A History of Excellence
Now in our third generation, WS & Company Ltd. prides itself on a homespun heritage that dates back to 1978, when CEO Chak Wai Cheng arrived in Canada from Hong Kong with the proverbial dream for a better life for his family. The modest contracting company he established has since blossomed into an impressive, technologically sophisticated textile production house staffed by a team of accomplished seamstresses, tailors and specialized tradespeople.
Overseen by principals keen to buck the trend to move apparel manufacturing offshore, our boutique-style manufacturing operation runs out of North America, meaning we’re able to produce with lower minimums, shorter lead times and higher quality than our far-flung competitors.
In addition to an experienced and highly skilled sampling department poised to turn your concepts into production-ready garments, WS & Co. boasts a custom garment manufacturing service that can produce according to clients’ specifications. We also have a private-label program, Redwood Classics, whose in-stock apparel features classic, staple pieces ready for made-to-order branding. And across the board, we enjoy the unique distinction of having direct control over the quality of both the production process and the finished products that are the result.
It’s an extraordinary differentiator that always keeps the story of meeting our clients’ fashion, corporate and promotional requirements affordably priced — and written on Canadian shores.
A Tradition of Family
The Chengs were your typical immigrant family, arriving in Canada in 1978 with just enough to pay a month’s rent. Through hard work and the desire to provide a better way of life for generations to come, the family was able to make Canada its new home, building a life for not only immediate family members, but all those employed by the company as well.
Ultimately, it became one of Canada’s go-to full-service apparel manufacturers, Wing Son. At the peak of the company’s operations, WS & Co., named in honour of Chak’s father, directly employed close to 500 people. The phonetic translation of its name: Forever trust.
In 2008, Chak’s daughter Kathy joined WS & Co. and became the face of the company. As part owner, she seized the reigns to put a North American spin on a traditionally Chinese company and explore a new revenue stream for the factory. This new vision resulted in the creation and development of Redwood Classics Apparel, WS & Co.’s in-stock apparel line.
A Tradition of Innovation
We were among the first apparel manufacturers in Canada to conduct business via email, increasing efficiency, decreasing costs, and allowing clients to give instant approvals for quicker delivery times. Integrating technology at every opportunity, we have developed and are constantly improving our proprietary Enterprise Resource Planning program, which ensures optimal efficiency and flexibility while still being respectful of a well-constructed garment.
In an effort to offer emerging designers a platform to bring their products to the marketplace with quick turnaround, Kathy Cheng developed WS & Co.’s Novelty Knit In-Stock Fabric Program. This unprecedented platform offers in-stock trending fabrications that can be custom dyed, ultimately minimizing the designer’s risk of having to order in large quantities. The program has seen immense success and products have been featured in notable publications like GQ, Women’s Wear Daily and Fashion.
Redwood Classics is among the first apparel suppliers in the Canadian promotional industry to offer an entirely retail-quality Made in Canada selection. With the looming threat of consistently “cheap” offshore pricing, this was unheard of at the time of its launch in 2008. Given the success of the program, the promotional sphere has seen a spike in the number of companies offering Made in Canada products to a marketplace that’s growing more concerned about where their clothing is coming from.