Are you planning to launch your custom clothing line? The first major issue to tackle is sourcing your fashion products. There are plenty of them in your city and at the global level. So, picking the one suitable to meet your requirements is not an easy task.
Some aspiring business owners in fashion clothes can be discouraged due to the financial risks involved in partnering with the manufacturers. They fear that dedicating their valuable time may go to waste.
But know that you can greatly benefit when working with an efficient clothesline manufacturer. For instance, you can focus on the creative aspects of your fashion clothes as the manufacturer will take care of the other aspects. This way, you will have more control over building your brand image and marketing your clothing line.
But you need to proceed carefully when finding the manufacturers.
Where to find clothing manufacturers?
Now that you have decided to start your clothing line search for a manufacturer who can supply your kind of fashionwear. But where precisely can you locate them? Well, there are many venues to search.
Here are some of the places to look for clothing manufacturers:
Large-scale trade shows and industry meets organized in your city are the best events to learn about the local manufacturers of your clothing line collection. You can personally meet them and have a satisfying conversation with them. You can build connections with industry people as well in such events. For instance, uKom, one of the largest clothing manufacturers and suppliers, attended the Pure London Fashion Event and helped many eCommerce startups. Similarly, you can be a part of such trade shows and meet big notches for inspiration and partnerships.
Directories have a massive collection of clothing manufacturers. You can get their addresses and contact numbers from those pages. Visit known directories such as Makers Row in the USA. For overseas manufacturers, directories like Kompass are helpful.
You should join entrepreneurs’ Facebook Groups such as Kingpinning and Shopify Entrepreneurs. Many of the group members are ever willing to help community members.
Search engines like Google are your most significant source of locating the right clothing manufacturers from the comfort of your home. Most local and global manufacturers have websites you can visit quickly to access information and compare many of them.
Pay heed to these tips while looking for custom clothing manufacturers:
- Decide on sourcing from home or overseas manufacturer
The first consideration is to decide if you want to source your clothing line collection domestically or abroad. If sourcing locally, then you have plenty of clothing suppliers around your place.
In case of sourcing your fashion wear collection from foreign countries, then prefer sourcing from less costly countries such as India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc.
Consider pros and cons of domestic and overseas sourcing of clothing line. While sourcing locally, you can meet the manufacturers in person. But you may have limited manufacturers with restricted capabilities.
If sourcing from overseas, your clothing line costs will be much lower since you can compare many more manufacturers for their capabilities and prices. Still, ensure that shipping costs are manageable and you do not confront time zone and language barriers.
- Look for specialization
If you have a specific type of fabric and clothing line requirement, then find that clothing manufacturer. Ask the manufacturer if they have the technology and know-how to produce your particular clothing line. Such manufacturers must be armed with the latest techniques, equipment, and tools.
Build a partnership with a manufacturer that understands your niche to create a clothing line for your target customers.
- Know a manufacturer’s supply terms & conditions
Check if the manufacturer is willing to produce fewer clothing items for your requirement. Since you are only starting new, you require only a limited number of clothing items, which the manufacturer does not find viable. So, find out if the manufacturer’s Minimum Order Quantity [MOQ] standards meet your requirements at the starting phase of your business.
Know that MOQs will depend on many factors, including the number of clothing items you order, raw materials that include fabric and trims, and how complex your fashion wear design is.
You should compare different manufacturers for their MOQs until you locate the one who can supply only those quantities with no issues. If your requirement for clothing collection is more extensive, then opt for a factory-based manufacturer and not some manufacturer working alone.
But consider some factors such as sales volume, gross profit margin per clothing unit sold, and overhead costs while determining the MOQs.
- Take a look at the samples
You can know about the quality and many other aspects of a manufacturer’s technical and other capabilities by checking the clothes samples, which you can touch and feel. So, ask the manufacturer to send you some samples.
When examining the samples, look for the quality of stitching, sleeves, collar, inside seams, embroidery or embellishment, color, print, and size. It would be even better to take an expert’s advice to help make up your mind.
- Know about the clothes sizes
When contacting a manufacturer, one of the critical questions to ask is about the clothes’ sizes. No one-size shirt, pants, and other fashion wear fit all. For instance, you imported your clothing line collection from overseas but found that the clothes do not fit your target customers.
Typically, Asian clothes sizes are smaller compared to Americans and Europeans. There are no universal size guidelines, which should prompt you to enquire if the manufacturer can supply the required clothes dimensions for your customers.
- Decide on the timeline
The timely supply of clothing products matters a lot to the success of your new business. For instance, if you want to take advantage of the seasonal demand for fashion wear during Christmas, you must have enough stock to meet the demand. So, check if the manufacturer can supply your requirement of clothes well before the season starts. Well-known global clothes and fashion wear manufacturers and suppliers ensure that they supply clothes as per agreed deadlines. Partnering with such committed manufacturers relieves you from many unwanted issues.
If partnering with an overseas manufacturer, ensure the turnaround time is quick and per your schedule. Also, consider various shipping times when placing your clothing order with a manufacturer in other countries.
- Check manufacturer’s ethical practices
You would like to get your clothes supply from a manufacturer who cares for workers and pays them well on time. After all, it is not just about money but more about the welfare of those directly involved in creating those supplies for you. So, build a partnership only with the company that follows ethical practices.
Visit the manufacturer’s website to go through its company ethics page, the home page, and customer reviews to know what ethical standards they follow. Make sure that you check their certification labels as well.
So, these helpful tips should guide you in locating a suitable manufacturer to create your kind of fashion apparel just on time and at your set prices.
Plenty of custom clothes manufacturers are accessible locally and at the global level. But not all of them are equally suited to create and supply your clothing line. You must first research and compare them for their manufacturing techniques, costs, ability to deliver on time, and many other factors.