TEG employee explaining how much it costs to start a clothing line

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Clothing Line?

Published On: October 25, 2021

When finally taking that major step of starting your own fashion brand, you need a lot. Things like manpower, creativity, sourced fabric, and passion are some of the most important facets of starting a clothing line. But the monetary cost for designing and manufacturing clothing is easily a make or break for many emerging independent fashion designers. But not all prices are the same. So, in short: how much does it cost to start a clothing line?

What’s The Cost?

TEG designer explaining how much it costs to start a clothing line to an independent fashion designerSo, how much does it cost to start a clothing line? Well, it depends. The best way to determine the cost of manufacturing clothes is to separate each manufacturing process step.

Materials: What Are You Made Of?

What materials will your clothing business use in the manufacturing process? Will you opt for sustainable fashion?

Depending on the materials, you could run up a costly bill.

That’s why, along with starting a clothing line in general, you should take careful, analytical steps toward your goal. This means meticulously choosing which materials will bring your design to life without breaking the bank. This includes expert creative services to help you determine what clothing designs will use what material.

While tending to cost more during the production process, sustainable fashion ends up having a much less negative environmental impact than traditional materials. We’re fortunate to have countless options and alternatives to fashion industry mainstays.

Things like organic cotton, Tencel fabric, and organic hemp can make your clothing line come to life without sacrificing the good of our environment.

At TEG, we regularly engage in ethical and sustainable clothing manufacturing. We aim to promote better working conditions and lessen the fashion industry’s detrimental impact on the environment.

Are You Using A Low MOQ Clothing Manufacturer?

Jennifer Evans showing two seamstresses how much it will cost to start a clothing lineWhen shopping around for a high-end clothing manufacturer near you that shares your values, it’s essential to ask them about their minimum order quantities or MOQs.

Low MOQ clothing manufacturers are vital assets to emerging fashion designers, as they don’t require you to order a massive amount of clothing samples. Large clothing orders limit you in other ways. For example, it’ll likely be more challenging to perform meaningful market analysis with your product if you’ve spent a large portion of your money on ordering samples.

At TEG, there are no mandatory minimums. This means an independent fashion designer can launch their small fashion line for market testing or sale in specialty shops. Accessibility is key in this Los Angeles clothing manufacturing studio.

To ensure you meet all your prospective customer and business needs, cutting down on the samples (i.e., searching out low MOQs) is crucial.

The Human Element: Labor Costs

Pattern maker pointing to one of three fashion sketches on a tableStarting a clothing line doesn’t have to be a one-person affair. In fact, it’d be pretty difficult to accomplish the many responsibilities on your own.

To reach your goals and stay within your budget, you need the skills of pattern makers and design experts. For example, Los Angeles pattern makers take your initial designs and translate them to the fabric. Using a fashion tech pack, the pattern maker uses their expertise to measure, cut, fit, and revise garment designs.

Likewise, you’ll need a team of tailors and seamstresses to help your style and design come to life. Using these experts often isn’t cheap, and for good reason. These unique experts take your blueprints and translate them into tangible, attractive clothing.

Finding The Right Audience: The Marketing Budget

Who is the target market for your clothing line?

This question should help you make critical decisions throughout the manufacturing process.

Finding your target audience is crucial to establishing a look and feel for your clothing. As such, a lot of time, effort, and resources need to go into your marketing efforts.

Could you opt for marketing for free on social platforms? Sure, businesses and companies use Instagram and Facebook to sell their products all the time.

However, merely using free social media accounts won’t cut it in the long term. In short, you probably need to allocate funds for your marketing budget. This is ideal for cooking up marketing strategies to ensure the eyes of your target audience fall on your product.

Take Patagonia’s famous ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ marketing push in 2011. Because of its dedication to the environment, the iconic brand ended up going viral. Patagonia pleaded with Black Friday shoppers not to buy a particular jacket. This dedication toward environmental safety spoke to its target audience.

You can probably guess what happened next. Sales skyrocketed. People saw Patagonia as not only a trustworthy brand for environmental sustainability but as desirable. Although Patagonia denies this was a concerted marketing push for sales, the results speak for themselves. It was a master marketing move that achieved remarkable results.

To sum up, marketing is a fantastic way of getting your name out there. Maybe you’ll go viral like Patagonia did over a decade ago.

So, How Much Does It Cost To Start A Clothing Line?

Depending on whom you choose to work alongside, starting a clothing line could cost anywhere between $500 to $10,000. If you’re an established designer, it will probably cost you upwards of $25,000 to $50,000. Again, it depends on so many factors within your own business plan. Are you an individual looking to blaze a path in the fashion industry with a small line of clothing? Then your costs will unquestionably be lower.

However, if you’re an eager startup with ambition on the brain, it could cost substantially more. Either way, it’s an aspect that you need to work out before jumping into the fashion fray.

Get in touch with the TEG team to discuss potential plans you have for your future clothing line!

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