Starting a clothing line is no walk in the park, from developing a business plan to finding the right distribution channel, each component has the ability to make or break your startup. There’s one important factor when it comes to the production aspect - and it’s the process of vetting a garment manufacturer to produce your collection the way YOU want it, and on your best timeline.
After you complete the design process, it’s time to choose a manufacturer that closely aligns with your desired product quality, pricing, and timeline. Keep these ideas in mind when searching for top of the line suppliers to help you achieve your goals and grow your brand.
The Critical Fashion Industry Research Behind Building Your Brand
First off, if you want to find a list of excellent garment suppliers or producers, you need to look at reliable sources such as:
Software or Online Resources (like MakersValley)
After making a short list of potential suppliers, it’s time to do some in depth research on topics like:
The delivery logistics of each factory
How they keep you connected with supply management operations, to prioritize quality assurance over everything.
Overseas or not, can they be easily contacted?
Do they hold any factory certifications?
What is theirB2B website presence?
The next step of the vetting process focuses on genuinely connecting with the factory or manufacturing partner. Trust plays a huge factor in how your products are both produced and delivered. Use Carter’s 10 Cs in Procurement Management to evaluate the supplier’s ability to meet your demand. From there, you can begin the onsite audit process or even make arrangements to visit the factory in person.
The Need for Clear and Concise Manufacturer Communication
The last thing on your checklist is having clear and concise payment terms that suppliers and manufacturers can follow with little to no negotiation. While a letter of credit is the safest payment option, many suppliers tend to deter from this method. However, fashion intermediaries like MakersValley are using the latest and greatest buy now, pay later platforms like Klarna to ensure that designers still have the flexibility to pay for sample making and shipping in phased payment increments.
All in all, you want to find the production partners with the best attributes that have the ability to create the best version of your products possible. After verifying the legitimacy of each supplier, it becomes significantly easier to distinguish the niche manufacturers that most closely meet your wants and needs. Once you build and maintain the connections with those suppliers, everything will easily fall into place!
Mia is currently in her third year at Chapman University studying both Business Administration and Dance. She values meaningful experience more than anything, working as a spin instructor and a marketing intern, she's driven to become the best version of herself possible. MakersValley has pushed her to explore the complexities of content marketing and she's truly growing as a young business professional!