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ATSC Canada 2023 celebrated its 8th edition between 21-23 August with over 2,000 visitors made up of sourcing professionals, domestic and international government officials, buyers, business owners, CEOs and designers.

It welcomed over 200 manufacturers from over 12 countries and regions.

More than 120 factories came from China, marking their first significant return to Canada in four years, since pre-pandemic 2019. The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles (CCCT), based in Beijing, led this group to Toronto for the event. The most notable Chinese group – “Brand China” – attended via a large pavilion and sponsored the ATSC 2023 Fashion Show.

ATS CEO Jason Prescott, stated “ATSC 2023 very much took us by surprise. The halls were simply packed all three days of the show. We viewed this edition as our real return to Toronto. Having our exhibitors from China and other regions at the show made a big difference. Our education continues to be top of its class and what ATS provides to the industry is invaluable.”

While China remains the top production destination for the largest portion of importers, political uncertainty and rising costs are making deleveraging and nearshoring an industry priority. This diversification was a key focus for the sourcing professionals attending. Notable Canadian companies including Canada Knitwear, Canada Sportswear, Canadian Tire, Gertex, Giant Tiger, Hudson Bay, Jammers, Joe Fresh, Kotn, Loblaws, Unisync, Walmart Canada, and internationally based companies like Dillard’s and Li & Fung were nearly all seeking to diversify and find new supplier opportunities in emerging regions.

Featured exhibits this year on the show floor came from the following countries and regions: Bangladesh, Canada, China, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Latin America, Pakistan, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States, Ukraine and Vietnam.

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The event offered more than 15 seminars, panel discussions, a fashion show, and keynotes from domestic and international industry leaders, directed to the Canadian audience.

The Canadian Apparel Federation, and its executive director Bob Kirke, partnered with ATSC for the 8th year in a row and helped attract their members and other Canadians to the show.

“There’s no other event where the Canadian market can meet so extensively, and so conveniently with so many factories and sources all at once,” Kirke said.

He led a ‘State of the Industry’ speech focused on the industry’s key issues and developments and where it is headed in 2024.

ATSC will return to Canada again in Summer/Fall 2024 and next year’s calendar will also feature ATS events in Miami, Montreal, Africa and Asia.

ATSC returned to Canada post-pandemic for the first time last November and attracted over 2,000 attendees.