How to Get Clothing Manufactured
To succeed as a fashion designer you’ll need a clothing manufacturer that can work with your vision and offer invaluable support and guidance. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into releasing an amazing clothing collection, and we are here to help you choose the right clothing manufacturer and how to get your clothes out to the public.
What do You Need to Get Your Clothing Line Manufactured?
So you have brilliant design ideas, but you’re not quite sure how to manufacture clothing. There are a few things you need to breathe life into your collection.
Ultimately, you need to design sketches, turn them into patterns and tech packs, source fabrics, hire a manufacturer, and pay for a full production run. This can be an extensive process that takes a few months before the end product is exactly the way you want it.
The operation involves finding a manufacturer that can commit to smaller runs, using a pattern maker for refinement, testing fabric for quality, and creating multiple samples until your collection is perfected and ready to sell.
According to A Better Lemonade Stand, “For someone completely new to the fashion business this is an important step in the process: consider partnering with a professional who knows what they’re doing and how to do it properly.” Otherwise, things like making patterns and tech packs can end with you throwing in the towel because you’re so far away from what you do best: the creative side of fashion.
After you’ve done most of the legwork on your brand and general designs, it’s time to start researching clothing manufacturers in the USA. If you start with a high-quality manufacturer, you’ll be better off in the long run since they can get you going with both efficiency and well-made clothing.
Choosing the Right Clothing Manufacturer
How do you find clothing manufacturers in California? First of all, transparency and receptiveness to your needs are tell-tale signs of a well-run facility. But it’s more than that, as it all comes down to you and your situation.
The smallest of details like their location can make a huge impact on turn-around times, communication, and shipping. And as an up-and-coming fashion designer, you need things to run as smoothly as possible on the first go-round. Here’s what to look for in a clothing manufacturer.
There are two sectors of quality worth mentioning here, the first being general wear and tear properties. How the clothing shrinks, fades, cracks, and washes can be the ultimate deciding factor in your brand’s success.
While it might be tempting to go for lower quality for higher profits, winning over customers is what will set you over the edge from competitors. After all, you can fool someone once, but you can’t fool them twice!
When interviewing potential clothing manufacturing companies, discuss things like quality of:
- The actual design of the garment
- Fiber and materials
- Yarns and stitching
- Sizing, cutting, and assembly
- Accessory extras like buckles and zippers
The second aspect of quality comes down to ethical and sustainable clothing. Adding this to your brand’s values is one of the best ways to get ahead of the game, as consumers are becoming more and more focused on eco-friendly apparel.
Make sure you choose a clothing manufacturer that shares similar values as you. Look for things like:
- Ethical origin
- Organic materials vs. synthetic
- Recycled materials
- Eco-friendly textiles
- Natural dyes
- Safe and hygienic work conditions
- Appropriate pay and working hours
- Humane and non-discriminatory treatment
- Supply chain transparency
According to Mother Earth Living, “Look for high-quality fabrics and stitching. This boils down to buying fewer items that are higher quality.” This way, in the end, you’ll be contributing to less fast fashion and more sustainable habits for both your brand and customers.
Talk to your clothing manufacturers about their quality control policies, so you can avoid recalls, delays in production, extra overall expenses, and your own business degradation.
A great track record and social proof are key aspects of high-quality clothing manufacturing companies. Not only can they tell you a lot about their experience and place in the industry, but it can help build a trusting relationship from the start.
You’ll also want to make sure that they have experience working in your niche before, and they have some knowledge of creating your particular type of clothing already. This way you can get an idea of what to expect.
Every designer has a deadline to meet. Launches are no joke! You need to be 100% sure that your clothing manufacturer of choice has the capacity to meet your numbers and times.
Here at The Evans Group, LA clothing manufacturers, our small volume production time is 4-8 weeks, along with a rush delivery service with a 1-4 week turn-around time. All studio-level production is quickly completed in-house and carefully run by the TEG team– perfect for emerging fashion designers.
From fabric, trims, and accessories to labels, packaging, labor, and shipping, designers quickly realize the investment it takes to manufacture clothing. But you also have a budget to stick to. Newer designers need to set a realistic budget and understand it might influence the end result of your collection. For instance, lowering order numbers and removing an embellishment might be necessary!
To avoid going over budget and losing funds for clothing production, ask your manufacturer for a comprehensive pricing breakdown. You might be able to supply some of the work yourself instead of paying the manufacturer to do it.
Where to Find Your Clothing Manufacturer?
Choosing a manufacturer is one thing. But you might be wondering how to find a clothing manufacturer in the first place. Well, it usually comes down to two options: local vs. overseas. It’s crucial to do your research to find a high-quality facility so that you don’t end up losing out on money or experiencing setbacks too close to launch.
Local vs. overseas facilities do things very differently– the main difference being price. When it comes to clothing manufacturers, Los Angeles (or U.S. spots in general) tends to be more expensive for reasons like enforcing fair treatment federal guidelines for factory employees, implementing sustainable clothing techniques, and working towards quality.
Another pro with working with local facilities is easier communication. Cultural and language miscommunication is extremely common in areas like China, India, and South-East Asia, whereas language barriers are not as common in the U.S.
When it comes to distribution, shipping and handling costs are typically cheaper in the U.S., compared to import inspections, taxes, and other fees for companies overseas. This can also impact timing. You won’t have to worry about border delays or closures that could potentially impact your business. Timing is everything, especially in the world of fashion.
While American manufacturers can’t compare to overseas prices, they make up for it with quality, reliability, precision to your vision, and meaningful collaboration.
Overseas manufacturers are cheaper with lower production costs, less expensive materials, and scale/flexibility potential. This gives you the option for relatively inexpensive mass production, although you risk sacrificing quality and easy partnership, which in the end, can cost you more money in the long run.
You can look for manufacturers at trade shows, industry meetups, or by solely doing your research online.
Choose the Right Clothing Manufacturer in Los Angeles
Clothing manufacturers can easily create a do or die situation for your fashion business. You need a trustworthy facility with your best interest in mind, who can also guide you through the production and design process.
At The Evans Group (teg), we have specially designed packages just for emerging fashion designers looking to create their own clothing line. These packages include patterns, samples, patternmakers, fit adjustments, and production-ready patterns, as well as optional add-ons, like design meetings.
We absolutely love helping designers succeed in the fashion industry, all while creating an easy, seamless experience so you can take your career to the next level. LA-based, with no-minimum factory level production, we’re here to bring your collection to fruition.