Insider Clothing Knowledge
Garments 101 Newsletter

Already done with your branding and design? The next step is one of the most crucial parts of starting a clothing business: Looking for the right and most capable manufacturer. This will bring you a lot closer  on your journey of making your own clothes. This week, we will share tips on how to create a checklist. It will help you for setting the standards that you should look out for.

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How to Find A Clothing Manufacturer and
What to Look For
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1. Are they capable of manufacturing the product?

This is obviously the most important thing to consider for how to find a clothing manufacturer. They must have the ability to manufacture the product with all your specifications including all intricacies to the product if there are any. There are a lot of companies which can be considered as clothing manufacturers but are not capable of creating specific clothing types due to specific material or machine needs.

Experience and knowledge are the most important factors in here. For example, if you are trying to create athletic wear, then make sure you hire a custom clothing manufacturer who has experience in creating athletic wear or has perfect knowledge and skills in doing so.

2. Are they located in your area or overseas?

Choosing to work with a local or overseas clothing manufacturer has their own sets of pros and cons. You need to weigh these factors and choose the best option for your clothing company. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you can consider for your choice.

Picking a local clothing manufacturer clearly has the benefits of being able to meet personally, inspect their factory and eliminate the problem of cultural differences and language barrier. Also, if the product is locally-made, then you can also use this as a selling point for marketing purposes. Quality depends on the materials used and skills of the manufacturers and the results cannot be determined whether you are hiring a local or overseas custom clothing manufacturer.

With all the advantages going domestic manufacturers’ way, what are the advantages left for overseas clothing manufacturers? The biggest catch for hiring overseas clothing manufacturers is the cost most especially if you need a small-scale production. Also, you can realize affordable small-scale production that is impossible in Western countries. Asian countries such as China and Vietnam are known as manufacturing giants and charge the lowest cost when it comes to manufacturing any type of products.

"Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” —Vivienne Westwood
3. What is their Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)?
As a small clothing business, you are always conscious of costs. You need to be aware of the minimum order quantity when finding a clothing manufacturer to make sure your company fit to their standards. You would not want to push orders beyond your budget or limit until you start earning from the first batch of orders. Make sure the MOQ is fitting for your business and the premium for ordering a few pieces is not too high.
4. Do they accept product sampling?

It is not smart to mass produce an item without seeing the sample product or prototype. Make sure your potential custom clothing manufacturer accepts sampling orders so you can test their ability of manufacturing the product according to your preferences and standards. Looking into how to get a prototype made should be one of the first things to do.

It is advisable to stick with the same factory when it comes to sampling and mass production instead of having separate manufacturers. Having a single custom clothing manufacturer would have a smoother transition with no possible alterations to the product.

5. What are their fees and shipping costs?

Shipping costs is smaller issue if you have chosen a local clothing manufacturer. However, it is is a larger factor with overseas clothing manufacturers. Make sure their shipping fees fit your budget and they are charged the right way. The extra cost per item are usually not that high, even for airfreight.

On the other hand, you need to know all of their fees aside from their service charge. This is necessary so you would not get surprised of any other logistics fees accumulated during the manufacturing process.

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6. What are their quality standards?

Any factory you can talk to when finding a manufacturer always say they have high regard when it comes to standards. However, you cannot simply trust their word for it. You need to verify first-hand by making a sample or asking reviewing their production line efficiency and track record. The quality of your garments are determinants of your reputation in the industry. You would not want to risk quality assurance simply because you were lenient in this aspect.

7. Who are their past/current clients?

Your custom clothing manufacturer can be tested based on their current and past clients. You can check these brands’ products and see for yourself if you are satisfied of their quality since your products will be belonging under the same factory. Do a little research and see whether these brands are achieving success and if customers are happy with their products. A big part of their success can be attributed to the custom clothing manufacturer they are working with.

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