers, manufacturers and designers across Canada – with new insights and up-to-date information needed to more easily and effectively navigate through the sourcing process.

“Apparel imports are up in North America yet many retailers are struggling – why is that?” asked Streader, former Global COO of Billabong and Executive Consultant for American Apparel, Board Member of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) and lecturer at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. Streader points to consumers’ changing buying habits as the cause, thanks to social media tools such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

“Consumers want instant gratification and access to the same outfits that celebrities are wearing now – they want to make purchasing decisions based on their life at the moment,” he said. “The traditional early roll out of winter clothes in-store won’t cut it any more, today’s consumer is more interested in buying a swimsuit in August than a sweater.”

For retailers and manufacturers, this means the days of long lead time orders are over. “Importers must now buy smaller quantities and fewer types of best-selling fabrics that can serve as the base of a line and be adapted for different designs,” Streader said, emphasizing that to be successful, a responsive supply chain must be put in place to be able to quickly add fashion trends onto the base. “Every importer today must ask the question: Is my supply chain responsive to today’s dynamic and changing consumer?”

According to ATSC conference speaker Avedis Seferian, President & CEO of WRAP — the largest independent facility certification program in the world — technology has also led to another important consideration for importers: responsible sourcing. In his session entitled “Protecting your Name: How Social Compliance Secures Your Business Reputation,” Seferian will demonstrate how those sourcing apparels and textiles must start thinking about social compliance as something “baked into” a company’s normal course of doing business as opposed to being an after-thought.

“In today’s 24/7, global world of instant access to information where anybody with a smartphone is a reporter, it’s more important than ever for companies to mitigate risk by proactively preventing the bad,” he said. “The reputational harm that can result from mismanagement of social compliance, or from actual findings of less than adequate working conditions in your supply chain, can have very long lasting and damaging reverberations on your ability to do business.”

Seferian added that “just as every factory has a quality manager, it has to be somebody’s job to be the social compliance manager so that it’s not simply an add-on — or an attitude that if there’s a problem, we’ll solve it — but rather, the outlook must be that we’re actively seeking to prevent problems from happening in the first place just as we do with quality,” he explained. “Finding the right sourcing destination is far more complicated than following a checklist. You can check off that fire extinguishers are there, but whose job is it to make sure those extinguishers are routinely serviced? Whose job is it to train workers how to use them in an emergency and what exits to use? And whose job is it to make sure that at any given time during production, those exits remain unblocked?”

ATSC is being organized by JP Communications, parent-company to and JP Communications runs the most expansive network of business-to-business sourcing platforms in the U.S. Anchored by and, millions of members from around the world use the brands to locate wholesalers and manufacturers.

“We are thrilled to present a top-notch line-up of speakers and educational sessions to help ATSC attendees gain valuable knowledge and networking opportunities needed to navigate more efficiently and easily through the sourcing process,” said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP Communications, explaining that the introduction of ATSC is a direct response to market demand and fills a significant gap in the Canadian market.

Presented in coordination with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT), the event is supported by the Ottawa-based Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF), the Consulate General of the P. R. China in Toronto, the Trade Office of Peru, and exporting agencies ProMexico and ProColombia.

Posted June 24, 2016

Source: Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada