Starting Your Own Clothing Line – The Process of Finding a Garment Manufacturer

Nowadays, many of the previous barriers to entry to starting your own clothing company have been completely broken down. With just a quick search online, you can make contact with an abundance of garment manufacturers around the world, who are ready and willing to create whatever you want to your exact specifications. The hard part now is narrowing down what fits into your criteria in terms of quality, communication and reliability, amongst others. Below are some of the things you will need to consider when choosing your manufacturer.

At home or abroad?

If you live in a western country, the chances are that you won’t be manufacturing your product at home. Unless it is a luxury product that can command a high price, it will likely not be feasible to manufacture at home; the cost of labour is high and so are the raw materials. For that reason, many prospective clothing companies look to the Far East; mainly China, Vietnam and Taiwan thanks to their low cost and expertise. For example, while it may be easier to communicate with a rain jacket manufacturer in the UK, the pros of outsourcing to China will usually outweigh the cons. Not only can you also get a rain jacket of high quality from there, but the total cost of manufacturing and delivery can literally be only 30% of the cost compared to if you decided to manufacture locally. This is usually more than enough of a reason for a business to outsource their work abroad.

Where to find manufacturers

After you have decided where to have your clothes made, now it is time to find a manufacturer. Websites such as Alibaba and Taobao have a plethora of wholesalers and product manufacturers you can contact easily and safely, whilst also taking into account their past transactions with others by reading their reviews.

Networking events can prove a valuable place to create business relationships between you and potential manufacturers. Search online for networking events for those in the clothing and manufacturing industry and this is a great way to start building a network of not only manufacturers, but potential suppliers and customers.

Facebook is also a great place not only to advertise your product in the future, but also to network and search for potential manufacturers. Do your research and find groups for like-minded businesses. It is generally a helpful environment, especially if you have many questions as a newbie in the industry.

Choosing a manufacturer

Now that you’ve decided where to manufacture your garments and you have a shortlist of potential options, it is time to choose which one to go with. There are a few criteria that your chosen one should meet:

  1. Price – You will have a budget and you should choose the option that not only offers quality, but is aligned with your budget. As the saying goes – you get what you pay for. Attempt to skimp on quality and the repercussions financially and reputation-wise may prove costlier.
  • Quality – Again, going in line with your pricing, choose a manufacturer that can produce the standard of quality you are happy with and can afford.
  • Lead times – If they are too busy and unable to fulfil or deliver your orders on time, then they should not be an option. The same goes for shipping times, and this is crucial especially if they are coming from abroad and could potentially get stuck at customs.
  • Communication – The ideal manufacturer should have excellent communication. From being able to understand your needs and fulfilling them, to being responsive to any questions you have, all of these are essential to consider.

So here we have a brief breakdown of the steps anyone will need to go through when planning to create their own clothing. Follow these steps to ensure a smoother experience on your way to creating awesome garments!

Okay Rune

The author Okay Rune