From 1 to 7 August, seven Ukrainian clothing manufacturers, selected by experts from TFO Canada, visited Canada in the framework of the Apparel Mission, organized by the CUTIS project. Canadian experts gave preference to women-owned companies and companies implemented environmental standards. The mission was held in two Canadian cities – Toronto and Montreal.
During the mission, Ukrainian apparel companies had several business meetings with leading European clothing suppliers on the Canadian market. Business negotiations with Canadian retailers were also arranged. Besides, Ukrainian business had a chance to meet with Canadian apparel brands representatives.
The following companies participated:
- OLTEX (women’s and men’s outerwear)
- JENADIN (women’s knitwear)
- Social enterprise Manufacturing Training Center (women’s clothing)
- LESYA factory (women’s clothing)
- SOHO Chic (women’s clothing)
- Feeelings (socks)
- Athletic Union (TM Berserk, sportswear)
Ukrainian products have sparked keen interest from Canadian buyers and retailers. The Canadian business highly commended the quality, interesting portfolios, and attractive prices of Ukrainian clothing.
According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, thanks to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) and the abolition of import duties, Ukrainian clothing has 18% advantage on the Canadian market compared to imports from such powerful global players as, for instance, China. Therefore, Ukrainian clothing can and should be presented and successfully sold on the Canadian market.
‘The interest of the Canadian companies in the Ukrainian apparel is very high, several participants of the mission received trial orders. Now everything depends on the Ukrainian manufacturers, their ability to use the opportunity to develop cooperation with Canadians and expand exports to the extremely promising Canadian market,’ Olga Shtepa said.
The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to increase exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global Affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.
In August 2018, with the assistance of the project, eight Ukrainian apparel manufacturers took part in the international exhibition Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada, which united more than 500 apparel manufacturers from more than 20 countries.
In July 2019, Ukraine House Toronto official opening guests enjoyed the Fashion Show of six famous Ukrainian apparel companies. RITO and Andre Tan companies, which participate in CUTIS export support program U CAN Export, also took part in the show and presented their latest collections.