MONTREAL — With 75 percent of its apparel exports going to the U.S., Canadian apparel manufacturers understand the importance of strategic sourcing and supply-chain management.
Canada’s apparel exports to the U.S. were $954.3 million last year out of a total of $1.17 billion, down substantially from the high of $2.9 billion of apparel shipments to the U.S. in 2002.
The recent influx into Canada of leading U.S. retailers has also underscored the growing connection between the two countries and the pressing need to review product safety, labeling, customs and other regulations.
“We’ve become a unified retail marketplace and our main challenge is not where we source from, but the need to ensure the free flow of goods between Canada and the U.S.,” said Bob Kirke, executive director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Apparel Federation.
While much of the discussion in sourcing has to do with where to produce at the lowest cost, all these cost savings evaporate if compliance costs increase exponentially, explained Kirke. Making matters worse, customs compliance issues frequently arise years after goods are imported.
As an example, he noted that Massive Prints, a large California-based screen printer, recently lost an appeal before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. Massive had imported into Canada large volumes of screen-printed apparel, claiming NAFTA origin. Subsequently, the company could not produce the necessary documentation to support the certificate of origin, because the producer of the blank T-shirts failed to provide information to Canadian customs authorities.
Problems also arise when a U.S. retailer opens stores in Canada only to discover that sourcing rules and safety standards for apparel are different in the two countries.
Target Corp., which is rolling out about 200 stores in Canada in 2013 by taking over some of the leases of Zellers stores from Hudson’s Bay Co., made direct reference to this problem in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in April. Target called for Canada and the U.S. to harmonize regulatory legislation.
In its letter, Target said “divergent regulations in areas such as standards, testing and customs procedures and documentation ‘thicken’ the border, unnecessarily hampering cross-border trade, hindering investment and increasing costs for manufacturers, retailers and consumers….Similarly, other divergent regulations increase the complexity and cost of compliance, which can undermine their intended effects. By streamlining the cross-border regulatory environment, such cooperation could also enhance compliance and enforcement efforts, resulting in more open trade, safer borders and safer products.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty