Likely costs for clothing manufacturing

Every project we work on is unique & bespoke. Therefore, it is impossible to give accurate figures until we know more about your project.
A good place to start however is with our handy Range Plan Calculator.
  • This calculator will estimate the likely design, sampling & production costs for your collection based on questions it will ask you to answer.
  • Please see above in “Stage 1 – Range Planning” for further details.
  • Should the link to our Range Plan Calculator not work for any reason, please email us to request a copy.
Alternatively, if you know more specifically what size of collection & what split of product types your collection will consist of, please e-mail us and we can give you a quote on the estimated value of design, sampling & sourcing of your collection.
Although providing accurate prices without knowing more about your project isn’t possible, please see below some further information of some of the likely costs for each stage:

LIKELY COSTS – DESIGN

Garment Design;
  • Estimate x2-3hrs work per style.
  • This includes all the front, back & construction drawings, any labels & trims, the approval process to refine your designs & a factory technical speciation pack (Tech Pack).
  • A Tech Pack provides the factory with everything they need to produce the samples including fabric type & compositions, colours or washes, fit or construction references, graphic dimensions & positions, labels & trims.

 

Logo Design:
  • Estimate x3-6hrs work per logo.
  • During logo design we will usually start by designing several completely different logo concepts. These will be submitted to you for comment.
  • Subject to the comments received we will tend to go through further development round, each time refining your chosen logo options until you are happy with a final logo concept.

 

Graphic Design:
  • Estimate x2-8hrs work per graphic.
  • Subject to the complexity of the graphics required the time to design them can vary considerably.
  • We can discuss your graphic ideas and estimate a more accurate quote of time.
  • During the graphic development stage, we will usually design the desired graphic, send this to you for comment & refine the graphic until you are happy with the final concept.

 

Rates:
  • Our base rate design services are charged at £50/hr.
  • Discounts off our base rates are applicable subject to taking other services with us. For example;
  • If you intend to take sourcing services with us, we discount our base rates by 20% to £40/hr.
  • If you also take additional services with us (for example website build, marketing or warehousing) we discount our base rates by 30% to £35/hr.
  • Prices are quoted in £GBP & exclude any taxes.
  • To estimate your design budget please do the following;
  • Garment Design: Number of styles x 2-3hrs per style x £35-£50/hr
  • Logo Design: Number of logos x 3-6hrs per logo x £35-£50/hr
  • Graphic Design: Number of graphics x 2-8hrs per graphic x £35-50/hr

LIKELY COSTS – SAMPLING

Due to no physical order commitment at the initial sampling stage (see Stage 4 – Sampling) there is a charge of, on average, £100-£200 per initial sample produced (subject to product type, fabrics, etc.)
  • Apparel samples are usually £100 per sample.
  • Accessory samples are usually £100 per sample.
  • Footwear samples are usually £200 per sample.
  • Prices are quoted in £GBP & exclude any taxes.
Sampling charges are refundable off your subsequent bulk production order (subject to the order volume produced). For example, order volumes of;
  • >501pcs per style = 100% refund on sampling charges.
  • 401-500pcs per style = 80% refund on sampling charges.
  • 301-400pcs per style = 60% refund on sampling charges.
  • 201-300pcs per style = 40% refund on sampling charges.
  • 101-200pcs per style = 20% refund on sampling charges.
  • <100pcs per style = 0% refund on sampling charges.
To estimate your sample budget please do the following;
  • Number of samples required x £100-£200 per sample.
  • Sampling will then be refunded based on bulk order qty placed (subject to order volumes outlined above).

LIKELY COSTS – PRODUCTION

Unit prices of garments vary significantly based on your bespoke designs, qty produced & country of manufacture. Freight, duties & taxes also vary subject to country of manufacture.
The main thing that effects the unit price of the garment however is the quantity produced. During the costing stage (see Stage 3 – Costing) we will confirm to you the exact unit prices of each of your products (including estimates on any freight, duty & taxes which might be applicable) Below is a general chart of likely average unit prices based on product type & quantity produced however these are only averages and subject to many factors outlined above):

 

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PRODUCT TYPE <500 499-400 399-300 299-200 199-100 99-50 >49
APPAREL
T-Shirts & Tops £6.00 £6.50 £7.00 £8.50 £10.00 £14.00 £17.50
Vests £5.50 £6.00 £6.50 £8.00 £9.00 £13.00 £16.50
Polos £8.00 £8.50 £9.00 £11.00 £12.50 £18.00 £22.50
Sweatshirts £10.50 £11.50 £12.00 £14.50 £17.00 £24.00 £30.00
Hoodies £12.00 £13.50 £14.00 £17.00 £19.50 £28.00 £35.00
Shirts & Blouses £14.00 £15.00 £16.00 £19.00 £22.50 £32.00 £40.00
Joggers £10.50 £11.50 £12.00 £14.50 £17.00 £24.00 £30.00
Shorts £8.50 £9.50 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £20.00 £25.00
Swimwear £13.00 £14.50 £15.00 £18.00 £21.00 £30.00 £37.50
Jeans £14.00 £15.00 £16.00 £19.00 £22.50 £32.00 £40.00
Trousers £14.00 £15.00 £16.00 £19.00 £22.50 £32.00 £40.00
Jackets £26.00 £28.50 £30.00 £36.00 £42.00 £60.00 £75.00
Jumpsuits £12.00 £13.50 £14.00 £17.00 £19.50 £28.00 £35.00
Dresses £13.00 £14.50 £15.00 £18.00 £21.00 £30.00 £37.50
Skirts £8.50 £9.50 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £20.00 £25.00
ACCESSORIES
Headwear £4.50 £5.00 £5.50 £6.00 £7.00 £10.00 £12.50
Underwear £4.50 £5.00 £5.50 £6.00 £7.00 £10.00 £12.50
Bags £8.50 £9.50 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £20.00 £25.00
Belts £8.50 £9.50 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £20.00 £25.00
Jewellery £13.00 £14.50 £15.00 £18.00 £21.00 £30.00 £37.50
FOOTWEAR
Trainers £14.50 £15.50 £16.50 £20.00 £23.00 £33.00 £41.50
Shoes £11.50 £13.00 £13.50 £16.00 £19.00 £27.00 £34.00
Boots £15.50 £17.00 £18.00 £21.50 £25.00 £36.00 £45.00
High Heel £13.00 £14.50 £15.00 £18.00 £21.00 £30.00 £37.50
Flip Flops £6.50 £7.00 £7.50 £9.00 £10.50 £15.00 £19.00
  • Prices are estimate averages only & subject to your bespoke design & country of manufacture.
  • Prices are in £GBP & exclude and freight, duties or taxes.
  • If your product type is not on the above list, please email us to request further information.
As you can see prices vary considerably based on the quantity produced per design. You can therefore weigh up the pro’s & con’s to ordering a larger volume at a lower unit price vs. ordering a lower volume at a higher unit price. Prices are quoted per style per colour. Therefore, even if you have exactly the same design but in two separate colour ways, then they are considered two separate styles. Similarly, if you have the same design in the same colour but with different graphics on the garment, these are also considered two separate styles. The reason is that during production there are different minimums throughout the process (i.e. fabric minimums, cutting minimums, dying minimums, printing minimums, etc.) Therefore, pricing is quoted per style, per colour.
To estimate your likely production budget please do the following;
  • Product type unit price based on quantity to product x quantity.

LIKELY COSTS – FREIGHT, DUTIES & TAXES

Freight, Duties & Taxes vary considerably based on product type and country of manufacture.
The below examples are based on shipping into the United Kingdom, if your products are delivering outside of the UK, then different charges may apply.
  • Freight:
  • Freight is based on weight, volume & shipment method (i.e. Road, Sea or Air)
  • Therefore, freight costs cannot be accurately calculated until your production is complete & ready to ship.
  • We do however estimate freight charges for customers so they can budget. We usually estimate;
  • Road freight = 8% of the total production value.
  • Sea freight = 10% of the total production value.
  • Air freight = 12% of the total production value.
  • To estimate the likely freight costs please do as follows;
  • Total production value x % of freight method.
  • Duties:
  • Duties are subject to product type & country of manufacture.
  • Duty rates can vary from 0% through to 20% of the product unit price. As a rough guide,
  • if your products are being produced inside the EU then the duty rate will be 0%,
  • if producing outside of the EU please estimate an average of 12% duties.
  • To estimate the likely duty costs please do as follows;
  • Total production value x 12%
  • Taxes:
  • Taxes are subject to product gender & country of import.
  • Children’s wear carries a 0% tax rate.
  • All other genders carry a 20% VAT tax rate.
  • If you are VAT registered, you can re-claim any import taxes via HMRC.
  • To estimate the likely tax costs please do as follows;
  • Total production value x 20%

PAYMENT TERMS

There are different payment terms on the different stages of design, sampling & production as follows;
  • Design = 100% proforma
  • Sampling = 100% proforma
  • Production = 50% deposit upon bulk order placement / 50% prior to shipment.
In special circumstances we will consider offering payment terms to customers, but this is subject to the value of the project, credit checks & whether security can be obtained in the form of a Bank Draft or Letter of Credit.

SUMMARY

We love our job! Each project we work on is new and different. With years of experience in the fashion industry & in particular in the supply chain, we understand the process from start to finish.
We design & sourcing products from a huge verity of genres; from men’s to women’s, from adults to children’s, from couture to fast fashion & across all sorts of product types.
We’re yet to find a customer that we’ve not be able to service!
Therefore, no matter the size of your collection or scale of your ambitions, we are here to help with the entire supply chain.
We’re not your average supplier either, we don’t just understand product, we understand everything from web design through online marketing (details can be found on our sister division Rag-Creative). Even warehousing, fulfilment & distribution can be handled in house (details can be found on our sister division Rag-Wholesale).
We are uniquely positioned not only to understand design & sourcing but the whole chain in how to operate a successful brand.
We approach things differently to others by focusing not only on your product but the bigger picture of what’s likely to make for a successful brand launch.
We look forward to discussing the requirements of your project and helping bring your collections to like!

The Ultimate guide: how to design & source your fashion products

Please click here to download a pdf copy of our “Design & Source Your Products” guide.
Please click here to download a pdf copy of our “Company Profile”
  • Should the links not work for any reason, please email us to request a copy.

INTRODUCTION

Whether you are an established brand or retailer, or whether you are just starting up and looking for information regarding the process of designing, sampling & producing your products, we are here to help.
This document outlines the fundamentals of everything you will need to consider when developing your products.
From the stages you will need to go through, to the likely lead times, to the likely costs.
This document is a summary overview and generic to most situations however, your project is bespoke and therefore may vary slightly from these general stages.
We are on hand to discuss your project in detail & tailor the process & budgets to fit your requirements.
If you have any questions please contact us and we’ll guide you through the process.

DESIGN, SAMPLING & PRODUCTION STAGES

There are several stages we will working through when creating your products; from design through sampling & ultimately production.
  • Stage 1 – Range Planning
  • Stage 2 – Design
  • Stage 3 – Costing
  • Stage 4 – Sampling
  • Stage 5 – Bulk Order
  • Stage 6 – Bulk Production
  • Stage 7 – Shipment & Delivery
There are no obligations to use us for the full supply chain. For example;
  • If you just require design, then we can provide only those services.
  • If you already have design, then we can just provide the production
  • We offer discounts based on the number of services we provide each customer.
Right from the outset we will estimate your likely costs ahead so you can make informed decisions on how your collection will take shape.
At each stage we will work with you to get your comments and approvals before moving onto the next stage.
Therefore, at every stage you remain in control & in knowledge of the next stage & any likely associated costs. Nothing moves forward without your prior approval to do so.

STAGE 1) RANGE PLANNING

We must first understand your Range Plan of products (the total number of products & which product types your collection might consist of).
  • Some customers come to us knowing exactly how many garments & what garment types they want.
  • Others are more ambiguous & not sure how many styles they should have in their collection.
If you are unsure of what Range Plan you might want or how much the likely costs might be to design, sample & produce a collection, we suggest using our Range Plan Calculator.
  • Should the link to our Range Plan Calculator not work for any reason, please email us to request a copy.
Once opened, our Range Plan Calculator ask’s several questions for you to answer. i.e.
  • How many total styles do you think you might like in your collection?
  • What average quantity per style might you intend to produce?
  • How many years has you brand been trading?
  • Which season will you be launching your collection?
  • What % of your collection will be men’s or women’s?
Subject to the answers you provide, the Range Plan Calculator will then estimate;
  • Which product types you should likely include in your collection.
  • Based on average prices, the likely cost of design, sampling & production budgets.
The Range Plan Calculator is only meant to provide you with an example split of product types & budgets. Your final collection can be amended as you see fit. Please note;
  • The design, sampling & production budgets provided in the Range Plan Calculator are based on rough averages and only meant for ballpark figures.
  • All final design, sampling & production values will be quoted to you based on your specific collection and are subject to increase or discount base on your bespoke project.
  • The Range Plan Calculator values are only to give you a ballpark estimate so you can roughly see how far your budget might stretch & so you can amend your collection size based on your budgets.
The idea of the Range Plan Calculator is so that you can work out what your collection size might be and what split of product types you might want in your collection so that you can roughly work out either;
  • How many garments you might get for your budget, or;
  • How much it might cost based on the number of styles you’re looking to produce.
What we are trying to achieve during the range planning stage is to understand your total collection size & the split of product types in your collection before moving to the design stage.

STAGE 2) DESIGN

Once we have your Range Plan confirmed we then require a design brief from you.
  • Some clients are very specific over what they want & just require us to professionally draw their ideas & make them factory ready.
  • Other clients have vague ideas or ’sketches on the back of napkins’ & looking for us to develop those ideas further.
  • Other customers are completely ambiguous & look to us to supply trend, colour or consumer forecasting & develop a design direction for them.
However the brief comes, once you know your collection size (see Stage 1), we then need to ascertain your design brief.
  • Some clients provide basic sketches.
  • Some clients send photos.
  • Some clients provide written briefs
  • Some clients provide example brought samples.
However you feel most comfortable presenting your design brief is up to you, we can work with anything you might supply.
The Range Plan Calculator (see Stage 1) will estimate a ballpark figure for design work however once we have your final Range Plan & Design Brief, we’ll then formalise a bespoke design quote for you.
Please note the Range Plan Calculator estimates the design budget based on averages & prior to any further discounts (see Likely Costs – Design) and therefore your design budget will often stretch further than the Range Plan Calculator might first estimate).
We will then start the design process & send the designs to you for approval.
  • Initially, we’ll usually start by designing the front, back & detailed construction drawings of each style.
  • Any logo’s, labels, trims or graphics would also be designed.
  • These will be sent to you for comment & approval.
  • Once the collection is approved, we will then move onto developing the factory technical specification packs (Tech Packs) for each style.
  • The Tech Packs gives the factory all the information they will need to produce your initial samples. i.e.
  • Fabric type & compositions
  • Garment colours
  • Print positions
  • Fit & construction references
  • Measurement specifications
Once you’ve approved your collection design & the Tech Packs have been produced we can then move forward to the Costing stage

STAGE 3) COSTING

Whilst you will already have a ballpark production budget from the Range Plan Calculator (see Stage 1), this will only have been provided as an estimate.

Once the designs stage is complete, all of your Tech Packs will then sent to our suppliers for 1to1 costing.
  • When sending your designs for costing we will consider things such as; the product type, likely production quantity, likely production lead time, likely average regional unit costs, as well as other specific factors specific to your project when deciding which suppliers & likely country of manufacture is most suitable.
  • We have a large network of established & trusted suppliers for all product types across multiple production countries.
  • If you would like further information which country of manufacture might be most suitable & the pro’s & con’s to each region, we can discuss this with you.
Once unit prices are returned, we will then advise you of the exact unit prices for your bespoke designs.
  • We will help you estimate not only the individual unit prices of each style, but any other possible additional charges such as Freight, Duties or Taxes to deliver your products.
  • Most of the time, due to average prices being used, the estimated production budget in the Range Plan Calculator is an over-estimate & normally the final overall budget usually come back cheaper (subject to your bespoke designs) and therefore usually your production budget will stretch slightly further than the Range Plan Calculator might first estimate.
Assuming you are still happy in principle (subject to seeing samples) with the total budget, we can then proceed to the sampling stage.

STAGE 4) SAMPLING

Once your bespoke garment prices are approved in principle (subject to samples), we will move forward to sampling stage.
Initial samples of your designs will be produced. Please note;
  • As no official bulk order has yet been placed, initial samples will be made without any labels or trims.
  • The majority of the time your designs will be sampled using the correct fabrics however, on occasion, if the fabrics is specialised or not available then a substitute similar fabric might be used.
  • During initial sampling not every style in every colour might be produced. On occasion one sample of one colour way might be sampled & additional dyed colour swatches might be supplied for the alternative colour ways. Other elements such as prints or embroideries might be supplied on fabric swatches.
  • The idea of initial sampling is to turn your 2D designs into the 1st 3D sample for you to fit & comment upon.
  • Think of initial sampling as a recipe of elements, a fit sample, a colour swatch, fabric swatches, print or embroidery swatches, etc. All the elements which will make up your bespoke designs.
  • Any brought samples that you might supply us for references (i.e. fits, fabrics, constructions) we will endeavour to return you however we are afraid that we cannot guarantee their safe return. Due to the volume of reference samples going through our factories & the fact reference samples are often sent out to other 3rd parties (such as fabric mills, embroidery & print houses) that reference sample can, on occasion, get misplaced. Also, on occasion, reference samples are required to be cut or defaced in some way to allow the factories to test fabric compositions, weights & pattern pieces. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the safe return of reference samples however we do endeavour to return reference samples where possible.
  • We strive, where possible, to ensure your initial samples are as close to your bespoke design as possible but without order commitment it’s not always possible.
Once your initial samples are delivered to you, we will then work with you to help comment on your samples and provide the factory with industry standard terms & definitions they require to proceed into the order stage.

STAGE 5) BULK ORDER

Once your initial samples have been commented upon it will be time to place your bulk order.
  • Placing the bulk order allows our factories to produce your bespoke fabric, dye your bespoke colours & produce your bespoke labels & trims.
Once your fabrics, label & trims arrive in-house a further 2nd sample will be produced of your styles. This is called a ‘Pre-Production’ (or ‘PP’) sample.
  • Your PP samples will have any comment changes from your initial sample, be in the exact fabric, colours & have all labels & trims attached.
  • A PP sample is supposed to be representative of your final bulk production.
Once your PP samples have been received, we will again work with you on your comments. Please note;
  • As bulk fabrics will be in-house & dyed + labels & trims already produced, at PP sample stage you are more limited to the comments you can make than during initial sampling.
  • You can still of course comment on things such as fit & styling and other elements however changes to fabrics, colours, labels or trims may incur further costs.
  • On occasion, if you wanted to make a styling change or there’s been a mistake in the PP sample & you are not confident enough to approve the style into physical bulk production, then a re-submit PP sample may be required.
  • Re-submit samples are possible but may result in production delays.
Once you have given your approvals on your PP samples, the physical bulk production can begin.

STAGE 6) BULK PRODUCTION

Once you have given approval to do so, the physical bulk production can start.
  • During production, in-line quality control checks will take place. In-line quality control checks are undertaken at random throughout the different stages of the production process to try to eliminate or rectify any possible issues as they occur.
Once your bulk production is complete your products will go to the pressing & packing stage ready for shipment.
  • During the packing stage, once your products are in sealed boxes ready for shipment, an end-of-line quality control check will take place. An end-of-line control means that boxes will be opened at random to check a reasonable % of your finished goods. Only if these checks are OK is an order approved to ship. Should the quality control fail for any reason, then further checks will take place including but not limited to a 100% quality control.
A further & final sample will be sent to you. This is called a ‘Shipment Sample’. This sample is pulled from random from your bulk production.
  • Due to Shipment Samples being provided from finish bulk production, no comments or changes can be made.
  • The purpose of a Shipment Sample is for you to confirm the final production matches your expectations & for you to give the approval to ship.
Once you have approved your Shipment Sample, we can move to the shipment stage.

STAGE 7) SHIPMENT AND DELIVERY

We can arrange the shipment, customs clearance & delivery of your products for you through our network of trusted freight forwarders or if you have your own nominated forwarder, we can deliver your goods for them to arrange the shipment & delivery.
Subject to the country of manufacture, qty of goods to be shipped & cost considerations, we can ship via Road, Sea or Air.
Once your goods arrive at port they will be customs cleared & the delivery instructions will be arranged with you prior to final delivery of your products.
We also provide warehousing & order fulfilment, therefore if you don’t have the ability to warehouse your goods yourself we can do this for you. For more information please contact us to request details.

LEAD TIMES

The lead times for design through sample development, from bulk production through finally delivery are subject to many factors & each project is unique. Factors include;
  • Size of collection
  • Product types
  • Number of comment changes
  • Number of sample rounds
  • Fabric lead times
  • Production lead time
  • Freight lead times
As a general rule of thumb however please allow roughly the following lead times;
  • Design – 2-3 weeks (subject to collection size)
  • Sample Development – 3-4 weeks (per sample round, there wil be a minimum of x2 samples rounds for the initial & PP sample stages)
  • Physical Bulk Production – 4-6 weeks (once approval into bulk production has been given)
  • Shipment – 1-4 weeks (subject to country of manufacture & freight method)
Therefore, please estimate on average C.3-6 months lead time from design through to delivery of product.
We have a handy Production Calendar we’re happy to share with customers which outlines the lead times you will need to consider when producing a collection to ensure your products arrive in line with the fashion season selling windows. Please click the link above to request access to this calendar to help with your planning (please note this is a Google Calendar & you will require a Google Account to access it).

This guide continues with an in-depth look at likely costs.

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

Asia

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.

Europe

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

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.

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.

Italy

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

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

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.

How to find Clothing Manufacturers

Fashion is quite hard to break into, especially for a beginner. You may be looking for clothing manufacturers who specialise in specific styles or material, but you may end up getting the wrong results. The cost that is often associated with the initial trial and error is the reason why most businesses give up. For those who want to start a clothing brand, a trusted apparel manufacturer is essential.

Finding decent clothing manufacturers to work hand in hand with can be a bit tricky. It is not for a lack of choices. What makes it difficult is the varied price ranges that you will come across when making enquiries. There is hardly any standardisation to speak of. While it is generally true that the more you pay the better the quality of products is, it is not always as cut and cut.

So you may think it’s easy at first just coming up with a design and giving it off to a manufacturer. In truth, you have to be very specific on the detailing of your clothes so that you can find the best things that can suit you and your designs.

Do you need a clothing manufacturer or a sourcing company?

A sourcing company is a go-between with the clothing manufacturer who handles the production for you, meaning you do not speak to the factory directly. The advantages of this are the knowledge, experience, quality control and relationships built up. It can take years to find reliable suppliers with the attention to detail required to do a clothing production run, a sourcing company would have this relationship already built.

There is a misconception that you’d pay a lot more per item, but as sourcing companies have bulk discounts in place the unit price is not much more. A price worth paying for that short-cut to the best factories and all that experience as an added bonus. And being based in the Uk, we have rigorous standards we meet.

With a sourcing company, you still have Minimum Order Quantities due to the fabric used, but an expert can help maximise this with a range plan. Contact us today for a free no-obligation conversion about this.

If you would still prefer to deal directly with the clothing manufacturer, read on.

How do clothing manufacturers work?

There are many different ways that clothing manufacturers work. Some apparel manufacturers operate on a contract basis, in which they are paid by the retailer to produce a given product. This means that the manufacturer may be responsible for everything from dyeing cotton materials to placing the final tags on garments.

Some manufacturers focus on particular aspects of their industry, such as chain-stitching, dyeing and printing, or separating fabric pieces into individual items. Manufacturers also produce clothing accessories in addition to the clothing itself. Other apparel

How long does it take to manufacture clothes?

From start to finish, our process is designed to work with the natural strengths of off-shore manufacturing. The result is a lean manufacturing system that keeps clothes flowing without wasting time or materials and creates real value for our customers. Our international network of factories is led by highly experienced teams who specialize in cutting and sewing for every type of garment we make.

Our Clothing manufacturers create our garments from designs, sample materials, and production plans we’ve sent ahead. This advanced planning makes it easier to control.

how to find a clothing manufacturer?

Learning how to find a clothing manufacturer can be a difficult task for small businesses or start-ups. There are many options out there, nevertheless, and you need to set some boundaries.

 

 

How to find Leisurewear Manufacturers

Are you looking for the best leisurewear manufacturers? The fashion industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds every year. Trends change, styles change, fashion houses evolve, but the one consistent thing is that people still need clothes.

The role they play in their lives is another story. For some, it’s just about covering yourself, whilst for some, it’s a statement. One might even dare to argue that even those who say they are saying nothing with the clothes they wear are making a loud and clear statement.

Leisurewear is no exception in the evolution of clothing lines. In this article, we take a look at how to go about finding the best manufacturer for leisurewear which may be useful if you are want to start a clothing line. Let’s take a look, shall we?

What is leisurewear?

Leisurewear is the type of clothing that is comfortable and easy to wear. It is what you will wear when you are relaxed or when you are not in a formal setting. For some occupations, leisurewear is business wear, meaning to say that is what they wear to work daily.

If you work mostly from home, like a lot of people are doing nowadays, leisurewear makes a statement that you’re decent enough to make a video call, but also comfortable as you do it.

In a lot of cases, leisurewear is designed for the younger generation. It is also now being made by many clothing lines, because of how comfortable it is. Leisurewear manufacturers now find themselves in high demand.

What to look for in a good leisurewear manufacturer

The manufacturer that you choose for your brand needs to tick certain boxes. Personal preference comes into play here. The manufacturer has to have the capacity as well as the ability to make the leisure line that you want. It includes having the right machinery, infrastructure as well as labour.

The manufacturer’s location and proximity to you and where you will be sending the finished product also determines the overall price that the manufacturing process will cost you. Foreign manufacturers have their advantages and disadvantages as well. They may have a larger scale and more capacity as well as the ability to have more hands-on-deck, as compared to manufacturers in your area.

Operating on a larger scale may mean that it will be cheaper for you. But the costs may catch up when you need to move the inputs to and from the area. It is how it may be cheaper to do all the work in your local area. To find the best clothing manufacturer for your new leisurewear brand is essential.

Outsourcing Internationally

Choosing a foreign manufacturer also means that you will have to deal with possible language barriers and time zone differences. Effective communication is vital so that you ensure that the manufacturer makes the designs as they were intended.

The quality of the product may separate local manufacturers and foreign manufacturers. You want to make sure that the manufacturer can produce top quality so that all the effort that you have put in is worth it. Low quality can render the line useless. One way to know for sure if the quality is good is to request a sample of something similar to what you want to have done.

Material Required

You also want to know about the material that will be needed for your leisurewear and how easy it is to get to your manufacturer. Your designs will dictate the type of material that is necessary for your line to be made. In turn, this also tells you which manufacturer to go for. For instance, not all manufacturers are good with cotton, whilst others do better with woollen fabrics. Finding a manufacturer that is an all-rounder is a significant advantage.

Weigh your odds and work out the profit so that you see how lucrative it is. If it costs more to get the inputs to the manufacturer, than it costs to sell the line, then it may not be the best idea for your business.

The right manufacturer should be a one-stop-shop, a place where you can get your designs made right, fabrics sought out for you, patterns cut out, samples presented, and the final product delivered. These are the makings of a good leisurewear manufacturer, whether they are local or foreign.

One last thing when finding leisurewear manufacturers

Just as in any lucrative business, you need to make sure that you have a good business plan. This includes finding the right leisurewear manufacturer. Weigh your odds and do your due diligence so that you maximise your profit and brand name.

Manufacturers lists are sorted in order of capacity and capabilities. We have listed some of the best manufacturing names in the UK. Look them up and find the best fit for your leisure line.

How to find Freelance Fashion Designer

The natural order of things has been for talented fashion designers to be swooped by brands. Most designers would have coveted roles under the wings of some of the top designers in the world. The worldwide web has since made us an authentic global village. That has presented freelance fashion designers from all over the world a platform to showcase their talent.

Where previous generations of designers would have had to migrate to London, New York, Milan or Paris in pursuit of their dream, the current generation can do it from wherever they are. This is not to minimise the role that is still played by these fashion capitals. There is only so much that can be done remotely, and these are a hub of design philosophy.

How much do freelance fashion designers make?

There are two ways to consider this. The easy access to designers that the web has given us means that there is more competition. You will often find that it leads to the proverbial race to the bottom. Designers start to undercut one another in attempts to land clients. In the end, everyone loses. The winning designer will end up being in an underpaid and overworked position.

That is a struggle primarily reserved for those that are still to make their mark. While researching for this article, I found that the bulk of freelance fashion designer jobs advertised at a starting salary of between $36 000 and $89 000 depending on credentials and experience.

There is no limit to how much one can earn as their name becomes synonymous with quality. It is commerce after all; supply and demand. The more demand there is for a freelance fashion designer’s services, the higher the reward.

What does a freelance fashion designer do?

Perhaps we have gone ahead of ourselves a little. Let’s make sure that we are on the same page. What is a freelance fashion designer? As the name suggests, this is a person that provides their designing services to those within the fashion industry, working directly with fashion brands or clothing manufacturers. A freelancer can specialise in a type of design that they would become sought after for. It can be in surface pattern design, Aztec designs, African fabric, leather and so on.

In some cases, they would double as a stylist. Being able to work on designs is associated with a keen eye for fashion as a whole. They are always skilled in fashion design.

How to become a freelance fashion designer

There are various paths that one can take to become a freelance fashion designer. Here are some things that you must consider:

  • Work on your craft.
  • Expand your circle.
  • Build a portfolio.
  • Learn from the greats.
  • Find your own path.
  • Foster collaboration.

Work on your craft

This is a step that is often taken for granted. The theory is that it takes 10000 hours to master something. It requires a lot of patience and passion. If fashion is dear to you, that should not be a problem.

Freelance Fashion Designer

Build a portfolio

Most people that will hire you will want to see what you have done. Not many people are looking to take a chance without seeing some evidence of your skills. That is why you must invest time and effort into building the very best portfolio possible. It has to be one that you can be proud of.

The only question to ask yourself is, “Would I be proud to show this to the best designers around?” If not, you can keep improving it until you are happy with it.

Once you have a portfolio ready, make use of the internet to get it out there. Platforms such as Instagram are great for this. Connect with other freelance fashion designers. Interact with the content that they share. They will usually do the same for you. Having your own website would also help. It gives you more room to make it look and feel the way that you think best represents your brand.

Expand your circle

Having a good portfolio is excellent, but it is not always enough. Sometimes having the right people to vouch for you or to point you in the right direction simply is what gets you where you want to go. The easiest way to expand your circle is to attend events and fundraisers within the industry. You are not going there with the express aim of selling anything. Just mingle and exchange contact details.

Learn from the greats

A common theme among successful designers is that they took an internship at one point or another. Being under the wings of an experienced designer gives you a vantage point to learn from them. You get to see the processes and techniques that they use daily. It is also an opportunity to learn the business side of things. If you do well on this internship, you will have a powerful ally for life.

Find your own path

The industry does not need a Coco Chanel or Versace replica. There is only room for one of those. Your unique take is what sells. Find it. That is what will make clients call you instead of other freelance designers.

Foster collaboration

There is not enough said about the power of collaboration. Whatever audience you have built will expand in ways that you cannot imagine through collaborating with other designers. Let’s borrow an example from the world of music. There are Linkin Park fans that would have never listened to Jay Z. That is until he collaborated with a band that they liked. The same is true for Jay Z fans who discovered Linkin Park the collaboration. It was lucrative for both sides.

The best way to seek collaboration is to find crossovers. What are some things that your audience appreciate about other artists? Another way to collaborate is to discover influencers that would appreciate your craft. You can provide them with some of your designers in exchange for publicity.

How do I learn fashion designing from home?

The internet has a wide range of resources for learning fashion designing. There are Youtube channels dedicated to this. You can also find a wide range of courses that you can take part in entirely online. Google is the best place to start.

One Last Thing

It takes some tenacity to make it in the industry. The beauty of it is that there is freedom at the end of it. You get to make a living doing something that you love. The rest of us get to see your exceptional talent.

How to find Streetwear Manufacturers

Clothing and apparel differ according to different factors. Some of these factors include the purpose for which it will be worn, the gender, size, and build of the wearer. Pricing also differs according to some of these factors and more. Today, the textile industry is a multibillion-dollar industry.

Whilst there are many facets to the clothing industry, they each have their place in our lives. In this article, we take a look at streetwear manufacturers, the trends that hit the streets, and which brands bring those trends to life. This is aimed to help anyone trying to start a clothing line and it’s easy to find a freelance fashion designer to help you create the clothing designs.

History of Streetwear

Whilst streetwear seems like it’s what the cool kids wear today, it goes way back. It has been around for many years. The difference is that it evolves with each year. New trends come up, and they build upon what already exists, ringing true to the saying, there is nothing new under the sun.

Taking a step back in time, it’s easy to see that streetwear is growing in popularity thanks to more celebrities and influential people wearing streetwear. By definition, streetwear is casual clothing, something casual. It made its way onto the international scene in the ’70s. originating from the New York Hip Hop culture, it quickly spread like a wildfire through various artforms.

Through the years, it has continued to be more and more cemented as a part of the culture. Streetwear has become a form of identity to a certain extent.

Streetwear Manufacturers

Why is streetwear so popular?

The growing popularity of streetwear can be attributed to its comfort. Streetwear by nature, is comfortable and casual, making it easy to wear and hence a go-to for anyone who is active and “ïn the streets”.

It has also been popularized by major influences including sport, music, and pop culture. As media has evolved into being globally accessible, fashion has also become a major part of that globalization.

Top streetwear brands

Some of the top streetwear brands are also some of the leading manufacturers. Here’s a list of some of the top streetwear brands on the market today. Supreme, Noah, Awaka NY, Aime Leon Dore, Golf wang, Palace, Braindead, Cactus planet flea market, Adidas, New Balance, and Nike

These are some of the international names that you have probably heard of and perhaps wear. Whilst they may have different target markets, they also have a cross-section of the same. However, these brands, require a manufacturer for them to “hit the streets”

Manufacturing within your area.

There are a couple of advantages when you choose a manufacturer within your area. One of those is reduced logistics costs. You will not need to travel very far to go to where your brand is being sewn.  Another advantage is in lower manufacturing costs, which in turn means that the cost does not need to be passed onto the consumer.

The disadvantage would be if you are unable to get high-quality manufacturers within your area. This has a large impact on your brand and the way that it will be received by the public so t’s important to find the right clothing manufacturer. 

What should you look for in a streetwear manufacturer?

There are several features that you need to ensure your manufacturer has. Amongst these are your labour costs. Foreign labour may work out to be more affordable but it may not be the best quality.

Also, ensure that your communication is easy and can be clear. This way you are able to have your streetwear brand, made as per instruction. When considering foreign manufacturers, think about shipping costs and the ease of you getting your orders. You may also want to think about time differences, and how you will conduct business with the chosen manufacturer.

Do your research about the various countries and make sure that they are marketable. For instance, clothes made in the US are generally easier to market to a global audience. They already have a market that you can tap into with your brand.

You need to make sure that the manufacturer that you choose is reputable and that you can trust them with your orders. You also want to make sure that all your paperwork is in place. Intellectual property is an important facet to check on, especially since the manufacturer will have to have full access to your logos and all working files. Make sure that you own your brand.

The other factor that you will need to think about, is the manufacturer’s capacity. Find out if they can meet demand in terms of quantity and also in terms of the types of clothing they can make.

Also, make sure that your designs are not lost in translation. If you speak a different language, both figuratively and literally, this could be a problem. Streetwear is a specific style and as such, you need a manufacturer that will not question your decisions but just go with the flow and produce what you have asked them to.

How do I find good streetwear manufacturers?

There are a couple of ways to do this. You can do a google search, find a list from a directory or go by word of mouth and referrals. What’s the word on the street about a particular manufacturer? Look at their track record as well. Streetwear Manufacturers likely make other types so would come under clothing manufacturers, but it’s likely that they will specialise in urban wear.

One last thing

The thing about fashion is that it’s not black and white and neither can it be put in a box and labelled. The loudest voice will always be what the people respond to. The streets will tell you what the voice of that era is saying.

Regardless of the manufacturer that you choose, it is important that you make sure the integrity of your brand remains intact. Streetwear has a specific style that may not be understood by all. It’s best to ensure that you can clearly communicate your vision to your manufacturer.

How To Start A Clothing Line in 10 Steps

Start-up clothing brands are popping up more than ever these days, with many seeing an opportunity in starting a clothing business. But if you’ve ever wanted to start a fashion brand from nothing, then you may find this blog of use when launching a clothing label.

We have seen first-hand the success of Sik Silk, 11 Degrees, Judas Sinned and many more. And we can share with you the key to success for starting up your own clothing brand. From the initial sample run to that first sale, every step is tough but exhilarating. Here is our ten-step blueprint plan to success in starting your clothing business especially for those who want to know how to start a clothing line.

Start your clothing business in 10 stages

Bring these ten steps to life with our guide to starting a clothing business below.

1. Pick your niche

Starting a clothing business is a big move that needs time and money so you have to be fully committed to success. You need to be creative, driven and have trend direction to stay ahead in such a competitive and fast-moving industry. If you have seen a gap in the market or have some killer designs in mind, then it might be time to count the pennies and plan out your growth. It’s essential to know your niche from the beginning.

Who is your target audience? Who is your competition? Do you have something that people will want to buy? Are you going to start with one specific item like the simple cotton tee? Or begin with shirts like Father and Sons? Or make your name with headwear like Fresh Ego Kid? Are you targetting the fitness sector or the casual streetwear market?

Your niche could be sustainable and ethical sourcing which is very current with the furore in the fast fashion industry. Know your niche, and work to this ideal. You can’t keep chopping and changing until you’ve got a presence and loyal fanbase. Sure you can bring out Menswear or Womenswear collections in the future, but staying true to who you are is essential.

2. Set your budget and create a business plan

Create a budget by separating your starter capital into realistic budgets for production (and transport costs), website, marketing and operational infrastructure. Look at all sourcing options, and contact us if you want to talk these through. You can buy stock items and brand these up, or go directly to the factories for lower unit cost but higher minimum quantities. You usually have to pay deposits to start sampling and pay the balance on shipping.

There are very few ways to start a clothing brand for free in the current economical climate. Even if your starting small scale with a few designs, you still need a website to sell these. You will likely need to contact a website design company or build it yourself. You may be tempted by Shopify so be aware there are monthly charges to keep it active which should be factored in.

The fashion industry is notoriously tough. On getting your stock you have a limited seasonal window to sell it in, then it’s old news and will likely be put on sale. You are also in competition with other brands who are offering end of season clearance sale prices to generate funds and clear space for the new season. Styles and trends change quickly so you can be left with a lot of old stock if not careful.

Stick to your budget. There is no point over-spending on production if you have no money to advertise or have a website running. Feel free to create multiple designs and Pantone colourways, but equally be prepared to cut some out of your range plans based on unit cost and feedback. Your first designs will be your entry to the fashion industry and the creation of your clothing line, but also crucially your easy route to market. You will know the unit price to manufacture, retail price and the demand for the product. Sometimes wild designs catch attention but simple sells.  Either way, start small and grow with the demand.

If cashflow is dry and you need a business plan to secure funding, it’s essential to start off by nailing the basics. You’ll need to give a breakdown of your business including price points, route to market, competitor analysis and a strategy for growth and scale. You should also be clear on who is involved with the business, their skill sets, who you will outsource any gaps too, and of course marketing and branding strategy. It’s also crucial to have clear operational plans including warehouse and postage.

Finally, the crucial financials. What will their investment do and how will it scale your growth?

3. Get organised

There is a lot to consider to start a clothing line. You will need somewhere to store the stock, to pick and pack and post. You will need to register with HRMC for tax purposes as all items carry VAT. You need to either have a website or a physical place to sell your clothing. Who is going to design the items? Who is going to pick and pack when they sell? Who is going to manage customer services, social media, marketing, etc? Do you need an accountant?

Do you need to register the company with Companies House? Are you importing the stock and is VAT payable on arrival? Do you need insurance? If you have big plans it might be time to contact us for a free consultation to find out the key requirements.

All this needs to be mapped out or outsourced to a specialised e-commerce marketing company.

4. Set a timeframe.

Make sure you know how long the process takes to be ready for launch. Are you planning on a summer range? Do you need to have your samples in January or February and your stock by April/May? Choose your season and work backwards. Demand for swimwear in Winter is low. Give yourself some margin for unexpected delays and getting the samples right. This can take months which can be frustrating but means a better end product.

5. Get Designing

For any start-up clothing business, this is the key stage, there is nothing like seeing your sketched design come to life on a CAD image and tech pack giving the manufacturer all the crucial technical information to make the item. If you cannot do this yourself on illustrator then an expert design team can assist. Try setting up a range plan and looking at the collection as a whole. Does it go well together? Are there enough signature pieces? Get this right, and you are well on your way to start a clothing line.

How To Start A Clothing Line

6. Create your brand

People don’t just buy clothes, they buy a brand. Do you want to be a big logo brand like Scar Tissue or be subtle branding? Branding is the key to the success of any business, particularly in the fashion world. You will be able to instantly know many of your favourites by name. It’s not just the logo, it’s how you act, speak, and look. It’s your website, your packaging, your swing ticket and is the story you want to tell. You can’t fake a great brand, it takes time and has to be in everything you do. How you are perceived is crucial to success. Your brand includes customer services and quality of the product. Be consistent and deliver on your promises.

7. Start the manufacturing process

Now it gets real. You need a product so can either make the clothes yourself or stock buy and get it branded up. But if you are working with factories, you have your CAD designs and tech packs, and it’s time to start the sampling process. Shop around and get quotes and look at international options like Portugal, Turkey, China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. If possible, get samples from multiple factories and compare price vs quality.

Make sure you understand the details and how much it will cost to import the goods. What are the minimum order quantities and what size breaks do you need? How much will it cost for the full-size break and is this within your budget if you include import duty and transport? How much does the sample cost and if you are doing the fashion shoot in the sample what size is needed?

If you are working directly with a clothing factory check the samples match your tech pack. Is the sizing consistent? Does the Pantone colour match the set and the jogger match the hoodie? Try things on and check the fit. Get others too as well, preferably of different body shapes.

8. Test your product with Market Research

Feedback is a gift. There is no point in having a fashion brand where you are the only person to like it, and why start a clothing line if not to sell it. Use social media to showcase new designs and test reaction to design and price points, building a buzz at the same time. Sell your samples through Facebook Marketplace. Build relationships with customers and talk to them about what they like about your product. Understanding why a style is selling and what isn’t is crucial to success and that customer lifetime value.

User experience for websites is crucial. It has to be user-friendly and remove all obstacles. If you plan on social advertising, consider that 90% of the traffic will be on mobile, so make such you have a responsive website.

9. Start Selling

After months of planning and work to start a clothing line, it’s now time to take the plunge and place that first order. Double-check your business plan and your price points. Make sure your sales platform is at least on schedule to be ready for launch. It’s time to start marketing and building that brand buzz. Get that product in and turn it around fast. The quicker it sells, the less chance of the clothing needing a clearance sale. Smell what sells and make sure you have the product to meet demand. Be prepared to order more, taking into account production and delivery timeframes.

Focus on your sales platform and make sure your users aren’t abandoning the site before purchase.

10. Scale and Grow

Your clothing line is launched, and sales are flowing. Perhaps you are already planning new products or bigger quantity orders?

It’s crucial to reflect on how your business is going before committing further. Sounds simple but don’t spend money you don’t have. It can take years to see a profit and return on investment so scalable growth is crucial.

Design Philosophy

Our philosophy is simple – to look at the world around us, to keep our eyes open, quite simply to love the world of fashion. We’re proud to put our name to every style we produce.

” The inspiration for each range comes from an eclectic mix of sources. It can be a sharp piece of tailoring to an underground street-wear movement, from the high street to a cult brand, from the here and now or a place in time. Our design philosophy is always about innovation – refreshing and updating – but most importantly, always meeting the client’s brief. We’re proud to put our name to every style we produce and present.

We’re always looking at who, what and where is influencing and directing today’s trends. That can be vintage, designer, icon, high street or chain store. Only individual mixes and styles can truly represent the current culture.

Throughout our day-to-day lives, whether at work or not, we’re constantly taking in what’s new through the places we visit and the people we meet. The team and I are forever jotting notes and taking photographs – so we never miss that next inspirational idea.

Well known figures within the fashion industry have used our services over the years, and continue to do so. This is a strong indication that we offer something that other people want and need.

Our client base has grown steadily over the years, with many repeat customers. I believe this is due to our dedicated and hard-working team, who ensure that all orders are processed on time and professionally presented.

To achieve a competitive edge, our production is often outsourced to other countries where the cost effect is critical. High street ready-to-wear fashion affects buyers, but that doesn’t mean it has to compromise quality.

We have continued to work with the same tailors over the years, who we trust and recognise the importance of delivering a quality service with innovative designs. These tailors work gently and carefully on each order, so that we can meet all deadlines – both for customers and ourselves.

The store is supported by in-house design and marketing teams that offer a one-stop shop service. We’ll take your brief and come up with concepts that suit you and your brand perfectly. We’re also able to work with other agencies on projects, such as photography or PR, if needed.

We’re always happy to discuss any ideas or feedback you might have – all our clients are important to us. In fact, we’ve built long-term business relationships with many of our regular customers, and I believe this is the secret of success for any company.

The skill as a designer is taking these multiple and myriad influences and moulding them into relevant commercial collections for each season and client.” – Matthew, Fashion Designer

Product Types

T-shirt designers

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that understands t-shirt product as we do. Quick Fact: it currently makes up nearly 60% of our production business. That’s why our jersey and sweat product is everything you want it to be. From high-end couture to fast fashion production – we’re second to none.

From promotional garments to highest quality fashion t-shirts and sweatshirts, use Rag Sourcing and your jersey & sweat samples can be turned around within 2-3 weeks.  Bulk production will take us just 4 weeks from approved sample to shipment. With a covetable 3 short weeks for repeats, we’re here to make sure you get product in-store and online to meet demand.

Minimum order quantities may apply depending on product type & requirements

Knitwear Designers

With everything from lightweight 14-gauge to chunky 4-gauge, our specialised Fair Isle and Intarsia machines are at your disposal to create any knitwear look. Catch a price point and use acrylic or acrylic mix yarns, or invest in the highest quality angora or cashmere, we’re here to make knit a reality.

Lead times for Rag-Sourcing wovens will vary depending on the time of year and availability of booked machines. With a sample turn around of 3-4 weeks, bulk production will be turned around in only 6 weeks from the approved sample – with just 4 weeks for repeats.

Minimum order quantities may apply depending on product type & requirements.

Shirt Designers

From formal wear to the finest couture-led casual wear styles, we produce shirts that fit every tailored look. With a vast selection of stock fabric bases and patterns to chose from, our clients trust in our reliable and flexible production capabilities.

With a sample turn around of 2-3 weeks and bulk production in only 6 weeks from an approved sample, you’ll have repeated orders in just 4 weeks.

Minimum order quantities apply depending on product type & requirements.

Woven Pants & Denim

A product category unlike any other, it’s all about development rather than design. Tailoring the right fit, selecting the right fabric base, playing with the latest in-wash and dye techniques, Rag-Sourcing has your wovens, pants and denim covered.

With a product manager who has worked with the best in the business, our denim experience is second to none. Our sample turn around of 2-3 weeks and bulk production in only 6 weeks from approved sample, you’ll have repeats in just 4 weeks.

Minimum order quantities apply depending on product type & requirements.

Fashion Quality Control

We have our dedicated Merchandise & roaming QC team. Our QC staff are on-hand to monitor your production to ensure only the highest 1st quality goods are shipped. With stringent QC checks in addition to our factories own QC procedures, quality control is our top priority.

QC:

– All fabric/yarn entering the production facility is checked, evaluated then graded on a 4.0 system. 100% inspections are also carried out if required

– In-line QC’s are present at every stage of production who sign off the first part of each process to ensure continuity

– There are also separate AQL QC’s who sign off the final inspection separately to the in line QC’s

– A full final inspection will be completed if needed for any reason

– A special team of ‘audit section’ inspectors work directly under the supervision of senior management and control the entire production area. The team performs random checks and keeps daily records. Goods are only forwarded for packing if they pass their approval.

– Daily records are handed to the quality control manager; this manager, in turn, compiles the records and reports daily to senior management

– 2.5 AQL (SGS or ITS)

– 100% QC if required

– QC accredited to BS6001

Labels and Trims

Work with Rag Sourcing to develop labels and trims, or let us work alongside your nominated labels & trims supplier, whichever you choose we make it our business to work how you need us to. From simple woven labels to complex swing tickets, branded buttons to the whole POS kit and caboodle, we have it covered.

Nominated labels & trims supplier:

– All labels & trims are stored in a locked room.

– Labels and trims are counted in and out (reports on stock levels can be requested at any time)

– To avoid any possibility of your labels & trims falling into the wrong hands and being used for black market products.

In-house developed labels & trims:

– We use a separate labels & trims supplier to our factories.

– This gives us more control over the development process and to reduce unit costs per item.

– It also allows for multi-product, multi-supplier sourcing where we provide the labels & trims for your brand to avoid any subtle differences between labels and trims between each supplier.

– Stocks can be stored with us for call-off if you have multiple supply bases or shipped directly to you or your own distribution.

Introduction to the new Rag Sourcing website

Welcome to Rag Sourcing! We are a privately owned fashion design, sourcing and manufacturing company and this is our new blog. Dedicated to all things fashion, we want it to be the go-to news site for fashion trends, business solutions and insider info on how we help get brands moving, putting gorgeous fashion first.

With years of industry experience, Rag Creative specialises in the whole fashion supply chain process. For those of you who have just discovered us, here’s a quick intro: we help start-up fashion brands right the way through to household names turn design and manufacturing visions into reality.

Have a look at our new, improved website www.rag-sourcing.com. We hope it’s easier to navigate and gets you all the information you need on our work to help your business grow.

If you encounter any issues or simply have some thoughts to share on how we could improve our user experience, then we’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below, call us or email to get in touch.

Loads more information on what we offer can be found throughout the site. As you navigate through the site, discover snapshots of the products we create, collections we’ve worked on, as well as our design & sourcing capabilities. Read our commitment to ethical trading and how we can help turn your ideas into fashion reality.

As if that’s not enough, why not subscribe to our free newsletter for regular updates on what we’re up to. Whether it’s looking at the trends for the season ahead or watching a video on what we can achieve, subscribe to find out more.

And finally, if you haven’t already, join us on Twitter and Facebook. We have loads of information there including industry news and the latest additions to our website.

So, welcome to the new Rag Sourcing. We hope you enjoy what you read and come to rely on us as your go-to fashion resource on the web. We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.

Rag Sourcing Recent Success

With years of expertise behind us, Rag Sourcing just keeps on growing. We’ve been doing a lot of new things, we’ve welcomed in a lot of new clients and we’ve got fashion led information to share in spades.

Most importantly we want to say a big thank you to both our existing & new clients. We’ve had a great start to the first half of the year running with some exciting projects and new techniques.

Highlights

  • Over the past year our UK team has more than doubled in size, so much so we’re looking for a bigger UK base.
  • We appointed our own satellite office in Turkey. This is a proud moment for Rag Sourcing and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our team & our clients. Thank you to everyone involved.
  • We’ve expanded each and every department of the company. The design team keeps on growing and excelling in their work.
  • Our merchandise & OC team has doubled in size. And with the appointment of personnel in both the UK & Turkey you’ll find our directors, running back and forth more than ever before!

Have you seen our new website yet? www.rag-sourcing.com So many changes mean we’ve given the Rag Sourcing site a major new overhaul.

Make sure you bookmark it for all the latest information on our work and services. Check out the new meet the team section on the improved site, discover who’s who and how we can help you further with your fashion business.

You’ll be able to find the latest news from the team, see some of our fashion projects from around the globe and you’ll also hear directly from our exiting clients. Check out the new featured projects section for a selection of articles highlighting our work and how we can help your business. We have hundreds of sewing related posts that are waiting to be read.

We’ve also started to post our own photography on the site, including some stunning images taken from our work in fashion and textiles all over the world. Check out www.rag-sourcing.com for the latest updates and to hear from us directly on what we’re up to.

The Story of Rag Sourcing

For over 20 years, Rag Sourcing has been designing & manufacturing for a huge range of fashion businesses and their clients around the globe.

We started back in the early 90s when fashion was very different to today. Fashion brands had to buy clothing from existing manufactories & brands, they didn’t have the same freedom and choice we have now.

Rag Sourcing was set up by a young designer who wanted to create his own clothing line. He quickly realised that he faced an uphill struggle sourcing all the materials for his designs from existing suppliers. He was a small fish in a big pond.

Back then he started to explore alternative supply routes within the fashion industry. After years of sourcing & manufacturing, he’s still with us today and has seen how his company Rag Sourcing has grown stronger over time.

The more we’ve developed as a company, the more we’ve needed to expand our team and our network of factories & suppliers. We feel most at home when sourcing & working directly with factories across Europe, Turkey, Hong Kong and China.

So if you’re looking for an experienced design & sourcing partner, or need a helping hand with small quantities – we are here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Rag Sourcing is poised to move into the next generation of fashion, and you know we will be there every step of the way.

How to get the Perfect Fitting Jeans for your Shape

We got some advice from Fast Fashion News on the perfect pair of jeans. For many men, jeans are the most important part of your wardrobe. You wear these when you hit the town with friends. You wear these to work (sometimes, at least). You wear these when you are just hanging out around the house.

 

While jeans may not be the most expensive piece of clothing in your closet, there is no denying the fact that you get your use out of these, time and time again. With all this in mind, you know one thing to be true: your favourite pair of jeans is not going to last forever. When it comes time to make a purchase, you need to know what goes into doing so.

 

If you have ever shopped for jeans in the past, you know that finding the perfect fitting pair can be a challenge, particularly if you are trying to hide a beer belly. No matter how hard you try, it seems like there is a roadblock around every corner. It is easy to believe that as long as you buy the right size that you will feel comfortable each time you put the jeans on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many details to focus on along the way, ensuring that you are getting exactly what you need for your shape.

 

Price may always be a determining factor, but you don’t want to focus solely on the cost when making a buying decision. Here are several additional things you can do to ensure that you get the perfect fitting pair of jeans for your shape:

 

1. Classic fits are best for most men. In today’s day and age, there are more jean styles available than ever before. While you may be tempted to try out one of the new styles, most men find that this is nothing more than a waste of time and money. To protect against making a mistake, do yourself a favour and opt for a classic fit such as: straight, slim/straight, slim, relaxed, relaxed/straight, or standard. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? There are many choices, but it doesn’t mean you have to be confused when making a decision.

In addition to getting the help of a sales associate, don’t shy away from trying on many different styles. This is often times the best way to find out what works best for your shape. Start with a straight leg or boot cut and go from there. Once you have tried on every pair imaginable, it will be easy to see which one fits you best.

 

2. Know your shape and purchase your jeans accordingly. For example, if you are on the heavy side you probably don’t want to opt for jeans that are too tight. This is going to show off your weight, not to mention the fact that you are not going to be very uncomfortable.On the other side of things, if you have skinnier legs, you can probably get away with a pair of straight leg, skinny jeans. If this is not your style, opt for something a bit baggier. Just make sure you don’t go too baggy, as this will not match your body shape.

 

3. Focus on three key areas. When shopping for jeans, you want to get something that looks and feels good in an overall sense. You can do this by focusing on three key areas: waist, legs, and crotch. In short, your goal is to ensure that the jeans are not too tight in any of these areas. Do you look good both from the front and back? Remember to check yourself in the mirror. This may sound like the “girly” thing to do, but guys need to realise the importance as well.

Also, never forget that jeans are likely to shrink over time, even if you never put them in the dryer. For this reason, you may want to purchase a pair that is slightly longer than what you need. Not only does this allow you to account for shrinkage, but if you need to make any alterations in the future you can do so.

Regardless of your shape, you know that jeans are a big part of your wardrobe. The more pairs you have the better. Sure, you may have your favourite but you want to know that you can pull out a good looking pair at any time.

When you let the three tips above act as your guide, you should be able to purchase the perfect fitting jeans for your shape. This is not something you want to rush, but instead spend as much time as necessary to make a purchase you are going to be happy with. This way, every time you put your jeans on you are comfortable and knowing that you look your best.

Tricks of the Trade to Disguise the Dreaded Beer Belly

If you are the type of guy who enjoys drinking a cold beer from time to time, you have to consider what this means to your belly. Is your beer belly growing by the day? Are you worried that this will continue to be a problem well into the future?

While there is nothing better than exercising to get the weight off, for the meantime you may be looking into ways to disguise this. After all, you don’t want people to see just how big your beer belly has become.

The first rule of thumb is simple: don’t take off your shirt. If you do this, all bets are off. At this point, it is not difficult for anybody to see that your belly has grown out of control.

 

Five Tricks of the Trade

 

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, including the fact that you should keep your shirt on at all times, let’s take a closer look at five tricks of the trade. By using one or more of the tips below, there is a good chance that you will be able to disguise your beer belly until you are able to get rid of it through exercise and a healthier diet:

 


1. Avoid tight clothing. Let’s face it: the tighter the shirt the more your beer belly is going to show. Why not opt for loose clothing to ensure that this never becomes a problem? This does not mean you have to by a shirt that is noticeably too big. What it does mean is that you should step up a size, just enough to ensure that your belly does not protrude through your shirt.

 

2. Wear dark colours. Did you know that dark colours have a slimming effect? For this reason alone, you should consider adding a variety of dark coloured shirts to your wardrobe. Some of the best colours to consider include black, charcoal, grey, and navy blue. For many years, this one trick has been helping heavier guys hide their stomach. Women use this trick as well, and that alone should be enough for you to realise that it is beneficial.

 

Note: just because you are wearing dark colours does not mean you should revert back to smaller, tighter shirts.

 

3. Tailor your suit. As tempting as it may be to throw on your old suit or buy one off the rack, you want to avoid this if you are attempting to disguise a beer belly. Instead, you should find an experienced tailor in your local area. Tell this person what you are trying to accomplish, and let him or her tailor your suit to make you look your best. Don’t be embarrassed, as this is something that many guys do. You want to look your best when you put on a suit, and one of the best ways of doing so is through a visit with a qualified tailor.

 

4. Tuck in your shirt. It is easy to believe that leaving your shirt untucked is the best way to hide a beer belly, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you do this, your entire look is going to appear messy. Is that what you want? When you choose the right size shirt, you can easily tuck it in to ensure that you look “put together.” Furthermore, you never have to worry about your beer belly looking like it is going to pop out.

 

5. Wear a jacket. This is one of the best ways to disguise a beer belly, however, it is something that many men overlook time and time again. When you wear a stylish jacket you are adding another layer on top of your belly. You can throw this on over a button down or T-shirt, ensuring that you look good while keeping your belly in check.

 

Tip: if you are going to wear a jacket, make sure it matches everything else, including your shirt and your pants. The last thing you want to do is kill your sense of style.

 

Many men have a bear belly and believe that there is nothing they can do to hide it from others. While you may not be able to get rid of this excess fat in a hurry, there are things you can do to disguise it. The five tricks of the trade detailed above are a great place to start. If you implement just one of these tips, you will find yourself not only hiding your belly but also looking better along the way. By combining a couple of these tips, you may soon realise that your problem is gone for good. In fact, this may work out so well for you that you forget your diet and exercise, knowing that you can always hide your belly!

Shirt Suppliers and Fabrics: An In-depth Look

If you are in the business of selling shirts, you know that a shirt is only as good as it feels. That’s why choosing the proper shirt fabric is so important. After all, a shirt that is uncomfortable to wear is going to make the person that dons it feel fairly miserable. And if a customer is not happy, they will most likely not patronize your business. As such, it is important that you not only get a bead on what fabrics are used by shirt suppliers, but you use that information to determine what fabrics may be right for your clientele.

Fabrics at a Glance

Diving into the world of fabrics to see what may work best for you and your business is not as easy as it may look. It is a world that goes well beyond the realm of cotton, denim, polyester, and the other fabrics that your average person knows about. To be sure, shirt suppliers have a host of materials at their disposal, including several that don’t readily come to mind. However, getting to know as much information as possible about as many fabrics as you can is crucial to your business’ success, since clothing stores rarely live on denim or cotton alone.

Some of these fabrics include:

• Broadcloth – This is a tightly woven fabric that is marked by a simple over-under weave as well as a slight shininess. These qualities combine to make a very dressy shirt. The fabric also tends to be thinner and lighter, which makes it an ideal fabric for summertime. White broadcloth fabrics have been shown to be a little transparent, which makes wearing an undershirt in conjunction with shirts made from such cloth to be pretty essential.
• Flannel – This seasonal fabric was highly trendy during the grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and has been shown to be making a comeback in some fashion circles. The fabric’s calling card is its thickness, as they are typically made in thicker weaves, thus making them ideal for the chillier weather in the fall and winter.
• Melange – This particular fabric is known for being very thin yet very soft, smooth, and luxurious. They achieve this reputation because of a special type of construction; one where each of the yarns that are used in the fabric is a combination of fibers which are not-dyed and dyed. These colored fibers are then woven together to create a look that looks slightly yet deliberately inconsistent, which in turn gives the fabric a completely organic quality.
• Oxford Cloth – This casual fabric is made with a symmetrical basket weave that is looser in comparison to some other weaves. It is not to be confused with the more formal Pinpoint Oxford, which can feature a tighter weave and a lighter thread. The heavy, rougher texture and durable nature of the threads themselves has made this particular fabric popular for sports use.
• Egyptian Cotton – Simply stated, this fabric is made from a particular type of cotton that is culled from the plant known as Gossypium Barbadense. This particular cotton can differentiate itself from other cottons because it contains longer staples, which in turn can enable it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. It typically features thread counts of anywhere between 80 and 100; this thread count allows it to differentiate itself from another fabric known as sea island, which is made from the same cotton plant but has a higher thread count.
• Royal Oxford – As the name implies, this particular fabric is one of the dressier fabrics that shirt suppliers will feature. The reason it has the reputation as being dressy is due to its sheen and texture, as both of those particular aspects are highly visible in nature. This particular fabric should not be confused with oxford cloth or pinpoint oxford; despite the similar names, they are completely different.
• Twill – This fabric is marked by its distinctive diagonal lines or texture; this shape allows the fabric itself to exhibit a shiny quality. It is weaved extremely tight, and can therefore come in extremely high thread counts – so much so, the fabric can sometimes be mistaken for silk. Another important quality to note about twill is that it is relatively easy to iron and has a tendency to be resistant to wrinkles.
• Dobby – The thickness and weight of this fabric can be very similar to broadcloth, and its thickness or the way that it is weaved can almost make it appear as if it is twill. This fabric falls somewhere in between the two fields. This particular fabric tends to feature stripes, although it can be a solid color.

Other Things to Note About Fabric

Once you have gotten a basic grasp on the various types of fabrics that exist out on the market, there are still a couple of items that you need to be aware of before contacting the right shirt suppliers.

The first of these terms is thread count. Specifically, this term defines the thickness of the size of the yarn that is being used to make the shirt. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the thread count number, the higher quality the fabric – and ultimately the shirt – will be.

The second of these terms is ply. In essence, ply is defined by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread. The typical shirt will be designed to be either single ply, meaning that one thread was woven into the fabric, or two ply, meaning that two yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread which is then woven into the fabric.

Getting familiar with these terms as well as the fabrics that are talked about in conjunction with these terms is essential if you want to maximize the overall quality of the clothing that you want to sell. If you don’t, you greatly increase the risk of obtaining a vastly inferior product, which could ultimately have a negative impact on your business and your bottom line.

10 Do’s & Don’ts To Piecing Together A Quality Fashion Portfolio

A fashion portfolio is mandatory for success in the fashion industry. It doesn’t matter whether you are applying to fashion school, trying to get a job at a fashion firm of even making an attempt to get onto a fashion reality show. Without a portfolio to showcase your skills and talent, you aren’t going anywhere!

 

Just for clarification, we want to remind you that a portfolio is nothing more than a visual resume. It’s your way of showing to employers and others what you are capable of producing. However, piecing together a good portfolio requires a lot more than just throwing all your work together.

 

Fashion Portfolio Do’s

Here we are going to look at things you absolutely should (dare we say: MUST) do to ensure your fashion portfolio stands out from the crowd.

Keep It Updated

Your portfolio is a like you — it changes as time progresses. Likewise, your portfolio should be well maintained and up-to-date. Any time you produce outstanding work, take the time to add it (and add it properly) to your portfolio. Also, make sure your portfolio is set up in reverse chronological order. Your most recent works should be up front, while your works from the past should be pushed to the back.

Set Up A Digital Portfolio

In this day and age, it’s fundamental that you maintain both a traditional portfolio and a digital portfolio. Imagine that you are at a portfolio show, but some of the potential employers who stop by just don’t have the time to review your entire presentation at the moment. All you would have to do is hand them a business card that contains a link to your online portfolio.

Keep Your Portfolio Simple

Try to keep your portfolio as simple as possible, and limit the number of pages. If you have too much work that you want to share, consider creating a mini portfolio to supplement your main portfolio. Also make sure to rely on a fairly simple but eye-catching fashion portfolio cover. Take a look at the books on fashion that you own, do any of them have a flashy cover? Probably not!

Add Sketches

Despite common belief, your portfolio should, in fact, contain sketch work. Sketching is a highly desired skill in the fashion industry. Your sketches can tell a lot about not only your creative process, but your problem-solving capabilities as well. Plus, sketch work can serve as a decent filler in case you’re relatively new to fashion and don’t have that many pieces to share with prospective employers.

Include Mood/Trend Boards

Make sure you include mood/trend boards that support the overall feel you are trying to create for your portfolio. Again, such additions help display how you think, how you collate research, and how you reach a final product. They also display your comprehension of such fashion basics like texture, colours, fabrics and trends. If you must choose between sketches and boards, go with boards!

Fashion Portfolio Don’ts

Here we are going to look at things that can ruin your portfolio.

 

Sloppy Presentation

 

There is no easier way to completely destroy the worth of your portfolio than by being sloppy. Your portfolio should be absolutely pristine in its presentation. It is meant to showcase your personality, your creativity and your professionalism, so it should be obvious why it would be a major turn-off if you turned in something that looked like a 12-year-old could have bundled together.

 

Too Much Content

 

Your portfolio should not be an archive of all your work. It should only contain the best of the best. Furthermore, it should focus on those areas of fashion in which you excel the most. The general consensus is that someone who acts like a jack-of-all-trades is usually a master of none. And when it comes to fashion, it is much better to be masterful at a few select things than to be just amateur at everything.

 

Avoid A Static Portfolio

 

A portfolio need not be static, and it is perfectly fine (and, in fact, recommended) if you adjust your portfolio for specific scenarios and job opportunities. If you are applying for a position within a fashion company that deals exclusively with menswear, for instance, then it would make perfect sense to remove all non-menswear pieces from your portfolio and replace them with better fitting examples of your work.

 

Don’t Overdo It

 

The most a fashion portfolio should contain is around twenty-five pieces, and that’s only if you have a decade or two of experience working as a fashion designer. If you are just starting out (such as if you just graduated college), then your portfolio should be limited to around ten pieces. Just remember that it’s not about the quantity of pieces you include, but rather the quality!

 

Make Excuses

 

It’s very possible and likely that you will make mistakes your first or second time around. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses when confronted or criticized by an employer: be upfront and accept responsibility. Employers understand that you’re young and just starting out. With that said, it’s important to be humble and accepting of any and all criticism you receive, because arrogance will not get you very far.

 

Piecing Together A Great Fashion Portfolio

 

Piecing together a quality portfolio doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you work hard at what you do. Just be sure to use common sense. Also, take the time to ensure your portfolio is polished. It’s okay if you make a mistake your first time around, but truthfully it’s always better to take the time beforehand to be flawless in your execution. Believe us when we say that prospective employers will appreciate it!

Find the Perfect Little Black Dress for any Budget

Every woman knows one thing to be true: they need a little black dress that they can wear at any time. If you have one of these in your closet that you are comfortable with, you can breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, if you don’t have the perfect option it may be time to set your sights on making a purchase in the near future.

It is one thing to say you are going to find the perfect little black dress, but another thing entirely to make a purchase that you are going to be comfortable with, both in terms of your style and your budget.

 

It is a myth that you have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for a dress that looks and feels good. While some are sure to set you back a thousand dollars or more, you do not have to set your budget this high. In other words, you can find the perfect dress regardless of your budget.

 

Five Tips for Success

 

If you understand the importance of having a little black dress in your wardrobe, you will realise that there is no better time than now to make a purchase. Here are five tips that will allow you to buy this garment, regardless of how much money is in your budget:

 

1. Consider a variety of dress manufacturers. Although you may have your eye on one designer or another, there is nothing wrong with opening your mind and considering a variety of others. Remember, the more dresses you try on the better chance there is that you are going to find the one that is right for you. It does not cost any money to research a number of manufacturers and designers with the hopes of finding the one that is perfect for you. Who knows, you may come across one that you were not previously aware of.

 

Note: some designers are cheaper than others. Find those that price their dresses within your budget. This will save you a lot of time during the search process.

 

2. Shop online. One of the best ways to save money on a little black dress is to shop online. While there are benefits of buying at a local store, such as the ability to first try on the dress, you may find that you are paying more money. Shopping online does not always save you cash, but it can definitely put you in position to do so. On top of this, you are going to open yourself up to a world of opportunity. The selection online is much greater than any one store, since you can jump around from one website to the next within a matter of seconds.

 

3. Search the sales rack. Most stores that sell these dresses are aware that some people are on a budget. For this reason, they often times move some of their inventory to the sales rack. Don’t shy away from these sections of the store because you think something is wrong with the dresses. Instead, realise that you are able to shop these racks as a means of saving money on your purchase.

 

4. Know your shape. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you shop, if you don’t know what you are looking for in terms of shape and size you are going to come up short in the long run. Every woman has a unique shape. Which type of dress works best for you? Once you pinpoint your shape and have an idea of what you are looking for, you can narrow down your options with hopes of making an informed and confident decision in the near future.

 

5. Know what type of style you are looking for. It is easy to believe that every little black dress is the same, but the only thing that is identical is the colour. As you begin to look around, you will find that there are many different styles to choose from. How long do you want your dress to be? Are you looking for one with straps or no straps? Are you interested in one with a V-neck design? These are the types of questions that can help you find a dress that suits your style.

 

You want to do more than find a little black dress that fits you well. You want to find one that also matches your budget. With the five tips above, you should be able to shop around until you find the one that fits you best without breaking the bank. When this happens, you will have a smile on your face as you make a purchase and think about the first time you get to show off your new dress.

Fashion Design Solution’s Blog Post Round-Up

This week Fashion Design Solutions takes a look at the ethics of the overseas garment factory, why we believe Turkey is the best value for money when it comes to garment production, how to find a quality clothing manufacturer, as well as tips and tricks for getting your t-shirt design noticed by High Street shoppers. See below for an overview of our five most recent posts, and click the links to visit each article.

 


Easy Ways to Attract Immediate Attention to Your T-Shirt Design – The classic t-shirt has been a widely owned staple of nearly all closets since its creation in the early 1900s. With t-shirts encompassing everything from cheap underwear to high end name brands, how do you get your design and style noticed? We have a few ways that will get your Ts immediate notice.

 

What to Look Out for When Looking For a Clothing Factory – Finding a high quality manufacturer for your fashion line is perhaps the single most important decision you will make in the entire production process. A high quality line made from quality materials and sturdy stitching will sell your brand for you, while low quality garments that fall apart after the first wash will ruin your entire business model. Here we delve into what makes a good manufacturer, and what doesn’t.

 

8 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Turkish Clothing Manufacturer for Your Business – With clothing factories located all over the world, from China and Bangladesh to Italy and Turkey, how do you know where you will get the most for your money? Fashion Design Solutions utilises manufacturers in Turkey for all of our brands, and here’s why we think Turkey would be the right location for you.

 

The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer – if the idea of using a clothing manufacturer outside of the UK conjures up images of the dreaded sweat shop, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, international clothing manufacturers have been plagued by misconceptions of the international garment worker, and in this article we cover not only how much of the world is implementing ethical trade practices, but also establishing worker rights and legal benefits.

 

Fundamental Traits Needed to Excel As a Menswear Fashion Designer – Do you have what it takes to design fashionable menswear? In this article we provide a brief overview of the skills needed to succeed in this niche of the fashion industry.

A Denim Suppliers Guide To Denim Fabrics & Denim Washing

As you are probably aware, the world of denim is teeming with a near endless assortment of different dyes, weaves and fabrics. ‘Weaving’ your way through this mess can be quite confusing, especially if it’s your first time around dealing with denim suppliers. Today we want to simplify the adventure for you by first addressing what denim is and then talking about the different types of denim. Ready? Let’s go!

 

What Is Denim?

 

The word denim derives from the French phrase “serge de Nîmes.” It refers to a cotton textile that relies on a twill weave with diagonal ribbing to achieve those wonderful pairs of fitted denim jeans we all wear. The amazing thing about denim is that it’s available in so many different styles. Denim can basically be used to match any form of attire.

 

The most original denim was made from 100% cotton serge and referred to as cotton serge denim. These days, denim is available in an abundance of different materials and blends from a variety of denim suppliers. The four most common ones that we want to cover today are listed below:

  • Dry/Raw Denim
  • Selvage Denim
  • Stretch Denim
  • Ramie Denim
  • Poly Denim

What Is Denim Washing?

 

Before we even start talking about the various types of denim, we need to understand what is meant by ‘denim washing’. When people talk bout ‘denim washing,’ they refer to the ‘washing’ techniques used to modify denim before the denim product or products are put to sale and distributed to consumers.

 

Denim is “washed” or “processed” to achieve a special effect, such as fading. The usual goal is to make the denim product look aged and worn. However, there are advanced wash techniques (such as acid washing, stone washing, sand washing, sand blasting) that create contrast, selective fading, etc. Why do people like denim looking like this? You’d have to ask a psychologist. All we know is that such worn-out-looking denim sells like hotcakes!

 

What Is Dry/Raw Denim?

 

Dry or raw denim is denim that has not been washed. It is 100% raw and thus does not contain any special effects like fading. This gives it a very raw, vintage look that’s rugged and sexy. Unfortunately, dry/raw denim comes with a few notable drawbacks.

 

1. It’s very stiff compared to washed denim. This means you must wear it a number of times before you feel anywhere close to comfortable in it.

 

2. It’s not ideal to wash raw denim in a washer/dryer. This fades the denim. The better option is to wear it as much as possible and then dry clean it when necessary.

 

3. It’s a real pain to maintain. To own raw denim, you need to be willing to maintain it religiously! Otherwise, why even waste extra money on it?

 

So why do people buy raw denim? They like its authenticity. The thing about raw denim is that isn’t completely unaffected when you receive it. As a result, every mark, line and tear it accumulates in its lifespan comes from your daily life and activities. Simply put, raw denim tells a story!

 

What Is Selvage Denim?

 

Selvage denim is a special, luxury-grade form of denim that relies on a tighter weave. Back in the day, all denim was selvage. Clothes makers used traditional shuttle looms to construct densely woven denim fabric in long, narrow strips that contained selvage edges. These edges were required so that the strips could be turned into trousers.

 

Things changed in the mid 1900s when clothing manufacturers started using projectile looms to keep up with increasing demand. These looms let manufacturers use wider materials, thus taking away the need for a selvage edge.

 

What makes selvage denim so pricey is the fact that it’s so durable and crisp and classy. Plus, making selvage denim is harder than making non-selvage denim.

 

What Is Stretch Denim?

 

Back in 1959, a chemist named Joseph Shivers invented what we now know as spandex. It’s a synthetic fibre that possesses incredible elasticity. Now imagine what happened when, two decades later, fashionistas decided to combine spandex with denim? Stretch denim was invented!

 

Stretch denim differs from other forms of denim because it conforms to the body’s shape. Most denim items needed to be broken in before they fit perfectly. This isn’t the case with stretch denim.

 

Unfortunately, because of the stretch factor, stretch denim tends to be less durable. Over time, the elastic fibres break down, thus causing the denim item to lease its stretchiness. Stretch denim products also fray much easier than regular denim garments.

 

What Is Ramie Denim?

 

Ramie denim is an especially unique form of denim only dealt with by a select few denim suppliers. It is simply standard denim mixed with the fibre crop Boehmeria nivea, or ramie. This crop is added to denim because of its numerous advantages:

  • It’s naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew.
  • It’s very absorbent and thus comfortable to wear.
  • It’s resistant to stains.
  • It’s not damaged by mild acids.
  • It dyes very, very easily.
  • It can withstand high-temperature laundry.
  • It doesn’t shrink in size.
  • It can be bleached.

By combing ramie with denim, denim suppliers are able to make their denim garments more resistant to bacteria, mildew, stains and more. They are in effect able to improve it just by making a simple change to their garments’ construction.

 

What Is Poly Denim?

 

Poly denim refers to the mixture of denim with polyester, the latter of which is a manufactured fibre that’s extraordinary strong. It’s also resistant to mildew, shrinkage, stretching, chemicals, wrinkles and even abrasions. Plus, it washes and dries much more easily. These factors make poly denim very useful for when constructing work clothes. The drawback is that polyester makes denim garments less breathable.

 

What Are Denim Suppliers To Do With All This Info?

 

This is a lot of information to cover, but it should just be a starting point. If you are serious about denim fashion, it would be prudent for you to continue learning as much as possible. Speak with denim producers. Examine some denim gear. Become an expert on denim!

How Turkey is Using Apparel Sourcing to Clothe the World

Check out any one item of clothing you’re wearing right now. Your shirt, your pants or anything else with a label will do. Now, without looking at the label, do you know if this item of clothing is made from cotton, polyester or something else? Don’t worry if you don’t know – most people don’t.

 

While you might not think a lot about fabric, you do come in contact with it every day, usually all day long, with different fabrics surrounding you at night. Fabric isn’t just keeping you warm and fashionable. It’s also the lifeblood of the entire fashion industry. It is, literally, the fabric that holds the entire industry together.

 


Let’s go back to that item of clothing you’re wearing. While you probably know what store your shirt came from, do you know where it was actually made? The answer usually depends on what the item is. Fashion has always been a particularly global enterprise. If you’re looking for stylish, modern women’s fashions, Paris, France, is the place to be. If you’re interested in classic men’s styles, you’ll be looking along Savile Row in London, England. Milan, Italy, is your home for casual elegance. And New York and Los Angeles are your source for America’s fashions. But what about the cotton, polyester and other textiles which make up these fashions? Would it surprise you to learn it might just be from… Turkey?

 

The country of Turkey isn’t just ready to roll, it’s ready to sew. This European country has quietly been working hard, and is now the number one apparel sourcing nation in the European Union. Turkey’s Apparel and Textile industry has been a powerful engine for Turkey’s economy, roughly 10% of the entire GDP, and now the country is looking to expand that success by expanding exports to as many countries as possible.

 

Turkey’s status as the reigning champ of cloth has been in the making for decades now. The entire country began industrialization efforts in the 60’s, when great effort was put towards revitalizing their entire textile industry. At first, the industry was limited to small workshops. But as the 1960’s turned into the 1970’s, production improved in leaps and bounds. Soon, Turkey was exporting their wares to other countries. Starting in 1980, Turkey stopped importing textile machinery, and started in-country production of low and mid- level machinery. Today, they produce a huge variety of quality textile machines, and they’re also one of the most important clothing exporters in the world.

 

Three key factors as to why Turkey has found such success as an apparel sourcing nation are its:

  • Low labor costs
  • Qualified workforce
  • Relatively cheap materials

With over four million people employed, the Turkey textile industry is worth $20 billion. Almost 60% of its textiles are exported, making the country one of the top ten producers of wool and polyester in the entire world. So even if your clothing item wasn’t made in Turkey, it’s very likely the polyester it’s made from was. Not made of polyester, you say? Your item of clothing is made of cotton, you say? (Oh, by the way, you can look at that label now.)

 

There’s a very good chance that cotton came from Turkey, too. Turkey is the seventh largest cotton producer around the globe. Not only do they export this cotton, they also increasingly use it themselves to produce clothing. Exporting ready-to-wear clothing is better for Turkey financially compared to exporting just the cotton.

 

The United States, Russia and Germany are some of the main recipients of all of these textile exports. But there are other major players with is comes to apparel sourcing, such as China.

 

In 2005, a decades old quote system on Chinese exports expired. This has led to an increase in China’s textile exports. With their massive population, and relatively loose laws related to production, China has a massive workforce able to work long hours in order to make a lot of textiles for export.

 

This has affected apparel sourcing across the globe, including in Turkey. They weren’t able to compete on a production level as they would have liked. All of their progress over the decades was threating to come undone.

 

Recently, however, Turkey’s textile industry has shown surprising new life. After all, Turkey once took what was basically a non-existent textile industry in the 60s and turned it into one of the greatest in the world in just four decades, so it’s never wise to count them out.

 

Since Turkey is a European country, it was able to easily adapt into European standards as they relate to product quality, environmental regulations and worker safety, issues which are sometimes an area of concern in Chinese textile plants. As China has started producing lots of lower quality textiles and apparel, Turkey has repositioned itself as makers of some of the world’s finest textiles. Apparel sourcing has shifted to emphasize a new focus on quality. People have made clothing in Turkey for several generations now, and they want the world to know how good they are at it. The “Made in Turkey” label is achieving recognition around the world as the sign of quality apparel.

 

When you go shopping for clothes, you have options from all around the world. The global textile and fashion economy means most clothes are likely to be more well-traveled then the average wearer. It can be confusing. While you want a good price on your clothes – and that’s the rationale behind textile globalization – you also want a quality product.

 

“Made in Turkey” might be just the perfect label for the American clothes shopper. They have the best equipment, easy access to cheap and high quality cottons and polyesters, and their citizens are some of the finest clothing artisans in the world. The next time you go shopping, you just might be surprised what you look for when you look at the label.

An Overview Of The World’s Top Regional Textile Producers

The world contains five primary textile production zones: China, Bangladesh/Pakistan, India, Italy and Turkey. While other countries also export garments, it is these five regions that dominate the industry. Here’s the thing, though — each region offers it own unique advantages and disadvantages.

 

To be successful in fashion (especially if you are interested in starting your own brand), you need to understand the benefits and drawbacks to each of these regions. The assumption, of course, is that you are going to outsource your manufacturing. By the way, we highly recommend you do outsource!

 

Why Should You Outsource?

 

Before we get into the precise advantages and disadvantages for each world region, we want to quickly review the many reasons why you should consider outsourcing your fashion manufacturing.

  • Reduced Labour Costs: British workers must be paid the federal minimum wage, which at the moment (April 2014) is £6.50. Unfortunately, these costs get funnelled directly to you when you work with a UK manufacturer. When you outsource instead, however, you get to deal with manufacturers that aren’t limited by such regulations. As a result, you incur lower costs.

  • Reduced Overhead Costs: Manufacturers must also contend with costs for electricity, gasoline, water, etc. And not surprisingly, the costs for these utilities are much higher in the UK than they are in countries/regions like China and India, to name a few.

  • Improved Quality: This may surprise you, but many offshore manufacturers offer even better quality products than their onshore counterparts. Why? They have been manufacturing for decades. Furthermore, because of the reduced costs in their respective countries, they have more money to dedicate to quality assurance.

  • Reduced Risk: Outsourcing can also result in reduced risks, assuming you do it right. The key lies in outsourcing your manufacturing to SEVERAL offshore suppliers and manufacturers. This case you have backup solutions available immediately in case something goes wrong, e.g., a manufacturer suddenly goes out of business.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With China?

 

China represents the largest exporter of textile goods in the world. In fact, the Chinese manufacturer Esquel just happens to be the largest producer of standard cotton t-shirts, with yearly output levels exceeding 60 million.

 

Unfortunately, China is not as up to date on trends and fashion as it should be. Suffice it to say, it’s better at producing sportswear and technical garments than it is at producing genuinely fashionable items.

 

One great benefit to China, however, is that it offers incredible prices courtesy its incredibly low labour and overhead costs. Keep in mind that workers in China are starting to call for better working conditions and wages. As this movement continues (which it should), the prices will likely increase.

 

Other things to know about China include the fact that its manufacturing firms tend to be extraordinary large. Also, it’s lead times tend to be extraordinarily long. The average time is 90 days, excluding 30 days of freight. Plus, Chinese manufacturers demand high minimum order quantities (MOQs) in the 1000 to 10,000 range.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Bangladesh/Pakistan?

 

Bangladesh and Pakistan offer some of the lowest prices in the textile industry. This is because while 38% of the entire work force in this region is involved in textiles, a large majority of that workforce is compromised of unskilled labourers. Plus, these countries rely on poor material handling techniques and outdated equipment.

 

Because of these factors, the quality of goods from Bangladesh and Pakistan is that all that great. Suffice it to say, it’s not a good idea to use one of these two countries for more sophisticated designs.

 

Other things to know is that the lead time from this region is as bad as the lead time from China. Plus, the MOQs are just as high.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With India?

 

Let’s start with some basics. India offers mid-level MOQs and long production lead times. Furthermore, its prices are lower than that of China, but not as low as that of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

 

India also lacks when it comes to sophisticated fashion items, though it does perform well with hand-based items (think beads).

 

Keep in mind that India contains a rich base of raw materials. Plus, its workers are able to handle a variety of materials, from cotton to wol, silk and jute.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Italy?

 

Italy has really nice MOQs and a decent freight time of 60 days, including 10 days freight. Also, Italy is equipped to produce high-quality fashion items, from blouses to dresses, suits and more. Plus, the Italian people themselves are very appreciative of aesthetics. It shows in their work!

 

Italy also happens to be a first world country. As a result, it makes sure to enforce fair working practices. This means that its manufacturers must contend with much higher labour and overhead costs, which in turn means that the prices for goods are significantly higher in Italy than they are in its Far East and Southeast peers.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Turkey?

 

Turkey represents the best of the best, and for many good reasons:

  • It hosts a quick and powerful production capacity courtesy.
  • It offers relatively cheap labour (workers earn £1.47 per hour).
  • It’s lead time is only 60 days, including 10 days freight.
  • It follows all international environmental standards.
  • It’s known for fairly low MOQs around 100 to 300.
  • It utilizes a unified monetary policy.

Plus, Turkish manufacturers can make anything, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, jeans, knitwear and more. All of these can be had at prices that aren’t as low as China, but that surely aren’t as high as Italy either! This makes Turkey the perfect middle-of-the-ground region for textile manufacturers.

 

Is There Anything Else To Know?

 

There is a lot more to know. If you are serious about outsourcing, make sure you take the time to learn a lot more about the region that most interests you. Do not just trust our summary. You need to be equipped with as much knowledge as possible if you want a chance in hell of succeeding in this very tough industry!

The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer

One of the biggest stigmas that has dogged the clothing industry – and continues to do so – is the plight of the international garment worker. Indeed, there have been scores of reports and documentaries conducted from news outlets the world over that highlights how rough the conditions at a garment factory can get. These conditions are succinctly summarized by the catch-all phrase “sweat shop,” and it has given rise to the notion that the world of the garment factory is somewhat lawless and immune to various practices and procedures that would otherwise keep them in order.

 

However, such mindset ignores the fact more and more garment factories around the world are moving forward to implementing ethical trading practices at a perpetually growing rate, complete with granting worker’s rights which include legal benefits.

A Look at Ethical Trading

 

Ethical trading as it exists in the garment factory worker environment is dictated by what is known as the Ethical Trading Initiative, also known as ETI. This particular initiative is a critical alliance of companies, trade unions, and voluntary organizations armed with the singular goal of improving the lives of poor and vulnerable workers from around the world, including those who toil within the garment factory business.

 

The term ethical trade means that the retailers, brands, and their suppliers of goods such as garments work together and take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the very people that create the products that are sold worldwide. Most of the workers that this mindset touches are employed by supplier companies all throughout the globe, but with a special concentration in poor countries where the employee protection laws that would otherwise be in place in other parts of the globe are either inadequate or outright ignored.

 

The companies that adhere to the precepts of ethical trade adopt a code of labor practice. This particular code comes with the expectations that the garment factory that they do business with also adhere to this code. The code itself addresses several major issues that have been known to infamously plague these workers, such as:

  • Work hours
  • Health concerns
  • Safety concerns
  • Wages
  • The right to join free trade unions

The benefit of working with garment factories in Turkey is that they fall under and abide by EU law. What this means is that, unlike places such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, you won’t find any child labour. Furthermore, Turkish garment factories boast some of the best working conditions in the world. It is one of Fashion Design Solutions’s top priorities to ensure any factory or distributor we work with follows ethical trading rules and is audited regularly… we do not support unethical practices!

 

The Purpose of Ethical Trade

 

In essence, the inherent purpose ethical trade is to provide a streamlined way in which companies that want to do business with supply chains can tackle uneasy issues in a unified way. This sort of unionized alliance will provide multiple resources that will allow for an easier means to deal with a supplier who, for example, ignores the notion of a living wage or routinely deploys children in the workplace.

 

Ultimately, the purpose of ethical trade is to bring about positive change for the workers whose rights have routinely been ignored. These rights, ranging from improvements in health and safety to the reduction of child labor and excessive overtime, are in place to create a fairer labor environment. On a larger scale, these rights seek to allow companies that use these garment factories as a means of supply the ability to conduct business with these entities without fear of unearthing unpleasant working conditions that may otherwise run counter to their own company ethics.

 

Ethical Trade and Ethical Consumerism

 

Perhaps the biggest impetus behind ethical trade from a business standpoint is to lessen the impact of ethical consumerism that may be brought about in the wake of a company unwittingly working with an unscrupulous supplier that does not promote ethical work environments.

 

In essence, the term ethical consumerism (also known as ethical consumption, moral purchasing, or green consumerism) is a type of consumer-based activism that is primarily based on a concept known as pound voting. This term is defined more or less as the process in which consumers give approval to a company through their own purchasing power. If a consumer does not like the practices of a particular company, they will not buy a product associated with that company. This act of indirect activism extends peripherally in the garment world; if a company does business with a supplier that is shown to conduct unethical business practices, the consumer may cease to do business with the company until the association with the company that is deemed to be unethical is severed. While this concept of activism may not be widespread enough to cause the downfall of a major corporation, it can have a negative impact on a smaller company’s bottom line. As a result of this, it is essential that any smaller sized company take a good, long look at a supply company and see what their actual policies are, lest they potentially pay a hefty price.

 

A Long Way to Go

 

Despite the inroads that ethical trade organizations have made in getting garment factories to conform to more morally favorable conditions in the workplace, it must be noted that conditions for many workers in this industry the world over remain startlingly poor. Researchers have determined that some principles that are fundamental to the rest of globe, such as a worker’s rights to join a trade union and negotiate as a cohesive collective, are still not addressed sufficiently. The research has also derived that several areas that can be linked to a worker’s rights, such as the right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination, are not being met. Furthermore, there are still reports of workers not receiving wages that are sufficient enough to keep up with the increased price points of essentials for modern living, such as food and fuel.

 

As such, it is clear that the ethical trade movement still has plenty of steps that must be taken in order to eradicate the scourge of an unfair and unscrupulous work environment. That said, there have been plenty of signs that the initiatives that have been put forth by organizations that seek to remove unethical conditions in the workplace have been making a significant impact in the garment factory industry; so much so, one could remain hopeful in their goal of eradicating these unethical practices for good.

What to look out for when looking for a clothing factory

The act of finding a good clothing factory to assemble your clothes is one of the more critical steps that you can take. The ability to make a quality product is an important metric to measure a clothing factory, of course, but there is so much more to the process of finding the right one than merely discovering that they make a pretty good shirt or dress. They have to be efficient with their production. They have to have the reputation as being a trusted business partner. And above all else, they must operate under the guise of being an ethical company with a reputation for treating their employees fairly and equitably.

 

Because of this, finding a clothing factory that will fit your needs can be a tough challenge if you want to find one that matches your needs ideally. And while there are not any real shortcuts as to how this can be accomplished, there are a few guidelines that are in place that should be able to make the process of finding a factory to fit your needs much more streamlined.

 

Getting to Know Them

 

The most important thing that you can do when researching for a proper factory is to dive as deep as you possibly can into the company’s reputation and practices. In order to do this, you cannot merely take whatever is stated on their website at face value. Obviously, whatever is on their home page or the “About Us” section of the page is going to sound great and flowery, and there could very well be some truth to whatever they are saying. However, it would be a grave mistake to just base your search on that metric alone.

 

Instead, you can use the Internet to dig into some research regarding the company’s true reputation, and not just the reputation that they try and paint on their website. Some of the ways in which you can do this include:

 

  • Visit product review sites – There are a host of professional websites that are devoted to breaking down the pluses and minuses of a company or a product in a manner that is factual and objective. These reviews will give you a general understanding on the factory’s strengths and weaknesses as a whole.
  • Visit customer-driven review sites – It is true that everyone has an opinion, and no more is this evident than the various review sites that are solely driven by consumer opinion. These sites will feature the occasional review that has to be looked at as over-the-top or exaggerated – remember, everyone has an opinion, even the ones that aren’t the best informed – but taken together, you should have a general idea as to how the clothing factory operates from the perspective of customers that have actually used their services, including ones that have used them extensively.
  • Ask around – If you are in the clothing business, chances are you know other people that are in the clothing business. As such, it would behoove you to talk to them to see if they have any record of working with a particular company, and if so, what their experience was like. If they did, they will be able to give you an honest opinion that can be broken down on a level that you may be able to understand implicitly.
  • Follow up on testimonies – When you do visit the company’s website, and if they have various testimonies plastered on the page lauding the company for their services, don’t just take their printed comments at face value. Follow up with them to see what compelled them to make the statements, and how their experience truly compared to the experience that is implied through the website’s verbiage. If there is a major discrepancy between what is written and what is said, that should give you an idea on how forthright the company actually is.

Dropping By

 

In addition to surfing the web and talking with fellow people in the industry, you can take your research to the ultimate level by taking a visit to the actual clothing factory. This can prove to be the most difficult step in the research process – if you are an upstart or small business, you may not have the financial means needed in order to pay a visit to a company if it happens to be halfway across the globe. However, if you can swing it, there is truly no better way to get a feel for how a company truly operates, from their overall business practices to the way in which they treat their employees. Seeing operational tactics and working conditions up close and personal may make the difference between you going with a company and looking elsewhere.

 

Fashion Design Solutions

 

You may be able to forge a key partnership with a local supplier such as Fashion Design Solutions; one that not only has access to quality clothes, but understands the market that you are in on a more intimate level than a company that is thousands of miles away. It is critical that you make sure that you do plenty of research before you pull the trigger on finding the company that is right for you. It will take a good chunk of time if you do things properly; however, the time that it takes at the beginning of the stage has the potential to save you a lot of business-related grief down the road.

8 Reasons Why You Should Choose Turkish Clothing Manufacturers For Your Business

The world is brimming with clothing manufacturers from the likes of China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Italy, Turkey and numerous other countries and we have conducted an in-depth review of each country here. So which country should you choose to do business with? If you’re an amateur, you might be tempted to spin a pinwheel and hope for the best. However, we have another idea. We recommend you choose Turkish clothing manufacturers. Why? Read on to understand!

Background: Turkish Clothing History

Textile production started in Turkey back during the Ottoman period between the late 1200s and early 1600s. It wasn’t until the mid 1920s that Turkey elevated itself into a major player in the textile industry. These days, Turkey exports over £6 billion in textile goods every year. These good are produced by a variety of manufacturers — some small, some large. There are in fact over 11,000 individual manufacturers producing clothing goods in Turkey alone.

Reason 1: Powerful Production Capacity

Turkey excels in the production of yarn and woven fabric. This production is due in large part to huge investments that were made in the mid 1900s. Between the early and late 1900s, production of just yarn grew from 670,000 tonnes to a whopping 1.92 million tonnes. Similar growth spurts occurred with wool, cotton yawn and synthetic yawn (polyester, acrylics, viscose, etc.)

Turkey also keeps a very abundant supply of raw materials handy. For instance, it’s the sixth largest producer of common. It falls behind only the U.S., China, India, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

The point is that a Turkish clothing manufacturer is not apt to ever run out of raw materials and fabrics!

Turkish Clothing Manufacturers

Reason 2: Cheap Labor

According to Werner International, average wage rates in the Turkish clothing industry hover around £1.47 per hour. This is admittedly significantly higher than rates in China (£0.26), India (£0.29) and elsewhere. However, it is still much cheaper than hiring UK employees.

The point is that you would save bundles of money by outsourcing your manufacturing to a manufacturer in Turkey.

Reason 3: Fast Transportation

Turkey’s geographic location lends itself toward relatively fast transportation times. This means you wind up spending less to get your goods transported all the way from Turkey to your office or retail outlet in the United Kingdom. In fact, Turkey’s lead times are significantly shorter than those for its competitors from other countries. Based on our own experiences, the average lead time is 60 days, including 10 days of freight travel.

The point is that you’ll save time and money on transportation costs if you rely on a Turkish clothing manufacturer.

Reason 4: National Focus (Passion)

In Turkey, the textile industry makes up a very large chuck of its economy. In fact, the country employers almost 1 million workers throughout tens and thousands of textile companies. Furthermore, textiles make up almost a quarter of all its exports.

The point is that the Turkish people are very passionate about textiles, and passion should count when looking for a manufacturer.

Reason 5: Environmental Safety

Turkey is one of a select few countries that mandates that all its textile manufacturers comply with internationally accepted environmental standards. As an example, unlike many Far East and Asian countries, Turkey bans the use of carcinogenic dyes. This results in more environmentally safe products.

The point is that Turkey is serious about protecting the environment, and this is a definite talking point that you can use in your sales copy.

Reason 6: Low MOQ’s

When you’re first starting out in the business, you’re not really interested in buying in bulk quantities of 1000, 10,000 or even 100,000. Not only is it not feasible on your budget, but it’s also full of risk. It’s much better to take the time to slowly build your way up to those levels. Along the way, you’ll find out if the manufacturer is able to maintain quality with the quantity.

It just so happens that Turkish clothing manufacturers offer some of the lowest ‘minimum order quantity’ (MOQ) rates in the world. We’re talking MOQ’s as low as 100 to 300, which is pretty amazing for this industry!

The point is that Turkey is much better suited for fashion designers and artists who are just starting out and thus not interested in bulk orders.

Reason 7: Plenty Of Options

Turkey manufacturers rank higher than many of its admittedly cheaper Far East competitors because they offer a wider selection of goods. In particular, Turkish clothing manufacturers can make t-shirts, sweaters, dress shirts, jackets, jeans, knitwear and more. Furthermore, these goods are offered at very reasonable rates.

The point is that Turkey is equipped to handle the type of ‘fancy’ gear people are accustomed to in first world countries.

Reason 8: Unified Monetary Policies

Some countries suffer from a severe case of divided government. Take Australia for instance. Each of its individual states and territories abide by a plethora of different rules and regulations. This makes conducting business with Australia a genuine pain in the you know what.

Turkey, on the other hand, utilizes monetary policies and banking systems that are uniform throughout the whole nation. This means that it doesn’t matter where in Turkey a manufacturer is located, because the rules will still remain the exact same.

The point is that dealing with Turkey is much easier than dealing with countries where each province, state or territory hosts its own rules.

Final Thoughts: Choose Turkish Clothing Manufacturers

We realize that some of you might still be stuck on the wages. They are admittedly higher than the wages in many Far East countries. However, please keep all the other benefits in mind:

  • An exemplary production capacity.
  • Short lead times.
  • Environmental standards.
  • Low minimum order quantities.
  • Diverse options.
  • Unified financial policies.

Overall, you are going to be much better off if you choose Turkey. If you’re outsourcing, you’re already taking a big risk by putting your trust in entities that exist outside of your border and thus outside of your government’s jurisdiction. So if you are going to take a risk, why not minimize your risk by going with a country that ranks miles ahead of its competitors?

The Art of Finding the Right Clothing Manufacturers

We’re all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase “clothes make the man.” But what about the people that make the clothes? If you are a business owner that is looking to sell clothes to the masses, finding clothing manufacturers that you can trust from a business and a quality perspective is an essential part of finding success within the industry. Of course, if you don’t have a whole lot of experience, this could be easier said than done. As anyone in the industry can tell you, the world of clothing manufacturers can be a rather unscrupulous place, as it is rife with various businesses cobbling together poorly constructed goods as well as scammers looking to rip people off. It may be enough to intimidate the newbie into thinking twice about opening up a shop that sells clothes.

 

However, finding the right clothing manufacturer is not all doom and gloom. The road to finding a good, trustworthy company that will provide you with quality clothing – and ultimately, a rock steady business relationship between you and your customers – is a path that can easily be walked upon. It just takes an adherence to a few basic rules.

 

Steps to Take When Finding a Clothing Manufacturer

 

The first step that you must take is something that, in a way, occurs before you even begin to sift through clothing manufacturers to find the items that fit your needs. Everything you do must be done with a great measure of diligence, which is brought about putting together a specific strategy and sticking to it from start to finish. Keep in mind that the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to affect your business and its profitability in the long run. Not having a well thought out battle plan at the ready – or even worse, wavering from that plan once you get the ball rolling on things – could have a profoundly negative impact on the bottom line of your business.

 

Of course, there are a few key elements that must be in play regardless of what strategy you decide to deploy. For example, you need to clearly define who your clientele is going to be, and how the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to reach out to that clientele. If you own a little boutique store on the coast and are surrounded by surfers and beach-going families, you are probably not going to be all that successful selling flannels and work boots. Conversely, you aren’t going to sell a whole lot of beachwear all year round if you live in a mountainous range or if you live in a place that has definitive seasons.

 

Another important task is to get yourself completely assured of the clothing manufacturer’s reputation. This is a critical step for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would behoove you to make sure that the company that you are working with is not in the habit of acting unscrupulous or shady. Secondly, working with a clothing manufacturer that has a poor reputation may make some of your more industry-savvy customers a little gun shy in doing business with you. Both reasons could end up making your business less profitable.

 

In order to ensure that you are working with a clothing manufacturer is on the up and up, you need to do a little more than just check their website. The company page is undoubtedly going to tell you what they want you to know, so you need to do a little digging. This can be accomplished by performing the following tasks:

  • Check what other people are saying – There are plenty of other websites that are out there that will go beyond what the manufacturers’ website is saying. Because of this, you should go elsewhere online and check various reviews that may have been written about the company and its standards and practices.
  • Follow up on website accolades – If the company has testimonies listed somewhere on their site, follow up with the people and companies that gave such web-based praise and dive a little deeper into what those words actually mean.
  • Pay a visit to the factory where the goods are being made – If at all possible, you should try and visit the factory where the clothes are being made. Getting a distinctive visual as to how the clothes are constructed will go a long way into helping you decide how ethical and forthright the company truly is on a business level and on an employer level.

 

Also consider that some manufacturers will have niches they excell at, so look for the right leisurewear manufacturer is athleisure is what you are making. The same applies for dedicated streetwear manufacturers.

 

Other Important Tips

 

Another thing that you may want to consider as you try to find a clothing manufacturer that works for you is to find a few local companies that you may be able to feature in your store. Keeping things local is a big selling point in plenty of other business ventures, so it stands to reason that a similar motif would play very well in the world of clothing design. A local manufacturer may have a solid pulse on the likes and dislikes of your potential clientele even before you stock their stores with their wares, so featuring them in your store could enable you to reach out to your surrounding area in a more personalized manner; something that may not be as readily possible if you look beyond local borders.

 

But perhaps the biggest thing you can do on your quest to finding the right clothing manufacturer for your store is to reside yourself to the fact that it won’t be easy. Yes, you could strike gold immediately and find the perfect manufacturer, but these types of scenarios are few and far between. The actual work involved is uncomplicated on the surface, but the likely probability of you needing to research several companies in order to find just the right one is a process that can be time-consuming. However, if you manage to remain patient throughout the process, you will most likely find the clothing manufacturer that speaks to the soul of your business, and ultimately, your customers.