Finding the right manufacturer is the second biggest challenge in beginning a fashion company, mainly for the wholesale production. It is essential to get a reliable manufacturer to start a fashion company.
Basically, you can’t begin selling, or perhaps promoting your company without solid production, unless you have an idea of creating the production runs yourself. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the samples you show to consumers should be near clone of those you’ll be delivering after they place an order. Secondly, you cannot price a garment without knowing what quantity it’ll price in production. Hence, it might end in disaster. You always can’t guess what quantity it’ll price in production, and you want to have correct production costs to properly calculate your wholesale or retail costs.
So here are few steps to take a look, if you’re trying to begin your own fashion company, and wish to seek out for a manufacturer.
1. Decide on the product –
It may depend on a country you choose to sell or buy. For example, with footwear, the massive producing countries would be China, Italy, Spain, or many places in South America. You won’t get prime quality shoes created in Canada. Few things like lingerie, footwear, high school clothing are solely produced properly in few places. If you want to have more options, then go for basic things like tailoring or jerseys.
2. Verify your product’s price margin –
If you wish to make £ 5,000 suits, then you’ll be able to just about go anyplace where they will make good quality suits and also that you aware of. If you choose to make t-shirts and you wish them to sell in stores for £ 30 (which suggests that you have got to sell them to stores for £10 – £15), then you’ll need to be trying a European clothing factory for production. It would be hard to find such a company in the UK but there is a good UK based clothes manufacturer with their own factory in Northern Europe which we will talk about a little further down this article. However, at first, you’ll struggle to reach the price you wish, so you have to plan your steps carefully. Generally, your margins ought to be a trifle lower at the start as a result of your quantities are smaller.
3. Choose the place for production –
Pricing will be based on your choice of manufacturer, whether it is domestic or overseas. It is found that, your margins would be low at the start, as a result of quantities being small. Many of us consider China is cheap, however with their cost and time taken for shipping, it makes clear that finding the manufacturer near to you is far better. One of the clothes manufacturers what are good to launch your start-up brand with we have experience with is Sewport. Sewport is one of those good clothes manufacturers that offers fast turnaround, high quality and reasonable pricing all because their factory is EU based.
4. Begin to analyze the manufacturers in the market –
Researching online will be difficult because only a few good ones have proper websites. To overcome this you can see the tips below.
– Ask around. If you have got contacts within the trade, use it.
– Speak to your suppliers (if you have got any). Ask for recommendations if they have contacts as you have already sourced some materials or services from them.
– Online searches sometimes help. Yet it is terribly troublesome.
– Other trade sources like trade magazines, websites, tradeshows, etc. tend to own data on producing. It is worth to give a shot here.
5. Interview your manufacturer –
After you got contacts of potential factories, try to resolve if they’re right for you, and whether or not they are willing to work for you. Approach them with the tone of “I am a good company and that I would be excited if you’d be willing to work with me”. The more questions you ask him, the better clarity and idea you get from the manufacturer. Some of the useful questions are:
Are they taking new customers?
Some manufacturers don’t prefer new customers as they do ask a lot of questions. Hence few manufacturers avoid them.
What kind of products do they produce?
Not all clothing manufacturers might suit you. Check your requirements and needs and map them according to their strengths.
What brands do they work for?
Make sure there is sync in branding preferences that you have.
Where do they manufacture?
Certain manufacturers do not have a formal factory but they manufacture in some shift places.
What is the average costing?
Costing does matter so make sure you don’t choose a manufacturer who will burn your pockets and reduce your profit margin.
What services do they provide?
Check the after sales service and quality control measures they follow after production.
Do they need terms for companies?
Check on their terms and conditions in every aspect right from payment to production.
Are they scalable?
Will they able to meet and deliver bulk orders in time. You really need to have this in mind, if you are really serious about expanding your business to the next level.
6. Provide them with your drawings
After you have found good someone in an interview, send them the drawings, technical sheets, cloth swatches, research and other stuff required for manufacturing. Establish clear communication with them and make sure you both are on the same page. Provide an estimate of pricing and try to see if it works out for both of you.
7. Check your programs
If you’re thinking that this manufacturer can work, then check that they possess the good time to assist you. Offer them a rough estimate of your assortment and production schedule. You’ll not understand completely to start with. You do not book them for only sample production and make sure that their production is reserved solid for at least four months.
8. Produce and Sample value:
Once you’ve confirmed the calendar and order, you’ll be able to send them a pattern, cloth (unless they’re sourcing it), and a sample (if you have got one) to make a model. This can be a good method for you to examine their quality. If there are any changes required to the sample, get them to provide another one. Check all the specifications properly.
9. Negotiate terms:
If the sample is nice, and you wish to travel ahead and work with this manufactory, you’ll need to do a lot of negotiation about costing and other terms. Note that you’ll have little or no negotiating power at the start, that is traditional. However, check that in future you’ll be ready to get the costs and terms as you wish. At the start, your profit margins are very low.
10. Reserve time.
If you’re glad about the agreement and also the sample, then reserve time. Check that they need a rough plan of your quantities and schedule, which they’ll have time to provide your assortment. Properly document the understandings and sign off on the terms and conditions.
11. Get your sample assortment created
Currently, you’re able to order your sample assortment, which can be the clothes you utilize to indicate the consumers and eventually showcase it to the media.
12. Sell your assortment
This can be the foremost troublesome part of having your own collection!
13. Start production
Once you have got some orders, you are all good to go! Place an order and do a lot of follow up with the manufacturer. This helps you to check the track of the order and to get a clarity on its status.
Tips for choosing the best clothing manufacturer
Finally, here are some tips for you to choose the best clothing manufacturer
1) Always have options. Don’t just stop with one manufacturer. After you get one, hunt for others and use them as backups. You never know when you might need them.
2) Make a note of all details of your interactions with a manufacturer. You might need them when your requirements change in the future. At that point in time, you might not revisit the hunting process again and just use this information.
3) Monitor the progress of interaction even after starting the production. Are they really interactive and quick to respond to your queries and concerns? Do a reality check during the course of time as you might need to pull the plug sometimes and need to go to an alternate manufacturer.
4) Also, make sure that they are in your same time zone. It would be better if the language of communication is common and clear to you both. You really don’t want to choose a manufacturer who is miles apart to physically meet and inspect production.
5) Get everything formalized. Have clear terms and conditions and liabilities clauses in your agreement. Keep track and maintain records of all conversations during the course of time. But beyond all of this what might help is your instinct to get a feel of whether the manufacturer will really deliver the promises.