What is the Real Cost of Manufacturing Clothing
Establishing a clothing line is every fashion designer’s dream. However, it’s one thing to fantasize about a collection and another to actually complete it. Designers will quickly come to realize that there is a monetary investment required to have a tangible fashion collection.
The real cost of clothing manufacturing relies on multiple factors and must be calculated in order to stay within budget. We are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of apparel manufacturing costs and where to find professional and prestigious manufacturers to complete your project.
How Much Does it Cost to Manufacture Clothing
Domestic, high-quality clothing manufacturers do business differently. One of the most apparent contrasts between manufacturing in the United States and manufacturing overseas is in the price. American manufacturers, like The Evans Group (teg), can cost slightly more, but for very good reasons.
Employees are paid living wages and are treated in accordance with fair labor practices set forth by federal guidelines. Manufacturers in the U.S. are typically more conscientious about their environmental impact. And, last but not least, quality is paramount among most American manufacturers.
In addition to location-based rate changes, there are also other elements that factor into the overall cost of manufacturing clothing, including details that are easy to overlook. Known as “garment costing,” this step determines the financial investment needed to manufacture your clothing line. It includes textiles, trims and finishes, labor, labels and packaging, shipping and logistics, and more.
When establishing a clothing line, the area that accounts for the majority of your budget lies in your textiles. According to Fibre2Fashion, “the fabric cost constitutes 60 to 70 percent of the total garment making cost.” The quality of your fabric plays a pivotal role, but so do a few other characteristics.
As with all garment production, there will be excess materials. The types of fibers, the fabric manufacturing process, grams per square meter (GSM), and minimum order quantity (MOQ) will factor into the shrinkage and wastage that is commonplace in the industry. Fortunately, much of this can be estimated and accounted for during the garment sampling step.
Choosing your fabrics wisely will be an instrumental part of your production total and can be made easier with a member of the teg team. We offer sourcing services with our full-time sourcing manager to deliver a customized source list and/or start-to-finish sourcing for each style, depending on your needs.
Trims & Accessories
Fabric costs are part of the big picture, but we can’t forget about the small details. Trims and accessories are important components of all garments, even something as simple as a T-shirt. Why? Because all garments require sewing thread, and others call for trim and accessories that go beyond the basics.
Items like zippers, buttons, elastics, labels, and other additions and embellishments are trims that need to be calculated into the cost of manufacturing clothing. It also points out that the “quality and quantity” of the trim, as well as the labor required to apply them, will affect the cost. The more intricate, detailed, and unique your trim and accessories are, the higher your apparel manufacturing costs will be.
Labels & Packaging
Your clothing line is more than just a collection of garments, it’s an experience for your clientele and an opportunity to reinforce your brand. Take full advantage of your company’s logo and aesthetic when planning and determining costs.
A brand label is a small piece of fabric featuring your company or personal details and can include something simple like a logo or some wording. Because woven labels will be sewn into your clothing, they are likely to also include sizing, care instructions, and other pertinent details.
Additional packaging, like bags, cartons, and price tags, should be factored into the overall cost of creating your clothing line. Paper labels, tags, or brand directives that are placed outside of your clothing for display in retail stores should also be considered.
The Cost of Making
How much does it cost to manufacture clothing? That very question is often one of the most circulated in an emerging designer’s mind. The majority of us are not operating on an unlimited budget and need to know the investment it will require to see a collection through to fruition.
Garment costing must also factor in labor costs which, as we pointed out earlier, will be a bit higher for domestically made clothing. As unusual as this might sound, that’s actually a good thing for all involved. The quality is higher, it’s more ethical, and your customers will be pleased to be purchasing a made-in-the-USA item.
There are methods for calculating the time it will take to manufacture each of the garments in your collection, down to the exact specifications. One such way is the Standard Allowed Minute (SAM). This option is used to measure a task or work content of a garment. The type of data you use and the allowances provided will depend on the unique needs of your collection and can be decided with an expert from the TEG team. The more complicated your garment, the more you should expect to pay.
Shipping & Logistics
Just because your collection has been cut and sewn to your specification does not mean the process is over. You must still figure out how to get those garments from point A to point B.
If you’re using a production and manufacturing house like TEG then your items might be shipping to other destinations within the U.S. If you are in another country, then shipping costs will likely be higher. Regardless, the transporting and logistics details need to be calculated and factored into your clothes line cost.
Costs may differ depending on whether you are an emerging or established designer. Emerging designers are likely to need more direction, require more consultation time, and need additional help sourcing materials for their collections. These service-oriented extras should be factored into your overall costs.
You may also have overhead costs, like employee wages, rent, utilities, and operating expenses that need to be incorporated. These shouldn’t be overlooked because your budget will need to be allocated accordingly to stay in the black.
How to Find High-Quality Clothing Manufacturers
If you want to work with an award-winning, full-service fashion and development production house, then TEG is the high-quality clothing manufacturer you’re seeking. We take pride in assisting independent designers to see their collections through from beginning to end. Our vertically-integrated sewing factory in Los Angeles and couture atelier in San Francisco cover all of your design bases.
Establishing a Clothing Line
We want to help you establish a clothing line on-time and on-budget while exceeding your expectations for quality and knowledge. One of our most sought after services is our thoughtfully designed collection packages.
Created specifically for emerging designers, these inclusive packages set you up with patterns, samples, patternmakers, fit adjustments, production-ready patterns, and duplicates as well as the expertise of the teg team. There are also optional, fee-based add-ons, like design and sourcing meetings.
We want established designers to turn to TEG for assistance with scaling their brands. With more than 15 years in the industry, we have learned a thing or two about custom-tailored solutions and creating experiences for discerning designers that will keep you coming back for more.
Create Your Next Line With Us
Establishing a clothing line doesn’t have to be daunting. Now that you have a greater understanding of the real cost of clothing manufacturing, you can move forward more confidently.
If you’d still like assistance from TEG’s experts, choose one of our collection packages or invest in our efficient and personalized garment creation services.
Emerging and established designers both get the opportunity to experience our unique mix of skills and expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and genuine care for our clients. With budget-friendly, no-minimum factory-level production in the United States, there is no better time to bring your collection to life.