Undoubtedly, one of the most difficult parts of the fashion design process is brainstorming design ideas. However, after spending countless hours developing your designs comes the fun part – making your designs a reality! Many startup designers find this process daunting and struggle to get started, but don’t worry. Keep reading to learn strategies to find amazing garment manufacturing companies to produce your designs.
1. What is your apparel product category?
Before you start looking for a clothing factory to work with, figure out what types of garments you would like manufactured. Determining that at the start will make the process of looking for manufacturers less overwhelming.
Many cut and sew factories focus on manufacturing only certain garments. For instance, if you are looking to make shoes, you would be better off looking for manufacturers in Italy rather than in Canada because Italy is a bigger fashion industry country and known for producing high quality shoes.
2. Do you value “Made in…”?
As they say in real estate, location is everything. This same idea applies to garment manufacturing. Oftentimes, manufacturing prices play a role in which locations fashion labels choose. There’s a myth that producing in countries like China means cheaper private label clothes production costs than producing in high-end manufacturing countries like Italy. However, when you take the longer lead times and shipping costs into consideration, it may be more costly to produce garments in countries like China.
Another thing to consider is the work environment of manufacturing companies in different countries. Ask yourself about how much pay cut and sew workers receive, especially when considering countries like Bangladesh and Cuba. Ethically, it is better to consider countries where workers receive fair payment for their work.
3. What's your budget and timeline for garment sampling and production?
After researching potential garment factory partners, make sure to set up a call with a representative from the company to discuss pricing and ask whether or not they are accepting production requests. It is important to know if the manufacturer has time to help you before becoming too attached to one, so be sure to supply them information about your proposed production schedule and a rough estimate about how much you are willing to spend.
After determining that a particular manufacturing company is able to make your designs, go ahead and have them create a garment sample from your tech pack or design prototype before having an entire collection made. A professionally made garment sample is a good way to physically assess the quality of the garment and propose changes before committing to a full collection. If you notice any problems, send your proposals for improvement and have another sample produced.
Making your designs a reality does not need to be a difficult process. By using online manufacturing directories, your connections in the fashion industry, or joining Facebook groups, emerging designers can easily find the perfect factory partner for their designs.