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How to get a custom clothing manufacturer: Explain and Guide
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How to get a custom clothing manufacturer: Explain and Guide


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Customizing garments have become more popular these days. If you are confused about how to get a custom clothing manufacturer, this detailed guide may help clear all your confusion.

What is a custom clothing manufacturer?

The concept of custom clothing may appear to be familiar in the current fashion industry. Simply speaking, it refers to attires that are customized based on customers’ personal requirements. The process of customizing clothing basically includes design, material selection, and production. In the cases of enterprise customers, they may need ready and labeled products, materials, or other customizable resources.

How to get a custom clothing manufacturer

As fast fashion has developed and become mainstream, customers these days start looking for something rare and unique. Considering such demand, the number of custom clothing manufacturers has increased significantly. 

Custom clothing manufacturers are, in fact, service providers for individuals and business customers who want to customize their clothes, fabrics, or other resources. They may offer all-included service packages from idea planning to finish products, depending on the requirements. Regarding the current competitive market, there are multiple manufacturers to choose from, and the problem of how to find the best garment customizing services emerges. 

Custom clothing manufacturers are service providers for individuals and business customers who want to customize their clothes, fabrics, or other resources.

Why do you need to get a custom clothing manufacturer? 

The important question you should clarify yourself before starting is “Do I really need to find a custom clothing manufacturer?”. Because finding a reliable service provider would make you tons of time, and also cost your efforts and finance. Therefore, you had better consider carefully if you really have to work with one.  There are basically two types of customers that need custom manufacturers, including entrepreneur customers with a unique idea for developing new clothing ranges and reputable brands finding a new spot in the market.

If your purpose of finding a custom manufacturer is to establish your business, there are various methods of selling clothes to look out for. It is better to do a quick research on that to make sure if your company really needs to cooperate with a custom service provider or not.

Here are some pros and cons of working with custom clothing producers you may want to take into consideration.

Pros:

  • You can have whatever types of creative and unique products you want.
  • You can build your own fashion label.
  • You will have control over pricing, management, branding, and marketing.

Cons:

  • Higher risks as you have to make an up-front investment.
  • Require bulky purchase with high MOQs (normally up to 3000 pcs).
  • Difficulties and risks in terms of legislation and losses. 

In case you only want to sell clothes online or offline on a small scale, or you are a beginner in the field without experience or huge capital, finding a custom manufacturer is not recommended. It is better to start with dropshipping or finding a clothing supplier.

If you have a unique idea and want to lead a new clothing range, or doing business on a larger scale and are ready for all the potential risks, please go ahead and get yourself a custom manufacturer.

How to get a custom clothing manufacturer? 

Starting a business is extremely difficult, and challenges will emerge right after you have made up your mind. There are several things to consider and take action to get, choose and find a reliable custom clothing manufacturer.

What do you have to do?

Overall, there are four basic steps to get a custom clothing manufacturer, starting from working with yourself and then with your partner. 

Step 1: Figure out your demand – what are you looking for? 

It is important to have a clear image of what products you want to produce, and how you want to make them. Depending on product types, you may decide what kinds of manufacturers you want to cooperate with. 

For example, you have a wide range of domestic and transnational manufacturers to choose from if you only want something basic and not too technical. However, if you need high-quality and specialized items, such as professional activewear, medical wear, or footwear, it is better to find a manufacturer from specific regions with an experienced background.

Step 2: Decide on your budget and price range 

Keeping track of your financial situation is the next step. After clarifying what you need, you may have to review your finance to estimate the product price point, then calculate backward to find out the suitable price to make a deal with your manufacturer. 

Factors like expected product quantities, shipping fees, and some other potential losses may also need consideration.

Step 3: Define your ideal concepts and styles 

In fact, this step can be done together with step 2. You may have had an idea before, and it is time to make a proposal and clarify what is the style, name the concept, come up with some designing ideas, drawings, and the like.

custom clothing manufacturer Define your ideal concepts and styles

This is one of the most important steps that would decide the success of your brand, so take time to do it carefully in detail. Please make sure that everything has been clear and completed before directly working with the manufacturer.

Step 4: Search for a suitable custom clothing manufacturer, consultation and negotiation

Depending on your demand, you may have different ways of finding a suitable manufacturer. They can be domestic or international, small-medium or large scale, or can be found online or offline.

Once you have found your custom clothing producer, then you may have to interview them to decide if the cooperation is promising. After that, you may send them a drawing and have them make a sample. If everything goes well, it is time to negotiate and make a deal.

How to choose great custom clothing manufacturers: Important factors to consider 

The general steps to do have been explained and it may seem straightforward. However,  there are still lots of things to do, tons of things to check out and consider in each of these stages. How to choose suitable custom clothing manufacturers is probably one of the most time-consuming and challenging ones.

Company Scale and location

It is important to consider company scale, location, and the pros and cons when working with them. Typically, customers may choose between domestic and overseas manufacturers. 

Domestic custom clothing manufacturers: 

Some of the obvious benefits of choosing domestic manufacturers can be observed in geographical, linguistic, and legal aspects. First, it is domestic-based so you do not need to waste time transporting, and every process of meeting, inspection, and discussion would be smooth. Second, there is no language barrier, therefore avoiding misunderstandings and saving translation/interpreting fees. Lastly, there will be no legal obstacles as both of you are familiar with the legislation and procedures.

Domestic custom clothing manufacturers

The local-made label could also be a selling point for marketing, as your domestic customers may feel satisfied with that. However, in case you are living in high-cost labor countries, you may have to consider the budget because it may be more expensive.

Overseas custom clothing manufacturers 

The most attractive benefit of overseas manufacturers is the cheap price. Depending on the labor standards and costs of each country, the price may vary. However, there are always low-cost manufacturers like in China and other developing countries.

Overseas custom clothing manufacturers 

However, the biggest drawback is time-consuming, especially transportation time for meetings, inspection, shipping time, lag time, and so on.

Price versus quality

It is important to ask your manufacturers for prices, especially those that may not be listed in the contract like shipping fees and additional costs. You can get this information just by message, email, or a quick call.

However, it is much more difficult to assess the product quality, because you cannot find the answer from the manufacturer. You can try researching on the internet or networking with their partners, customers, and alliance for more details. 

Shipping fees and time 

Shipping is also an essential factor to consider, because it may impact productivity and cost you extra money. Be careful and ask in detail about the shipping fees. 

Shipping time should also be estimated, especially if you cooperate with an overseas manufacturer. It is better to discuss with your partner the expected preparation and shipping time to make orders in advance.

Experience, technology & certificates

These elements should be added to the checklist because they may tell you about the quality of products. An experienced, certificated and professional clothing manufacturer may provide you not only top-quality items but also outstanding services and values.

An experienced, certificated and professional clothing manufacturer may provide you not only top-quality items but also outstanding services and values

The technology may help distinguish your products from the mainstream ones in the market, however, the price may also live up to the technological advancement.

Production capacity

Asking your garment manufacturer about their capacity could avoid potential risk in the future. The capacity of the manufacturer may meet your demand at the beginning. However, if it happens that your business succeeds and the number of orders increases significantly, can they still fulfill your need?

The capacity of the custom clothing manufacturers meet your demand

The time it takes for your service provider to prepare and manufacture products also relate to production capacity. Therefore, pay attention to this factor if you do not want to miss any potential customers and huge orders.

Manufacturers’ partners and customers 

A quick checking on their partners and customers may reveal the reliability of your manufacturer. There is no more exact and faster way to get information about their credibility than asking those who have directly cooperated with the company.

Moreover, checking on their past cooperators and projects may also tell you about their working style, which could be applied to improve the productivity of the deals.

How to find custom clothing manufacturers? 

As you have known how to select the best custom clothing manufacturer, the next difficult task is to find an ideal partner that can fulfill your demands and fit what you are looking for. There are several ways to do that, and basically can be divided into online and offline.

On the internet

Searching online is obviously the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way to look up information. 

Search engine

Google and other search engines are great tools for you when searching for clothing manufacturers, both domestic and overseas. 

For domestic manufacturers, you can simply search something like “Custom clothing manufacturers near me”, and the results of the less distant ones would appear. 

For overseas manufacturers, it is more challenging to have their information, and searching is one of the most possible and least effort methods. You may focus on finding manufacturers from certain regions or countries, simply by adding the country name after the keyword.

SNS platforms 

SNS platforms are also a great channel for asking. There are multiple platforms with various people from different backgrounds, and they are willing to provide you with information from all over the world. Therefore, using SNS to find your custom clothing manufacturer is also an optimal way. 

Online supplier directories and marketplaces

It is totally simple to find a supplier on popular marketplaces like Alibaba or Taobao. You may have to contact them to confirm if they are the genuine manufacturer and offer to cooperate with them.

For this channel, it is important to check the seller’s information before contacting, such as customer reviews, interactive rate, price, and so on.

There are also many websites such as Salehoo which bridge wholesalers, suppliers, and customers on the internet. It is convenient that you make use of these third-party service providers to find yourself a suitable custom clothing manufacturer.

Meet physically in person 

If you prefer to have a face-to-face meeting and conversation, you can find information about trade fairs and business or industry meetups to participate in. Most manufacturers and service providers join these activities to maintain their network, so the likelihood that you find a reliable partner is high.

This is also a great chance to network, build your trust and impression in the industry. You can also learn from different successful people and their products when coming to these events.

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