Small batch clothing manufacturers provide fashion designers across the United States with the perfect solution for launching their brands and building their identity. Let’s explore why investing in small batch production may be the perfect fit for you.
What is Small Batch Production?
Small batch production is typically 30-500 garments. In the past, factories would almost exclusively work with established brands or large-scale orders. However, that’s quickly changing. You can now work with clothing manufacturers who offer no minimums.
The ‘Maker Movement1‘ growth has given rise to companies like TEG. TEG and others offer the production services independent fashion designers are looking for within the United States.
Technological advances have helped small batch clothing manufacturers grow a very popular niche. Online shopping has made expensive store overheads unnecessary, and social media has made marketing accessible to all.
In short, small batch clothing manufacturing makes production affordable.
Who Needs Small Batch Manufacturers?
Whether you are launching a new line or a new brand, small batch production gives you a way to control the costs. This gives you the peace of mind required when beginning a new venture that you don’t need to risk everything and be stuck with a load of unsold merchandise.
The rise of small batch clothing manufacturing allows many brands and creatives to get into the market without a huge investment, making for easy to test clothing concepts and lines.
1. Reduced Risks
First, small batch manufacturing helps you avoid the risk of wasting time, money, and resources that can come with committing to a large-scale inventory.
With small batch manufacturing, you can do this seamlessly in the subsequent batch if you discover improvements that need to be made or minor errors that need fixing. In short, you can avoid a ton of headaches when starting a clothing line.
2. Efficient Market Testing
Second, with small batch manufacturing, you can gauge the sales and orders of your garments and predict your growth more accurately.
By the time you have perfected your design, the initial sales will demonstrate that the market needs are being met and can accurately predict the pace of growth.
With small batch manufacturing, minimum viable product testing is a concept from software. However, it quickly became heavily adopted in successful fashion startups.
3. Agile Production
Small batch production has the added benefit of giving you more agility and control of your production cycle.
Moreover, with smaller production numbers, you will have the ability to make changes to your garments quickly. This helps you gauge the consumer response and react to the market demand within your niche.
This can give you a competitive edge as your merchandise adapts and delivers in a short time frame.
Agile production can also spur sales through ‘limited-edition’ merchandise. This gives a sense of exclusivity to your products.
Consumers enjoy the feeling of exclusivity and personalization. Who wouldn’t? What they’re wearing won’t be mass-produced. There’s exclusivity, a flair for the unique. In short, this helps you drive your sales.
You’ll also have the freedom to make changes more frequently without being tied to seasonal changes. This can give you more freedom with your designs and production.
Sustainability is becoming more prevalent. Especially as conscious consumers and production behavior grow. And we couldn’t be more excited.
In short, smaller batches reduce the risk of substantial waste and take up fewer resources in production.
And finally, small batch production can offer shorter lead times, allowing you to get your production off the ground and test the market needs sooner.
Time is money, as they say, and so is customer insight. The faster you can generate honest feedback and integrate improvements into your product, the better your final product.
Small Batch Production Tips You Need to Know
Small batch clothing manufacturers provide independent fashion designers with less risk, affordable production costs, and more control of their styles.
Whether selling online or to a retailer, these pro tips will help you understand and prepare for small batch production.
Know the Industry Lingo
Working with your small batch clothing manufacturer should be exciting, not confusing. Knowing these industry terms will help clarify the whole experience.
MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)
The MOQ is the minimum of any style that a clothing manufacturer will make. Small batch clothing manufacturers usually begin at 50-100 units per style. At TEG, we offer no minimums, meaning you can commission small orders to get your styles just right.
Styles, Colorways, and Options.
Simply put, a style is a single item. This can be a jacket, skirt, or pair of pants. A colorway or option is any style, color, wash, or finish. If you have designed a pair of pants and want one in blue, white, and black, this would be one style with three colorways/options.
CMT (Cut, Make, and Trim)
This is the entire assembly of the garment. It is essentially another way of saying cut and sew manufacturing. If you are feeling a bit stuck choosing a good cut and sew manufacturer, our guide explains what to look for in six simple steps.
A block is a silhouette that goes through minor changes. Blocks can allow you to create a collection staple, decreasing development costs. This is a great way to establish a fit for your brand and add more collections while saving money.
This covers any form of gathering your resources, including fabric, printing, trims, embroidery, and anything else you have to procure.
Have Your Spec Sheets Ready
The first thing that the clothing manufacturer will need is your spec sheets.
In essence, spec sheets highlight your entire design. Everything from the measurements, fabrics, printing techniques, and supporting images of your garments. It is important to include as much detail as possible about your design within these. They’re also called fashion tech packs.
Some manufacturers may also ask for a tech pack. A tech pack is all-encompassing. It may include total detailed measurements, lining details, zipper or button customizations, swing tags, packaging, and more.
Manufacturers should provide you with quotes for productions based on your spec sheet details.
Ensure that you have a realistic budget in place here, and once you are pleased with the production costs (including sampling), you are ready to begin the clothing manufacturing process.
First, you need to source all your materials and fabrics. And for the ambitious designer, there’s a vast amount of fabric to choose from.
However, it can seem a bit daunting when choosing a supplier. But don’t worry, you don’t need to know everything in advance.
As long as you have an idea of the materials and fabrics you want to work with and a direction you are going for with your designs, the supplier will be able to work with you and guide you through the choices such as linen, cotton, viscose, rayon and more.
If you require customized items such as zippers or buttons, or specialized buckles, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to source these. Clothing manufacturers may help point you in the right direction here. Make sure to ask as they may know the right people or connections.
Made in the USA
Small batch production has brought a surge of life back to American factories. And thanks to independent fashion designers, the trend is growing. The desire to support American-made goods is nothing new, and factories such as TEG are making this as easy as possible.
Small batch production doesn’t only benefit designers, though. Factories enjoy diverse workloads and don’t rely on large production runs. The relationship between designers and factories has never been better. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Small Batch Production: Finding The Perfect Fit
In short, small batch manufacturing has provided a newfound strength to creatives. And it’s perfect for emerging designers, too. We hope to continue supporting those willing to risk it all to create their brand and legacy.
At TEG, we are committed to supporting independent designers and preserving that heart of craftsmanship and ingenuity.
For all inquiries and questions, please call or fill out the below form, and we will respond within 1-2 business days. Thank you!