Closeup of a woman holding a plastic bag at a clothing distributor

Clothing Distributors and Clothing Manufacturers: What’s The Difference?

Published On: March 30, 2022

Regardless of your experience with the fashion industry, you’ve probably heard of clothing manufacturers and clothing distributors. They may sound similar, but they’re vital parts of the fashion design process.

Starting a clothing line can run up a cost. It’s helpful to get a hold of terminology to ensure you’re familiar with the landscape. With that in mind, let’s define each term, what they do, and how you use them.

What Is A Clothing Distributor?

Clothing manufacturer working on clothing for a clothing distributorA clothing distributor will take products crafted by clothing manufacturers and use the proper channels to distribute the apparel.

You may have heard the term ‘wholesale clothing distributor,’ but what does that mean?

What Is A Wholesale Clothing Distributor?

A wholesale clothing distributor buys clothing in bulk to sell to retailers. The retailers then sell the acquired clothing, usually at a higher price.

A great benefit of wholesale is the speed at which clothing can appear in stores and boutiques. Inventory can move quickly, and an indie designer can see their product on the market in a short time. However, there are some caveats to wholesale. For example, it could take some time to find the right supplier for you. Frankly, it can be a slog if you’re unsure where to look.

Likewise, if you’re a small business looking to make waves in the fashion industry, wholesale clothing may not be your ‘cup of tea.’ But why?

Although wholesale can get clothing into retail stores, there also exists a way to benefit the designer and clothing manufacturer. This is called ‘private label’ clothing.

What Is Private Label Clothing?

While a wholesaler can move massive amounts of clothing, the ‘private label’ model forms a bond with a domestic apparel manufacturer and a store.

In short, it cuts out the middleman. But both are viable options. Luxury clothing comes down to your preference and what works for you.

Private label clothing gives the designer more control over the quality of products sold in stores online and in person.

To sum things up, there’s no ‘right’ answer on which to choose between wholesale and private label. Both can work well for designers, depending on multiple variables in play.

For example, are you looking to sell exclusively online? Maybe you’re aiming to sell dresses in a specialty shop. Do your research and find which method works best for your company’s business model.

What Is A Clothing Manufacturer?

seamstress at los angeles clothing manufacturer preparing clothes for distributionA clothing manufacturer is a business that helps fashion designers design, plan and create clothing.

A good clothing manufacturer will help designers, both emerging and established, build their brand from the ground up. Or, in the case of famous fashion mainstays like Hiraeth and Guess, modify their brands.

Well-established clothing manufacturers help designers and small businesses source fabric, work on different styles and develop memorable products.

In short, using a clothing manufacturer to design and provide clothes to customers is a fantastic idea.

How Clothing Manufacturers and Clothing Distributors Work Together

Without clothing manufacturers, clothing distributors don’t have anything to work with. As such, they have a working partnership to help designers get their clothing lines on the racks of retail stores.

Sometimes, the clothing manufacturer and distributor may be one and the same. As you can imagine, this can make things a lot easier for an intrepid indie fashion designer. Especially if they’re looking to connect with their customer base quickly.

Clothing Manufacturing in Los Angeles With The Evans Group (TEG)

team of textile workers at Los Angeles clothing manufacturerLuckily, with The Evans Group (TEG), you have a clothing manufacturer that’s been helping independent designers in the fashion industry since 2005. Over the years, Jennifer Evans and her team worked hard to foster healthy relationships with multiple iconic indie designers.

Whether it’s Greg Lauren or Kate McDonald, the TEG team commits to sustainable fashion design practices and emphasis on creative freedom.

TEG commits to helping you start a clothing line and everything that goes into it. Instead of showing up and merely telling professionals what you have in mind, the TEG team takes things a step further.

With brainstorming, fashion mood boards, and fashion tech packs, the experts at TEG help you through the ever-important creative planning process. After all, this creative endeavor means a lot to you.

Talented Los Angeles pattern makers and design experts help guide you through the entire process, from ambitious ideas to full-blown clothing lines.

Final Thoughts On Clothing Manufacturers And Clothing Distributors

Regardless of which service you need, designers need to know about both to make their transition from ambitious designers to accomplished indie fashion icons.

With TEG, we give you all the information you need to succeed in the fashion industry.

Whether it’s learning the latest summer 2022 fashion trends or learning how to make a memorable fashion sketch that defines your entire line, TEG has you covered.

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