It’s important to look good. It’s important to keep warm. And it’s important to have style. To master all three of these attributes, the apparel industry is integral. Where would we be without it? This industry, however, has seen some hardships following the global recession of a couple of years ago.
But as Stefania Moretti of QMI Agency reported last week, the apparel industry is making quite the comeback. She writes that many jobs in this field were lost due to a number of factors that included “the introduction of free trade, the removal of import quotas, cheap labour in Asia and the rising loonie.”
And although Bob Kirke, the executive director of the Canadian Apparel Federation, insists that many of these jobs will never be recovered, he is assured that the industry is set for some significant growth as a greater focus on design and product development take hold.
As Moretti writes, the clothing industry plans to provide somewhere in the neighborhood of 73,000 jobs over the next few years. She cites Joe Fresh as an example of a Canadian apparel retailer who is embarking on the opening of a retail store in New York City. Evidently, business is booming for this store.
She notes, however, that Canadian clothing retailers are generally saving money by having their products made in countries where the labour is cheaper. As a result, economists find it harder to track exports of Canadian apparel when the pieces are made outside of Canada.
According to Kirke, $4.8 billion in manufacturing revenues was made in 2008. Yet, this number pales in comparison to what Canadian apparel companies are producing. This comes as a result of Canadian designers not receiving the support necessary to make their products profitable.
At least this is what Robin Kay believes. She is the president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and founder of Toronto Fashion Week. Said Kay: “A lot of these young designers come out of the gate with first collections selling their items at ridiculous prices that are not going to make it work.”
Synergy excitedly looks forward to assisting clothing retailers throughout the nation with their dreams of growing their companies. One of our top industries, the apparel business is one that will always be necessary…and of course, one that will always be in style!