Topics 2018

Proposed Topics for 2018

A Discussion on the Benefits and Challenges of Manufacturing Domestically

Bill Amos, Founder of Kichatna Apparel Mfg.,
What stared as a desire to make a better pair of pants for alpine climbing grew into a brand NW Alpine and a product line that fit the needs of performance alpine climbers. In 2014 Bill founded Kichatna Apparel Mfg when he discovered that there was a great deal of demand for high quality domestic technical sewing. This exploration has provided lots of insights that will be shared in this discussion.

Thinking About Consulting?

Pete Frickland - Principal, Concurrent Product Development LLC & Josh Buesseler - Principal, Delicious LLC
Lost your job? Need a change? Considering working independently? This one-hour presentation will explore most of the key questions that arise when contemplating an independent career in consulting. While many of the insights and examples are drawn from the design and product management consulting perspectives, they are equally applicable to anyone launching a new career as a “single-shingle” consultant.
Who Should Attend
Mid- to executive-level professionals who are thinking about providing services for hire in their area of expertise.
1)Guidelines to help you know whether you are ready to make the move.
2)An understanding of the difference between working as a consultant, a contractor or within an agency.
3)An introduction to the nuts and bolts of setting up, launching, maintaining and growing a consultancy.

Collective Impact: Aligning on Values and Creating Shared Accountability

Joel Mertens and Samantha Kuchmak from MEC
In this talk we’ll discuss how to achieve meaningful change towards greater supply chain and product impact by embedding actions across internal teams. This requires framing opportunities in a way that resonates across an organization beyond idealism. Join Joël and Samantha as they discuss how MEC is embedding responsibility throughout the MEC-label team – working towards the goal of Better Product, Better Made.

Colour Development Best Practices

Bob Karpowicz - Color Solutions Project Manager
Developing colour for complex garments can be difficult and time-consuming, with lots of back and forth between vendors and your development team. It only gets more complicated when multiple garments and accessories need close colour matching, even if coming from multiple vendors in a variety of fabrications. We will discuss the best way to use colour standards, both physical and digital, and the tools that can create a streamlined development process, including instrumentation and Standard Lighting.

Discover Success by Selling without Discounting

Sarah Murray & Melanie McIntosh.
How do we add value for our customers when so many brands promote their product with sales pricing? This participatory workshop draws out the conditions for successfully selling without slashing prices. Come prepared to share your experiences with selling and the techniques that have lead to success. Find inspiration from other Apparel Campers’ stories and leave with a visual representation of the discussion. Lead by facilitator Sarah Murray with insights and lessons from merchandising expert Melanie McIntosh.

Importance of Embracing Disruption

Happ Klopp
“The importance of embracing disruption in the outdoor industry—from product design through to all aspects of your company with some examples from Hap’s years running The North Face.”
The North Face, founded in the 1960’s has grown into one of the premier global brands in the outdoor industry. Under Hap’s leadership the brand defined every category they played in from packs, tents, shell garment, to insulated clothing and sleeping bags. This kind of innovation starts in the corner office with driven leadership. This presentation will take you through the disruptive attitude that leads to the growth of leading companies.

Engaging Sales and Distribution Teams in New Product Initiatives

Lynette Seebohm - Principal, Concurrent Strategies LLC & Liz Keating – Technical Drywear Designer, Aqua Lung Canada
Do you invite your sales and distribution representatives on‐site for product experiences, field testing and advisor feedback? If you do, how do you organize their time and how do you quantify their input? If you don’t, what questions would you ask them and how would you tailor their experience? We will be sharing a few tools that you can use to create a memorable rep experience, capture product insights, and along the way gather great ideas for future product designs. We will also hear feedback from the field on how one designer worked with her global sales and distribution teams to do just that.
Who Should Attend
Product Managers, Product Line Managers, and Directors and above of Product, Product Development, Design, Marketing, and Innovation
1) Easy ways to conduct sales and distribution representative surveys.
2) Using 360 Analysis to explore user experience and identify their needs.
3) How to organize group strategic product planning feedback.

5 Creative Ways to Overcome Small Business Challenges

Glynis Tao - Business Coach
It’s almost a given that the small business owner wears many hats. Sometimes it feels like you’re troubleshooting more than you’re creating. Running a small business comes with its share of challenges. Combined with lack of experience and resources, owners often need to come up with creative ways to solve problems. This session is great for small business owners or those considering starting their own business but not quite sure how to begin.

Give n' Take resource share exercise

Irina McKenzie, Andrew Rene Gonzalez & Nichole DeMichelis
The Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers (VSFD) facebook group will host a session to participate in their “Give and Take” resource sharing activity, whereby people in the industry share resources to help one another grow together. About Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers (VSFD) The Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers (VSFD) is a collective of Vancouver based fashion designers that practice sustainability (or are seeking to become more sustainable) and are looking to collaborate, share resources, spark creativity, support and empower one another and grow together. They run bi-monthly events, webinars, social gatherings and work towards supporting the needs and best interests of our fellow designers.

Higg Index Brand & Retail Module Panel

Leah Kleisinger from Mustang Survival
Across North America and around the world, the Higg Index tools are gaining momentum and awareness. The panel brings local apparel industry members together to dive deeper into the strategies and unexpected when implementing the Higg Index Brand & Retail Module. Moderator – Leah Kleisinger (Mustang Survival) Panel – Samantha Kuchmak (MEC), Joël Mertens (MEC), Jessica Iida (lululemon)

The Importance of Interaction Design in Soft Product Packaging

Andrew Zo
Interaction design has been known to exist in the digital world, however at MEC, due to the technicality of the products, interaction is unavoidable as customers touch / try the product prior to purchase. How does one design packaging that customers can touch / try without opening the packaging or breaking it? How does one design packaging that helps customers find the right product as quickly as possible? In this session, Andrew will be sharing the design process of MEC’s 2019 packaging revamp.

The Pre-Production Part of Our Fashion Industry

Laela Blanchet
This presentation will go over the importance of the pre-production process. We will take you step by step through putting together a proper package that you can take to a factory for mass production. These steps will include an in-depth look at establishing fit and controlling fit standards through the art of sizing and grading. We will also look closely at proper layout and marker making and show you what needs to be done in between a drawing and a finished product you can sell. The goal of this presentation is to go into our personal experiences in order to show you how easy this process can be when approached properly.

Prototyping – Because No One Can Imagine Anything

Owner and Founder of Pete Hill Ltd
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a physical model is worth so much more when it comes to making decisions about the merit and direction of a product. This presentation will look at design methods for creating fast informative models of packs and bags using 3d computer modelling with Rhino 3d, paper and cardboard models and 3d printing.
This is a hands-on workshop, paper scissors and tape provided.

Prototyping – Examples of lessons learned the hard way

Pete Frickland - Principal, Concurrent Product Development LLC & Seth Carlstrom – Head of Soft Product, Salient Technologies Inc.
This one-hour presentation will review a dozen or so examples of how prototyping was used to speed the process of getting from an idea to a workable, successful product. Examples draw from different industries, product types, materials, prototyping approaches, and iterations to succeed. The purpose of this review is to show the breadth of options that are available and some specific and unique applications.
Who Should Attend
Designers, Developers, Industrial Designers, Design Engineers, Product Managers, Product Line Managers, and Directors and above of Product, Product Development, Design, Marketing, and Innovation
1) A feeling for the how, when, where and why different prototyping technologies can be successfully applied during the design and development process.
2) Clarification to what questions prototypes can answer; how to ask them
3) Some insight into new, novel and creative methods that have been used to quickly prototype difficult new concepts.

The Power of Niching: How I got Google as a client

Glynis Tao - Business Coach
You have a product. And that product has the potential to appeal to everyone. That’s great right? Well, it depends how big your marketing budget and team are. Many business owners with a product they don't consider to be niche resist the idea of narrowing the focus of their marketing, fearing that they will lose business. However, choosing a niche and targeting it can actually increase sales. Learn how I was able to niche my business and attract clients like Google.

Between Softwear and Software: The Process of Designing Smart Apparel

Afshin Mehin - Founder, WOKE
Wearable technology is not a new concept. As a design studio, we've worked on smart watches, smart headphones and even smart sunglasses. But what about smart apparel? We've seen some really interesting Research and Development in this area but few examples of successful products in the market. What are the reasons for this and what are the opportunities that make it worth all the effort? Also from a product development perspective, what are the similarities and differences between apparel product development and technology product development (both hardware and software) and how does this effect the way that smart apparel needs to be designed? We'll spend this session discussing the state of the art around smart apparel development, our experiences working in this space, and what opportunities are possible in the future.
Who Should Attend
Product Managers,Designers, Product Developers, Researchers, Innovation Managers
Learn about the present state of smart apparel, what the challenges ahead are and why it's worth the effort

Textile Waste (innovations and creative use of materials).

Irina McKenzie, Karen Storry, & Katherine Le
The fashion industry produces over 80 billion garments per year, 26 billion pounds of that ends up in the landfill each year. Covering the issue from the perspective of industry, government, and academia, this presentation will take a multi-level look at the issue of textile waste, circular fashion, technologies available, and end on a discussion of future opportunities. Get a regional perspective on the issue from Metro Vancouver, insights into the current research conducted by a UBC PhD researcher on recycling technologies available and discuss the opportunities to move towards reduction of textile waste from within the industry.

When Pivots Work

Patrick Currah, Director of Ecommerce Broadband TV
Case studies in how and when to successfully alter your brand strategy.
Who Should Attend:
Business Owners, Product Managers/Owners, Brand Managers
Moderator: Patrick Currah, Director of Ecommerce Broadband TV
Panel: Arthur Kononuk, Creative Director, Tentree
Sean Miller, Sales and Business Development Manager at Parkland Manufacturing

Your Brand Should be Customer Service

Liza Deyrmenjian
In today’s customer-oriented environment, customer service is critical for a business’s growth. The way you handle and communicate with your customers can directly impact your brand. This presentation will explore how to build your brand through customer service! The panel discussion will look at finding the perfect fit for your brand along with branding for your customer. Learn about core values of your customer in creating a customer profile, get to know the GenZ society, connect with domestic manufacturing and overseas manufacturing and get to know how to communicate with your customer.
Who Should Attend:
Fashion Designers, Market researchers, Public Relations Team, Product Manager, Production coordinators, entrepreneurs, anyone who’s work results in the product ending up in consumers’ hands.
1) An understanding how customer service is a representation of what your brand stands for
2) How Fit has everything to do with customer service
3) How the brand story is what the customer is looking for and why this can be impactful
4) Engage with Generation Z
5) Learn how to build your brand and customer through great fit and service
6) How to communicate manufacturing and maker values to the customer

Interested in leading your own session at ApparelCamp?

Reach out to and we’ll help you prepare.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Do you have a story that could help others to learn from your experience?
  2. Present a case study of a time that you and your team developed a new product, entered a new market, took a risk, innovated etc.
  3. Do you have an idea for an interactive workshop? Use your creativity to develop a hands-on presentation that gets the audience engaged!
  4. Don’t want to be the only person in front of your peers? In a panel discussion, a moderator facilitates questions from the audience or a series of prepared questions for the panelists, but a significant part of the session is still interactive with a Q&A with the audience.
  5. Lead a Town Hall – The leader presents a short (20-30 minute max) informative topic, open-ended question or premise and opens the floor for expansion, comment, questions and general discussion.