Which Regions & Countries Are Best For Clothing Manufacturing

The Best Country To Manufacture Clothing

The global clothing manufacturing industry is so large it can be difficult to choose the best country to manufacture clothing for your brand. There are important factors to consider like
cost, time, logistics, and ethics, which are vastly different from country to country.So to help you decide and learn more about the pros and cons of each country, here is a
complete guide to the global clothing manufacturing industry 2020.

Clothing Manufacturing Countries


Asian countries, like China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, produce high volumes of clothes for export. Cost is important to the manufacturing industry and Asia countries tend to have a
lower manufacturing cost. For example, in 2020 Bangladesh has the lowest wages and thus the lowest cost.


European countries, like Italy, Portugal, and Turkey, also produces large amounts of clothing for export. Europe’s clothing manufacturers typically have higher production costs but slightly
better shipping times and costs. They also have a reputation for being of higher quality, although most clothing manufacturers have quality control measures in place wherever they are in the world.

The Biggest Clothing Manufacturing Countries

According to Statista, the countries that manufacture the most clothing by US dollars per year are:
1. China – $120 billion
2. Europe – $66 billion
3. India – $17 billion
4. US – $13 billion
5. Turkey – $12 billion
6. Republic of Korea – $9 billion
7. Vietnam – $9 billion
8. Pakistan – $7 billion

These figures seem to be down to the size of the workforce and the countries infrastructure. For example, while China has an extensive network of trains, planes, and wagons, Bangladesh relies solely on small vehicles and buses.

What Is The Best Country To Manufacture Clothing?

The best country to manufacture clothing should offer low-cost labour but not at the expense of ethics and infrastructure. There should be fast shipping times, high run rates, low cost materials, and ethical wages for workers. So which countries offer all of these things, and which is the best?


China is still the leading manufacturer of textiles and clothing. It has the largest workforce with 908million workers. So cost and speed are two things that China can offer that other
countries are not yet able to rival. China also has the infrastructure, with recent funding by the Chinese government for new factories and facilities to be built in more provinces all over the country. This will mean that China’s costs should always be competitive, production always fast, and shipping always on time. But be aware that China’s wages are increasing in the manufacturing industry, which may mean that you’ll need to be aware of the cost versus other countries, like Turkey.


Despite China’s domination, Turkey has been a large part of the UK clothing import market for several years. They typically offer high-quality fabrics and good costs and can provide
almost any fabric you need. Turkey offers a wider range of fabrics than any other country. Their infrastructure is strong and can offer embroidered products, custom orders, and low quantity orders in fast lead times. Their workforce is also highly skilled, manufacturing everything from quality cotton to designer denim.

However, you should expect to pay a little bit more for imports from Turkey as the production costs are much higher than in China or some other Asia countries. Part of these costs is
industry wages. Wages for a clothing manufacturer worker in Turkey are the same as in America.


The ‘Made In Italy’ label is a desirable thing in the clothing industry. It’s associated with luxury and quality from a country that knows a thing or two about fashion. Particularly
high-end fashion. Italy has a strong infrastructure and can ship quickly and easily to anywhere in the world. And as a member of the EU there’s no additional tariff or charges. However, their garments typically cost more than other countries due to their high production costs and wages for their highly skilled workers. However, the higher cost of Italian clothing may not be as much of an issue for your business as typically ‘Made In Italy’ labels can afford to be sold at a higher sale price to a customer.


Portugal’s global location and infrastructure mean that their products can be shipped to Europe and the Americas quickly and easily. So lead times and fulfilment times are usually
good and shipping costs are typically slightly less than those of Asian countries. Their government offers incentives to the clothing industry in Portugal meaning costs are
usually less than in other countries in Europe. Brands like Zara take advantage of this and manufacture their clothes in Portugal. However, materials Portuguese workers use for their garments often come from Asia, for example cotton and silk from India. This means that costs are higher than those in the origin countries themselves as there is extra shipping.


India produces more cotton than anywhere else in the world. It also has a massive workforce meaning that clothes can be produced quickly. But their infrastructure doesn’t necessarily
mean that these fast production times are passed onto your fulfilment time as shipping time can eat into it. You need to also consider the wage for workers in India. It’s believed that 80% of India’s manufacturing industry is operating illegally by paying workers next to nothing. Although there is no living wage requirements in India, you should consider if this is an issue to your
brand or not.

How To Source Your Fabrics And Clothing?

Making sure you’re always sourcing your materials from the right sources, that offer the best rates, quickest production times, and ethics that meet your business is time-consuming. The
industry is forever changing and choosing the wrong manufacturer in the wrong country can minimize your profits, damage your brand, and ultimately lose you business. That’s why we can help. We are a UK based fashion sourcing company, with connections to manufacturing companies all over the world. “We know the end-to-end fashion manufacturing process, And with our years of sector experience & expertise, we can make sure the development of your products will run efficiently. With our trusted factories & quality control procedures you can rest assured your product is in safe hands.”

Contact us to discuss your project as no-one understands the manufacturing process like we do.