It’s the new year and one of your goals is to finally start your own clothing line. If you and your wallet are still recovering from the holidays, lucky for you, there’s plenty of free fashion designing apps available to help you start building a clothing line without spending a ton of money. Check them out below.
1) Meetup - Free Feedback on Your Clothing Design From Potential Customers
Available on iOS App Store
You most likely have a clothing design in mind that you want to bring to life. One of the first steps is to do your research on your idea and get feedback on it from customers who may actually pay you and help turn your idea into a real business.
One of the easiest ways to get free feedback is to organize a meetup in your hometown where potential customers can learn about your brand and be inspired by it. If you don’t know how to organize a meetup, you can find all the steps to make it happen with this free Meetup Organizer Guide.
2) MakersValley – Free Digital Tech Pack and Markup Free Clothes Manufacturing Quotes
Desktop and mobile site available now. Coming soon on iOS App Store.
The first step to create your own clothing line is to turn your fashion design rendering or garment prototype into a complete tech pack and digitized sewing pattern. The next step is to find a clothing manufacturer for your design.
Unfortunately, professional digital patterns can come with some hefty fees, depending on where you live and how competitive the market is. Plus, it's difficult to find and vet factories to produce your clothing designs – especially if you're open to partnering with factories in other countries.
MakersValley can help you get started even without a pattern using a white labelfactory design. This service can also help you create a unique pattern using a garment prototype or complete design rendering. Once you've created your online tech pack using either your design rendering or a white label factory design, you can use the MakersValley 30-day free trial to start getting bids from 100+ Italian manufacturers who can produce your design in Italy.
The best part – the bids you'll receive are all mark-up free, and MakersValley has already quality assured these factories and their work, so you know their work will be worth your investment.
Do the words “business plan” make you shudder? Yeah, us too. Don’t worry, creating a business plan doesn’t have to be difficult. StartUP Fashion makes it easy for you. They offer a free one-page fashion business plan template, and if spending a few dollars isn’t too out of the question, they also offer some great online fashion designing courses for up to $25.
StartUP FASHION also has a mailing list to keep you updated on great tools for fashion designers – some emails even come with occasional freebies! It’s a total win-win.
Once you have started your own clothing line, you’ll need the tools to sell your products. One of these is a catalog, also known as line sheets, which you use to show off your products to potential customers so that they can see what you have to offer.
Brandboom lets you create free, unlimited clothing line sheets so that you can give give your new fashion brand the professional image it needs. Plus, you’ll also be able to receive up to 10 free buyer notifications from fashion buyers interested in purchasing the products on your Brandboom line sheets.
If your dream is to open a physical storefront or if you’re already a brick and mortar boutique owner, go over to Boutique Hub’s blog for free tips on how to start promoting your business for free on social media and get customers in your door.
They have a nifty search tool on their blog that allows you to search “Instagram”, “Facebook”, anything you want to get free tips. Boutique Hub also gets bonus points for their online fashion courses and live Facebook feeds at trade shows.
Often referred to as the “Facebook for business”, LinkedIn is free to join and is a tool used by millions of fashion entrepreneurs like you to connect with people you don’t know and grow your network in a professional online environment.
You can create your free LinkedIn account, search for “fashion buyers” in the search bar, and click on “Groups”. You’ll see all of the fashion buyers in these groups who are working with fashion brands like yours to get products on store shelves.
To start getting in touch with these buyers directly, you can sign up for LinkedIn’s free 30-day Business account (you can cancel anytime). The Business account comes with 15 InMail messages, and the ability to message buyers directly and pitch them information about your clothing line.
Next Year Is Looking Good!
Now that you’re armed with the insider info you need to start your own clothing line with no money, it’s time to turn your resolution into reality.
Think we missed one of your favorite free resources for beginner fashion designers? Connect with us on social media to let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
Co-founder & COO @MakersValley! Tiffany is a an operations guru, blogger, and programmer-in-progress from Texas. You can often find her typing up a storm at the local coffee shop, drumming up conversation with strangers, catching a plane to another country, or reading a good book.