Finding a clothing manufacturer could be the make or break for your clothing company. They play a crucial role to your company since your products’ quality and availability hugely rely on them. How to find a clothing manufacturer should not be a problem since there are a lot out there but finding a clothing manufacturer who is perfect for your company is another issue. Here are a few things to consider in what to look for in a clothing manufacturer.
Things to Look for in a Clothing Manufacturer
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. For example, there are a lot of companies out there who call themselves sportswear manufacturers but are not really legit activewear manufacturers but are instead regular clothing manufacturers..
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 are on to large-scale production. Also, you can realize affordable small-scale production that is impossible in Western countries. Countries such as China are known as manufacturing giants and charge the cheapest cost when it comes to manufacturing any type of products.
Even if you are only looking for clothing manufacturers for small orders, picking China is still a good choice due to the huge cost disparity. Lastly, the large variety of options for clothing manufacturers for small businesses is a huge plus which means you can always end up choosing the perfect custom clothing manufacturer for your company.
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.
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. Get to know their fees and shipping costs.
Shipping costs would be a non-issue if you have chosen a local clothing manufacturer for small businesses. However, this is a big factor with overseas clothing manufacturers. Make sure their shipping fees fit your budget and they are charged the right way.
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 fees accumulated during the manufacturing process. Transparency in all of the fees is an important quality with custom clothing manufacturers.
6. What are their quality standards?
Any factory you can talk to when finding a manufacturer would always say they have high regard when it comes to standards. However, you cannot simply trust their word for it. You need to see first-hand by visiting their factory and witness their production process then observe the production line efficiency and end products. 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.
Where to Find Clothing Manufacturers?
The traditional way of finding a clothing manufacturer is by attending trade shows or trade fairs. These are events where manufacturers showcase their products to advertise their services, such as product design consultancy, to potential clients. It is not only an event where you can meet manufacturers but also a great way to look for innovative, up and coming products in the market today.
Aside from trade fairs, you can also take advantage of the internet as a way how to find a clothing manufacturer. Most of these present day custom clothing manufacturers already have their own websites making it more convenient for clothing lines to contact them via the internet. Some countries have government pages that give advice, such as here for Australia. Some are also active with their social media channels and you can also take advantage of these portals to get to them. Figuring out how to find a clothing manufacturer and get in touch with them (even when they are located on the other side of the world) has never been easier than today.