Finding the right manufacturer is crucial to your success, regardless of whether you are looking to become a fashion entrepreneur or simply sell everyday clothes online.
The clothing industry is highly competitive. It is dominated by big brands with large budgets, celebrity endorsements, and decades of experience.
Many aspiring fashion entrepreneurs have found success online due to the growth of eCommerce and boutique clothing lines.
Your clothing business idea may be well-developed if you are reading this. You may have an idea for a niche and some ideas or clothing designs.
You don’t know where to begin or who to trust to make your clothes.
This is what causes many entrepreneurs to quit. This can be due to several factors:
- This means you have to execute your ideas. It can be frightening.
- This means that you trust the manufacturer (unknown)
- This means that you will need to invest money in order to get your company off the ground.
It doesn’t have to be hard or frightening to find a clothing manufacturer. This article will share some of my favorite clothing manufacturers.
This part of your business can seem overwhelming. Let me help you navigate the process of finding quality manufacturers of clothing so you can make your dreams a reality.
Clothing Manufacturers: Getting Started
When you are thinking about starting a clothing company, the first question to ask is “Do we really need a manufacturer?” If your goal is to sell clothing online, you might be better off dropping shipping or sourcing items from a supplier. You don’t need to worry about production as you can order pre-made items from a catalog. It’s also possible to avoid buying a stock that may not sell. This can help you save time, money, as well as an unnecessary risk.
If you plan to sell blank T-shirts, it’s not worth trying to invent the wheel when so many suppliers already have every type of blank T-shirt.
If you have an original idea for a new line of clothing or if you are a fashion designer who wants to launch your brand, you will need to contact a manufacturer.
Working with a clothing company has its pros and cons.
Pros in the Clothing Industry
- Unique clothing can be made
- Your brand can be yours
- You can usually sell items at higher price points
- Branding and marketing are more in your control
Clothing Manufacturer Cons
- It is necessary to make a substantial investment in the beginning
- It is necessary to purchase bulk items that you might not be able to sell
- You are subject to greater legal obligations
- This puts you at greater risk
What to look for in a clothing manufacturer
Before you start your journey to own a clothing company, here are some things you should consider.
Can They Make Your Product?
Although it may seem obvious, this is an important question. All clothing manufacturers can not produce all kinds of clothing. It is important to ensure that the manufacturer that you choose can make the clothing items you desire. You should also look for a manufacturer that is specialized in the type of clothing you are looking for. A manufacturer with extensive experience in swimwear would be a good choice if you are starting a clothing company. You might also consider working with luxury clothing companies if you are looking to sell high-end clothes.
Are you a domestic or international clothing manufacturer?
It is important to choose whether you will work with local or foreign manufacturers. This usually means that you have to choose between American and European manufacturers or Asian manufacturers. Although it is rare for clothing companies to be financially viable in smaller countries, this might not stop you from trying.
Manufacturers of clothing in Canada
Working with domestic clothing producers like Canadian garment manufacturers has many benefits. It’s easier to meet the manufacturers and inspect their factories without having to speak another language. These factories have more strict labor regulations and are subject to better working conditions.
These things are increasingly important to consumers. Being “locally manufactured” can be a strong selling point. Customers will be happy if you offer faster shipping times. You will also enjoy a higher quality product.
All of this however comes with a cost. Although it is more expensive to use domestic producers, you can charge more for your clothes.
Manufacturers of Overseas Clothing
Cost is the main advantage of overseas manufacturing. They almost always cost less. This is because the labor standards and working conditions in China are not regulated.
It is also harder to visit factories and inspect them. While quality clothing can be made by overseas factories, it is important that you choose a reliable manufacturer.
International orders will also take longer shipping times. This is not a problem if you buy your clothes in bulk and ship them yourself.
Another benefit is the fact that overseas manufacturers often offer more options – fabrics, styles, etc. and are more willing to do business with your company.
What is the Minimum Order Quantity?
You need to be able to determine the minimum order quantity of a clothing manufacturer when you work with them. This is the minimum order quantity you must purchase. Manufacturers rarely have an unspecified minimum order quantity. This is very important because it could happen that you don’t have enough money to purchase the swimsuit you want. If you aren’t sure you can sell all of the clothing, it is not a good idea. This will leave you with excess stock that is difficult to move.
Can they provide product samples?
You should try it before you buy it. You should always try before you buy. Your manufacturer should be treated in the same way. You want to ensure that samples are available before you commit to large orders. You can always make changes until you are satisfied. Imagine receiving hundreds of jackets you have designed only to discover that they aren’t fitting right or that the button is wrong.
This is easiest if you bring it up in your communications early. Although most manufacturers are happy to send samples for a small fee, it is up to you to convince them to do so.
What are their shipping costs and fees?
It can be easy to forget to do your research in the rush to bring your clothing business to fruition. It takes just a few lines of email to ask the manufacturer about any additional fees or shipping times.
This information is crucial and can make a difference in your decision to work with the manufacturer. Make sure you address this issue early.
What is their production capacity?
You might not realize this until your business is growing. You might be focused on your first order and sales when you are just starting your clothing line. What happens if your business is successful and you sell out quickly? Are you confident that your manufacturer will produce your clothes quickly and at a higher capacity? Ask your supplier about their production capabilities. You should also ensure that they are able to increase production if necessary. Ask about the manufacturing turnaround time. This is how long it takes for your order to be fulfilled by the manufacturer. It is not a good idea to wait for orders to be fulfilled, as this could lead to lost sales and customers.
What is their standard of quality?
This is not something you can ask a manufacturer about via email. You can read reviews online and visit the factory if you are able to. Your reputation is affected by the quality of your clothing. Make sure you are confident that your manufacturer makes high-quality clothes. It is better to pay a little more for high-quality goods than to risk your reputation in order to save some dollars.
Which other brands have they worked with?
This is a great way to check the reliability of a manufacturer. Ask them about other brands for which they have produced clothing. Next, look at their websites. Is their success a factor? What is their customer feedback? Ask the owners of these brands how they have found working with the manufacturer. Are they having any problems? Do they like the product? You can’t go wrong with real testimonials to give you the confidence to make a purchase with a manufacturer. They might also sound warning bells that can help you decide to choose a different manufacturer.
Where can we find reliable clothing manufacturers?
It is relatively simple to find clothing manufacturers online. It’s difficult to know which ones are trustworthy and which aren’t.
These are some tried-and-true ways to locate clothing manufacturers.
Industry Meetups and Trade Fairs
Trade shows, also known as trade fairs, are events where companies display their products and services. This is a great opportunity to meet manufacturers face-to-face and discuss your individual needs.
The online platforms often allow manufacturers to sell directly to customers. If you find a listing that is similar to what you are looking for, you can contact the seller to ask if they are a manufacturer. This allows you to view reviews and get in touch with previous customers.
Groups on Facebook
Facebook is a great way to meet other entrepreneurs and to connect with people who share your interests. There are many Facebook groups you can choose from, but make sure to look for those that are exclusively for eCommerce entrepreneurs. These groups will answer all your questions about finding trustworthy clothing manufacturers.
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