The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Changes in the fashion industry

The image of designers working according to traditional methods in a small atelier is a thing of the past. Like the music industry, the fashion and apparel industry is undergoing a profound shift that is disrupting how it operates and grows. Digital technology is contributing to economic vitality by transforming methods of production, consumption and trade. According to a report produced by the fashion and apparel working group, the Québec fashion industry needs to tackle five major challenges to continue to generate wealth for the province.

The fashion industry’s 5 challenges

With over 28,000 jobs [1], fashion is a major industry in Québec, and its largest city, Montréal, which is ranked third in North America for clothing manufacturing. To maintain the competitiveness of this sector and contribute to Québec’s economic prosperity, the industry needs to address five major challenges.[2]  

  • Strengthening and harmonizing connections between designers, manufacturers, retailers and wholesaler-distributors throughout the logistics chain as well as with other creative, innovative sectors.
  • Updating and promoting the industry’s brand image with companies and society.
  • Upgrading skills (recruitment, training and succession) to meet industry requirements.
  • Strengthening the industry’s ability to adapt to new trends and the requirements of the global market.
  • Improving the industry’s ability to compete on the local market and grow in markets outside Québec.

Mobilizing industry players to work more together, share expertise, act collectively and create a visible, modern brand image will help galvanize a growing market and enable Québec and Montréal to carve out a leading place for itself on the world market.

Fashion in the age of innovation

Québec fashion has many entrepreneurs, managers and designers whose capacity for innovation is revolutionizing the industry in terms of organization, production and sales and marketing tactics.

Like many other sectors, fashion is evolving as new technology disrupts old approaches. Whether through e-business or social media, digital technology is transforming methods of production, consumption and trade.

Companies that succeed will be those that innovate and that know how to create engaging, enriching, unique consumer experiences, in part by improving the order process and transportation and supply chain management logistics, developing new materials, creating in-store experiences and developing brand interactivity through the web, mobility and social media.

One has only to think of Poches & Fils and Eläma, which are reinventing customizable clothing and fur, and Hexoskin and OMSignal for their creative genius in smart clothing. This know-how is getting international attention, as is that of Yoga Jeans and SSENSE.

The fashion industry faces many changes. With its vitality, the sector has what it takes to successfully tackle challenges and adapt to the new trends and requirements of an ever-changing global market.

Interested in this subject?

Read more:

FASHION: A BOOMING SECTOR IN MONTRÉAL

Québec fashion: looking to the future

Innovation in fashion

Click here for more information and to see the report produced by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, in partnership with mmode – the metropolitan fashion cluster, and the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.


[1]Rapport du groupe de travail mode & vêtement(report of the working group on fashion and apparel, available in French only), p. 17.

[2] Rapport du groupe de travail mode & vêtement(report of the working group on fashion and apparel, available in French only), p. 31.

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