Top 7 Questions to Ask L.A. Clothing Manufacturers
The first sign of a good L.A. clothing manufacturer is in their receptiveness to questions. If you are shut down or avoided from the start, then you should probably cut your losses and keep searching.
For the manufacturers who do believe you are worthy and deserving of transparency and thorough answers (hint: you always are), The Evans Group (teg), has compiled a must-ask list of seven questions. These will guide emerging designers and offer a refreshing perspective for established designers.
How Do Clothing Manufacturers Work?
If you’ve never experienced working with a clothing factory, The Evans Group (teg) is a great place to start. With vertically integrated in-house production and design studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco, one of the first things you’ll notice is how different we really are.
Apparel production is a marathon, not a race. And although we do pride ourselves on efficiency, we will never cut corners or sacrifice quality along the way. The inner workings of a clothing manufacturer typically involve similar processes in this order: designing, patterning, fabrics, trims, cutting, calibration, sewing, and finishing. By following a sequential series of steps, TEG operates like a well-oiled machine.
Top 7 Questions to Ask L.A. Clothing Manufacturers
Credibility and trust are two of the most important characteristics to look for in your apparel manufacturers. Los Angeles based fashion development and production experts at TEG believe in transparency in order to provide you with peace of mind. Our track record speaks volumes about our commitment to past, present, and future clients.
In addition to reputation, there are remaining questions that will help determine if you are closer to finding the clothing manufacturer that’s right for your needs. We’ve used our experience in the industry to provide you a list of questions to ask prospective apparel manufacturers in Los Angeles.
The brands that L.A. clothing manufacturers have worked with can tell you a lot about their experience and presence in the industry. Established and well-known brands show trust, but emerging brands do as well.
Most importantly, the types of brands and clothing the brands make should resonate with yours in one way or another. For instance, if you are a high-end designer, then ensure the manufacturer has at least one high-end brand (preferably more) on their roster. The same goes for avant-garde, boutique, couture, and independent designers.
We work with established and emerging designers to bring their fashion collections to life. Rodarte is one of the best-known names in the industry and entrusts TEG to create their samples for New York Fashion Week.
If indie designs are more your style, then our partnership with Greg Lauren might be of interest to you. More intricate than most designs, we not only successfully created the brand’s collection for their collab with Banana Republic, but we also dedicated a special sewing module for future Greg Lauren collections.
What is the Approval Process During Development & Production?
Before any finalized designs can make it to the cutting room floor, each garment in a collection must go through a rigorous approval process during development and production. This encompasses everything from fabrics and costing to pattern making and samples. It also dives deeper into the necessary equipment, techniques, and craftspeople needed to create your specific garments.
Established designers are typically more seasoned and are interested in scaling their brands as opposed to launching them. We can help implement a plan to take your label to the next level through a series of specific, customized steps during the approval process.
Emerging designers almost always need a little more help and guidance, something we pride ourselves in offering fledgling brands. Our goal is to help you succeed while enjoying the production and design process. Discussion, design and source, development, and production is the backbone of TEG’s approval process.
What Services Can They Provide? And Do They Match Your Needs?
Do you want the total package, from design and development to production? Do you need à la carte services that allow you to pick and choose where you need additional assistance? Will you need a small minimum or do you need to fulfill a large order?
The good news is that TEG can assist from start to finish or at any point in time along the way. We also make it easy to order minimal quantities. Our studio-level production offers zero minimums, and our factory-level production only requires a 50-piece minimum.
Our staff are experts in their fields. We have project managers that can oversee your collection, as well as individuals who are there to educate you along the way. In addition to project management, all of our digitizing, cutting, finishing, and more are done in-house for a fluid experience that facilitates communication and quality.
Can They Give Pricing Examples?
When choosing a clothing manufacturer, transparency is critical. This includes business practices as well as pricing. Established and emerging brands, no matter how large or small, work within a set budget. Before moving forward, you should have a detailed costing list to see where funds will need to be allocated.
We don’t believe in surprises. Whether you choose one of our Los Angeles or San Francisco development packages or select a customized plan that works for your brand’s collection, we always let you know when and where there will be additional costs, if any.
Our costing report provides you with three different volume levels, each of which includes pre-production and related fees. Prices take into account labor time involved and all necessary costs which are, of course, agreed to before starting.
What is the Timeline and Their Responsibilities?
All designers have a vision, a budget, an individual need, and a timeline. You are all working tirelessly towards the big launch, something TEG has had countless opportunities to see through to fruition. Like our production standards, we uphold and take seriously each designer’s deadline.
Our already quick studio-level, small volume production turnaround time of 4-8 weeks is convenient and feasible for the majority of our clients. Development packages are contracted with an 8-week turnaround time from the agreed-upon start date.
There are times where unforeseen circumstances arise and you need garments sooner. For this reason, we have a rush delivery service with applicable fees that offers a 1-4 week turnaround time.
Our responsibilities run the gamut. Studio-level production is all completed in-house and is carefully monitored by the TEG team. Factory-level production is carried out through our partnerships with a few of the best sewing factories in downtown Los Angeles. Every project is managed by one of our highly-skilled project managers.
What is the Minimum Quantity?
Quantity needs are something to consider when seeking a clothing factory. Los Angeles manufacturers, like TEG, can accommodate a wide range of quantities.
Our studio-level production specializes in small and no minimum cut and sew manufacturing. This is ideal for high-end brands, rush orders, publicity runs, and/or the immediate need for up-front inventory.
Our factory-level production has different minimum quantity offerings. Choose from batches of 50-100, 100-300, and 300-500 pieces per style. Any cuts of 1-50 will need to be completed in-house.
Do They Have Certification?
We believe in taking risks but we also believe in playing by the rules. It’s important to choose certified apparel manufacturers. Los Angeles and the state of California have a Department of Industrial Relations that oversees the registration and certification of manufacturers. According to the website, “every person engaged in the business of garment manufacturing must register with the Labor Commissioner.” All of the factory-level manufacturers we contract are certified, as is TEG.
How Do I Find a Manufacturer to Make My Clothing?
Finding an L.A. clothing manufacturer isn’t as daunting as it seems. Our handy list makes it easy to know exactly what to look for and what to ask before making your decision.
Whether you need high-end, quality-controlled manufacturing for your established brand or guidance and direction on your first collection, we promise to be here for you every step of the way. Do you have questions? Our experts here at TEG are on hand to help