As an emerging designer or a small business in the fashion industry, it can be difficult to know where to turn when you are looking to produce your first collection. As a smaller entity, budgets will be tighter, and often order quantities will be lower than mass-produced clothing. This can present some challenges and finding a suitable clothing manufacturer that can accommodate small runs is essential for securing good quality garments for your brand.If you are new to the world of clothing production, then sourcing suppliers may seem like a daunting task. To make the process easier, a unique platform that brings clothing manufacturers and brands together to connect and build strong business relationships. This innovative resource is also perfect for beginners, as you don’t need any experience or connections to take your ideas to clothing manufacturers. It’s easy to join, and this creates a stepping-stone to the world of garment creation.Once you’ve taken the first steps, deciding on the right clothing factory for your requirements will help get the production process started.Check out some of the things to consider when searching for a clothing manufacturer for your small business.Chat with fashion industry expertsThe perfect way to start your journey in apparel production is to connect with industry experts for helpful tips and tricks in getting the most from your business. Unless you have a degree or started your career in the industry through a fashion apprenticeship, you may not have access to information and support from a relevant mentor. By joining the community, you can find a host of private label manufacturers and experienced individuals that offer support and advice on everything from design, production management and costings. This valuable resource will help you build the foundations of your new collection and make the process less overwhelming and more manageable from start to finish.Determine minimum order quantities (MOQ)Naturally, as a designer or small business, you will be looking to produce small runs for your fashion brand. Researching clothing manufacturers that offer lower minimum order quantities will help you achieve a smaller production level to manage costs more efficiently. There are a number of clothing factories that can accommodate small runs of a minimum of approximately 50 pieces without compromising on quality.Another aspect of small run production to consider is how apparel producers prioritise clients, as you may find that low order numbers put you at the back of the queue due to the way their production process works. This could also affect sampling and lead times so be sure to check when enquiring.In some cases, you may require lower order quantities, and this is often the case for fashion designers. Some companies will be able to accommodate very small and exclusive runs, but this style of production will usually be more expensive and undertaken by textile studios to meet individual requirements.Discuss production capabilities or restrictionsFor fashion brands that require smaller runs, some clothing manufacturers are only able to produce limited styles or designs at lower quantities. If this is the case, it could restrict the type of products in your collection and potentially see you compromise on the type of garments that are produced.If you have an idea in mind and don’t want to settle for a limited run, then be sure to look around at what other private label manufacturers can help you achieve. There are a variety of garment producers on Sewport that are able to help you realise your brand’s potential.Consider the production processIf you have little or no experience in the apparel industry, partnering with a garment factory that can help throughout the process is a valuable resource that will make production smooth and straightforward. However, Full Package Production (FPP) can be expensive, and for aspiring designers, this could impact on the selling price of your product, as you have to incorporate production costings.It is always a good idea to check with clothing manufacturers any ways that you can help to keep costs down. Of course, they are a business that also requires profits to continue trading, but they are also looking to establish long-term relationships with fashion brands to boost their reputation and standing within the industry. By working together, you will develop a great business relationship that will help you get the most of your production requirements for a reasonable cost.Work to a realistic budgetPrivate label manufacturers will understand the constraints that small businesses are under concerning budget but approaching a clothing factory with a low budget and big ideas won’t be helpful for either party. To establish a good relationship with an apparel producer, you have to provide a realistic budget so they can create a scope to work within.For smaller runs, you also have to consider the margin of error is a bigger issue than mass-produced clothing. For example, to a fashion brand creating thousands of products, there will be an expected room for error in production, which won’t majorly affect its overall costings. However for smaller runs, if a few items have faults, this will eat into your profits and overall finished product. Creating a budget that factors in these scenarios will help to manage expectation, plus ensuring you supply correct information such as a Tech Pack for production will reduce miscommunication.
“Let’s wear the same thing today! We’ll match!”Oh no. Your heart starts beating fast and your perspiration becomes a waterfall. You try to find an excuse to drop that idea but you don’t want to disappoint your loved one. You barely scrape through dressing well yourself and now you need to dress as a couple! EVERYONE on the street is going to laugh at you and your partner’s hysterical and peculiar dressing ways.Well, stop worrying and have no fear! Drop your ‘couple casual wear’ thoughts because with these couples wear ideas from our great Fashion Merchants, nobody is going to glare or mock at you and your partner’s failure to dress like normal people!Couple WatchesSimple, subtle and cool. Depending on the watches that you are wearing, watches enable you to exude the highest degree of sophistication and elegance, whether sporty and candid. The watch that you wear paints a picture of your character and that speaks volumes when both you and your loved one wears the same watch. It tells a story of your relationship!You do not have to be wearing a watch that is specific to your gender. It all depends on the watch that you and your partner select! Couple ShoesWalking with your partner hand-in-hand, with your congruent kicks leading the way is probably the best way to peak your relationship’s ‘cool meter’. If you and your partner are sporty and trendy, this works the best! Perhaps you could put aside dressing opulently and eloquently and instead be clad in clothes to match your sneakers. It is neither too striking nor is it offensive to the eyes of strangers. So you do not have to worry about judgemental eyes running through your dressing!Matching Pendant NecklacesThis one’s easy. If it fits you, chances are, it’ll fit your loved one. A pendant is much more meaningful because unlike watches or shoes, the only constraint that it has comes from the fact that it needs to be connected to a string to be worn around the neck. Hence, the design of the pendant could almost literally represent your relationship. Also, a necklace is not solely for ladies. Some necklaces are made for guys! Find one that is unisex or alternatively, DIY it!Couple shortsWhy match your top when you can match your bottoms? Match your shorts by wearing the same colours! Wearing couple jeans isn’t attractive enough (since jeans are staple wear); wearing long pants would look too normal and boring. The very essence of couple wear is to become a mobile exhibition in communicating the fact that you are in an intimate relationship with the person you’re with! Shorts are great examples of clothing that reins in attention without the unwanted public scrutiny. So don’t be afraid to go crazy with matching shorts! Couple SnapbacksAlright, listen up. Let’s get slightly serious for this one. Snapbacks can be a hit or miss fashion statement, especially if done on a couple scale. If you mess it up, it can crash and burn and you’d be the worst dressed couple apparel of the year. However, if done well, your relationship is probably going to be the big thing on the streets.Only baseball or basketball teams designed on the snapbacks should be permitted.If you do not want to be laughed at in the streets, suppress that desire for cute snapbacks!Couple Baseball JacketsHere’s where the cute couples can get some fashion action. Instead of the icky “Him” and “Her” printed strikingly on tees that are immensely disparaging to the eyes, wear baseball jackets to emanate an adorable, lively mood to the style. There is a mark that couple should not cross when planning for best couple wear and baseball jackets remains firmly within the stated boundary.While varsity jackets were made trendy and adorable due to pop-culture and commercialization.Couple WayfarersHere’s where your relationship can easily emulate Hollywood’s awesome celebrity couples. Wear couple wayfarers. Sunglasses are the quickest ticket for anyone to look classy, charming and glamorous. Imagine both you and your partner wearing them! It’ll be twice as alluring. Many people underestimate the role that sunglasses play in the fashion scheme and tend to overlook how they can augment their dressing style. A little trial and error at the nearest optical shop will most definitely go a long way in deciding which sunglasses fit you and your partner.
To start a label amidst the multitude of fashion stores and clothing brands that already exist out there can be daunting. ‘How to start a clothing company and not fail’ is a question that arises in the minds of many fashion startups. This is where marketing can really help. Read on to learn some tips on how to market your clothing brand.Define YourselfWhat is your brand about, what is the story, what are you selling and who exactly are you selling to? As this serves as the foundation of your label, you will need to establish this before marketing your products. The fashion industry has something for almost everyone, but there are ways to be noticed if you are creative. The narrower your brand’s position and ideal customer, the easier it will be to target & reach your audience.Social MediaAs a brand, furthermore a new brand, marketing is more than necessary. You don’t exist unless people know about you. Traditional advertising like TV commercials, billboards and print ads are still feasible methods of advertising. However, in today’s digitally savvy society, there are a lot of other methods you can employ to boost your brand’s presence.Social media is one of the most powerful tools a brand can utilise today. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, there are more than enough platforms for you to reach your target market directly.Facebook’s inbuilt algorithms that match users’ interests and interactivity patterns to relevant profiles have made targeted marketing much easier. This makes ads on Facebook and Instagram potentially more effective as they already filter the market for you.Your voice on your social mediaSocial media also allows brands to create more windows of perspective for consumers. Your brand’s social media content can speak volumes about your brand story and philosophy and gives its character. As you interact with your followers on these platforms, it forms an impression about your brand in their minds. This brand impression helps your products, messages and brand ethos to resonate better with them.The intimacy of social media interaction between brands and their customers creates a deeper connection between the two. This is part of the intangible effects of marketing, which eventually builds brand loyalty and keeps customers coming back for more.Having a presence on social media is hence, really important. Start with one or two platforms and update on a consistent basis to sustain the interest. With tons of brands on social media, your content must be on point so that it can cut through the noise.Collaborate to leverageCollaborations have transcended to be more than a trend in the industry. We have seen fast fashion giant H&M collaborating with luxury designer labels. Likewise with Japanese retailer Uniqlo, which collaborated with Jil Sander, Undercover and even celebrities like Pharrell Williams.Collaboration should be something your brand can leverage on. H&M and Uniqlo’s strategy creates a buzz for their customers and additionally serves to pique the interests of new customers in the luxury segment. This has opened new doors to a wider market – both mass market and high-end, potentially converting more people into customers. That’s really great leverage.Be smart and creative with your collaborations as it can certainly help to attract the right audience and grow your brand.Be InterestingIf you are selling something that doesn’t already exist in the market, it means you are filling a gap. This puts you way ahead in the game and makes selling your products much easier.However, many brands out there sell similar products to each other. If you fall into this category, you would have to find a different selling point from your competitors.You have to offer your customers more than just custom garments to stand out. You need to sell a lifestyle. There are many ways to go about marketing it, be creative with the message you send to your customers.Ultimately, if you employ the right methods, it can really boost your brand recognition and set your label apart. Remember, to engage your customers is to be relevant to them.
Starting up a new business is a huge challenge. Especially In the fashion industry, where everything is so unpredictable, all your investment, time and effort could potentially go to waste if you don’t do the necessary research on how to make a clothing line. Prevent your business from going under by not making some of these common mistakes.Not Doing ResearchEvery bit of research is crucial in knowing how to make a clothing line and how to sustain it. There are many different aspects to a startup business that you may not be aware of so research as much as you can to cover all your bases before you dive in. Talk to anyone you know who’s done something similar before or are in relevant fields and get as much advice as you can from them. Many startups don’t know what they’re getting themselves into until they’re knee-deep in it – which by that time is already too late.As a startup, there is no system of practice or SOP set up for you to follow like in a big corporate organization, you’re starting from scratch, so you’ll need all the knowledge you can gather to help you understand the business infrastructure of a clothing production company. This way, you can make more informed decisions on how to run your own business well. One of the silliest things you can do as a startup is to go in blind, don’t make that mistake.OverspendingAnd on the flipside of cutting costs is overspending. For many startups, cash flow at the initial stage is at its lowest.You have to spend your money wisely. There are new labels that choose to spend large amounts of money at the early stages of their business, for example, to set up a lavish storefront before establishing their brand, thinking that’s the secret to getting customers to buy their products.Practicality and being prudent with how you spend money, especially in the initial stages are vital in helping you to sustain your label.Avoid spending a huge bulk of your money in areas that cannot guarantee growth in your business.Not Keeping Up With TrendsIf you’re thinking about how to make a clothing line but disregarding the design aspect of it, you’re making a big mistake.Yes, a clothing line comprises of many other components besides design, but it’s very much centred on it. There are tons of businesses out there that run on a see-and-replicate model, but the most successful brands that have earned credibility and loyal customers globally are those that offer something unique.If you’re going to sell clothing but not have a designer working on your team and/or know nothing about the current fashion landscape, your product can be severely compromised and not make the ‘cut’ in this highly competitive industry.Don’t worry if you do not have a designer in-house, as you can always outsource this role.Just be careful not to neglect this component as it can really hurt your business.Not Investing In The Right AreasUnderstandably, as a startup, your budget isn’t high and sales don’t climb as quick, so you will try to cut costs wherever possible. This is a good practice, however, you should be mindful about what you’re cutting costs on. It is common for founders of startups to take on multiple roles or even be a one-man-show.You could be a good designer but that doesn’t necessarily make you the best person for marketing. Similarly, you could be great at managing finances but not at doing sales. A business is multi-dimensional and to have one person or only a handful wear all the hats is not the best recipe for a startup label.Delegate and hire if you need to. This is a necessary expenditure and investment. As the founder, your team and new hires will look to you for guidance. If you have too much on your plate, you may not have the time to oversee the work of your employees, observe the growth of your business and plot its goals.This can do more harm than benefits for your business. Be sure not to overstretch yourself to cut costs at the expense of your company.Incorrect PricingSetting the price of your products may seem straightforward to some but there is a lot more to think about than just covering your costs. What is a healthy profit margin for your business that will allow you to continue producing collections, say, four times a year?How are your competitors pricing their products? Are your price points similar and how will that convince customers to buy your products over theirs?Covering your costs is of primary importance, however, you also need to ask yourself questions on the sustainability of your business, where you sit in the market and how to maintain a competitive edge when you’re developing your pricing strategy.