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What are the Different Options to Clothing Manufacturing?

Discover the different options to manufacture clothing (private label, white label, OEM & ODM) and decide whether your sourcing clothing business is designed for on-shore or off-shore production.


How Long does it Take to Manufacture Custom Clothing?

Starting a private label clothing line or becoming an OEM clothing manufacturer are always smart business options given the demand for clothing will never run out since it is a basic necessity. The real challenge is how to make your clothing designs stand out from the rest of your competitors. If you’ll settle to be a generic brand, then you would have a hard time to sell your clothing products knowing there are a lot of fellow brands out there.

Aside from thinking of strategies and ways on how to separate yourself from counterparts, you also have to choose the kind of clothing manufacturing you want to be in. You could be thinking of a simple merchant-customer relationship setup but it gets more complicated once you are dealing with large orders and wide range of customers. In this article, let us take a look at different options you can take for clothing manufacturing.

Different Ways to Manufacture Clothing

1. ODM Clothing Manufacturer

ODM stands for Original Design Manufacturer (detailed introduction), which is also known as white label clothing manufacturer or as private label clothing manufacturer. This method of clothing manufacturing lets a factory create clothing products out of their own designs and specifications but will let you put your own brand labels on these clothing products. This method is convenient for those who do not have any designs and ideas as the factory can right away provide them for you. It would be up to you to decide which design you choose for them to manufacture or mass produce.

2. OEM Clothing Manufacturer

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer (detailed introduction), which is a more flexible but also complex way principle. This method of clothing manufacturing lets a factory create clothes based on your designs and specifications. The products will have your brand labels and can be customized any time to your liking. The factory is simply your worker if you pick the OEM clothing manufacturer route, all of the designs and ideas are completely yours but for them to create.

However, you need to be open to suggestions from the factory itself to keep a harmonious relationship between you two. Open communication lines is also the key to become a successful OEM clothing entrepreneur or a private label clothing line. Their inputs to your product will be instrumental to your company in the long run since they are experts in what they are doing and they will also embrace your product/s as their own.

OEM Clothing Manufacturer's meetup

On-Shore Production vs. Off-Shore Production

Deciding between on-shore production or off-shore production is a crucial decision if you want to become an OEM or ODM clothing manufacturer. This choice will affect your budget, production and manufacturing processes which makes it crucial for your clothing line.

First off, let us try to define what each type of production means. On-shore production simply means local manufacturing wherein everything will be done locally. All of the manufacturing processes and sub-processes are done locally without the need for overseas intervention and help from foreign third-party product development companies.

Off-shore production is a type of production wherein the clothing products are manufactured outside of the country and imported back to be sold locally. Any type of white label clothing or private label clothing which demands help from a third-party company located overseas such as a factory or packaging expert is already considered to be off-shore production. This kind of outsourcing manufacturing is particularly common for clothing for several decades.

Now let us discuss the pros and cons for each type of production method to help you realize which is perfect for you to source clothing. Here are the following pros and cons;

The main catch between the two production options is the cost involved. Obviously, off-shore production involves a hefty budget given the foreign interference and help from overseas while on-shore will sound cheap or small since all of the manufacturing process are purely local. However, if we look at it on a different perspective, you can actually save a lot of labor cost with off-shore production especially if you are looking at a massive clothing production. The reputation of overseas garment manufacturing is often worse than it deserves. The World Bank sees it as an important chance for people (especially women) to get out of poverty.

On the other end, not all clothing businesses are not fit for a massive clothing production most especially if the customers are well-targeted and niched. With this option, it is fitting to choose on-shore production to cut down some unnecessary costs and simply settle in doing every step of the way locally.

Both production options have their own perks depending on the business size and clothing products your company is selling. Private label clothing wholesalers and white label clothing manufacturers usually choose off-shore production since they are ordering large batches of clothing products while specialized OEM manufacturers can choose on-shore production for their local products and clothing ideas. You cannot really stereotype them to the production method they choose because it all boils down to production quantity and rationalize it with the prices they are paying to manufacture the products.


The different options of clothing manufacturing mentioned above have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It would be up to you to pick which option is perfect for you to source clothing. They are all clothing manufacturing options in their own right but the right labeling such as ODM clothing manufacturers, OEM clothing manufacturers, on-shore production and off-shore production are necessary for you to know if you want to have a head start in this competitive industry.

You will hear these terms more often once you start dealing with factories, manufacturing companies and even merchants moving forward. Getting to know the definition of these terms along with their pros and cons is a must-have knowledge in the manufacturing and retail industry.

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