Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Do I require design?
  • Regardless of your collection size or product type(s) all factories require a Technical Specification Pack (Tech Pack) in order to produce your Initial samples.
  • Unless you have already had your ‘Tech Packs’ developed, you will require some design work.
  • How much design work you may require is subject to what information you may or may not already have. For example;
    • Some customers have no design work at all & require us to help design their entire collection (including ‘Tech Packs’ for each of their products).
    • Some customers already have sketches or computer aided designs (CADs) of their products however we will still to develop a ‘Tech Pack’ for each product.
    • Some customers already have reference samples of their products however we will still to develop a ‘Tech Pack’ for each product.
  • Only if you already have ‘Tech Packs’ for each of your products will you not need any design work.
  • If you already have ‘Tech Packs’ we will need to inspect them to ensure they include all the information we require.
What is a ‘Tech Pack’?
  • Think of a ‘Tech Pack’ like a blueprint of your product. It includes not only the drawing of your product, it includes all the technical specification to the product as well; construction drawings, fabric & colour information, reference images, size measurements, print & embroidery sizes & positions, labels & trims. It’s the entire specification of a product that a factory would need in order to produce a sample.
  • Every fashion, clothing or footwear designer will create their ‘Tech Packs’ in a different way (every designer has their own handwriting or preference in how to display the information). Whilst each designer’s tech pack might be laid out differently, they generally all include the same information (i.e. product drawings, construction drawings, fabric & colour information, reference images, size measurements, print & embroidery sizes & positions, labels & trims, bill-of-materials, etc.)
  • Examples of some tech packs we’ve developed in the past can be found here (all examples are low resolution, flattened & watermarked; these are only to provide an example);
What is the general design process?
  • Initially we will need to discuss your ideas to understand your collection size & product types. We also need to know if any logos, graphics, labels, trims or packaging are required.
  • Based on the size or your collection size, product types & possible additional requirements, we will work out what design work is required and how much time we believe it will take.
  • We will then formalise a fixed fee quotation for you based on the time we believe it will take to deliver on your project.
  • Once the project is approved & design invoice settled, we will secure a start date for your project. One of our designers will make contact with you to discuss in detail your collection & design ideas to ensure we understand everything in full.
  • Our designers will then start by drawing up your products as well as designing any logos, graphics or packaging you may also require.
  • These designs will then be summitted to you for your comments & approvals.
  • Our designers will re-submit any changes and amendments to your products as many times as is required to seek your approval of the collection.
  • Once you are entirely happy with the collection & have approved everything, we will then proceed to developing a ‘Tech Pack’ for each of your products.
  • The design process will conclude once the ‘Tech Packs’ for all your products have been created, we’ve received your approval & you’re happy the ‘Tech Packs’ are ready to pass into the Sampling stage.
How do I get my design ideas across to you?
  • Some customers are very specific & know exactly what they want, but they may require a professional to draw their products.
  • Some customers are more ambiguous & have general ideas, but they may require to lean on us for advice & trends.
  • Some customers provide back-of-a-napkin sketches.
  • Some customers provide computer aided design (CAD’s).
  • Some customers provide photo references.
  • Some customers provide physical reference samples.
  • Some customers provide written briefs.
  • Some customers provide a combination of the above.
  • The point is, no matter how good (or not) your drawing skills are, no matter how you feel most comfortable supplying your ideas, we have seen it all!
  • Ultimately, however you supply your design ideas, we can then interpret them & design your collection.
How much will the design stage cost?
  • We quote design costs based on time.
  • Based on your collection size, product types & additional requirements we will work out how much time we expect it to take to complete your collection. We will then quote you a fixed fee amount based on our estimation of time & how long we think it will take to deliver your collection.
  • As a general rule of thumb, we usually estimate the following;
    • T-Shirts, Sweatshirts & Hoodies (or similar) = 3-4hrs
    • Jeans, Trousers & Bags (or similar) = 4-5hrs
    • Jackets & Footwear (or similar) = 5-6hrs
    • Graphics (depending on size & complexity) = 1-6hrs
    • Logos, Branding & Packaging (or similar) = 1-3hrs
  • The time we quote will include the entire design process; from the product drawings, detailed construction drawings (where applicable), comments & approvals, amendments & changes, and ultimately a full Tech Pack ready for sampling.
  • Our standard design rates are £50/hr +VAT however we offer discounts on this amount subject to collection size or other services we might supply you. For example;
    • If a customer takes x1 additional service from us we can offer a 20% discount off our standard rates, from £50/hr to £40/hr
    • If a customer takes x2 additional services from us we can offer a 40% discount off our standard rates, from £50/hr to £35/hr
      • Additional services are considered to be;
      • Please note, we initially charge on our standard rate of £50/hr regardless what other services may be taken at a later date. We will then credit any design discounts based on future subsequent invoicing of additional services.
    • Therefore, to formalise a design quote for you, we first need to ascertain your collection size, product types and any additional design requirement you might have (ie. Logo’s, Graphics or Packaging).
    • Once we have this information, we can then formalise you a fix fee quotation for delivering upon your design project based on an estimation of time we believe it will take.
    • As an example, if we had a customer looking for a collection of 5 products including x2 t-shirts, x1 hoodie, x1 jogger, x1 short & x1 logo the quotation might be somethings like the below;
      • x2 T-shirts @3hrs each = 6hrs
      • x1 Hoodie @3hrs each = 3hrs
      • x1 Jogger @3hrs each = 3hrs
      • x1 Short @3hrs each = 3hrs
      • x1 Logo @1.5hrs each = 1.5hrs
      • TOTAL = 16.5hrs
      • 16.5hrs @£50/hr = £825
      • Discount @ 20% = £165
        (discount subject to customer taking x1 additional service, i.e. Sampling & Production)
        (discount will be actioned on subsequent additional service invoices)
      • TOTAL = £660 +VAT
What are the design payment terms?
  • We are proud to say we’re extremely busy! Our design lead time to start any new products range from 7-14 days in advance (depending on time of year & other projects we have on).
  • Therefore, we require design invoices settled in full and in advance of starting any projects.
  • Once the invoice is paid, this will secure your design slot. Our designers will make contact with you prior to the project commencing to discuss in detail your ideas to ensure they have understood everything before starting your project.
How long does the design process take?
  • Due to how busy we are, our project start dates usually run 7-14 days in advance, therefore please try to ensure you book your design slot in advance.
  • Once we have confirmed your project start date, we will then start the design of your collection & send to you for approval.
  • How long the design process will take is highly dependent on the number of products in your collection as well as the approval process & the time it takes to seek all the sign-offs we require.
  • Whilst we quote a project based on an estimation of time it will take, not all the design work is done at one time. For example, we might quote 3hrs to design a t-shirt. That might break down to 1hr of initial design work, 1hr of comment changes & finally 1hr of tech pack development. Therefore the 3hrs will be spaced out depending on comments & approvals.
  • As a general rule of thumb (and highly dependent on your collection size), once we reach your projects start date & your project commences, then on average, it usually takes 1-3 weeks to complete a project.
Do I own my designs?
  • On the assumption invoices are paid for in full, then “yes” you own the Intellectual Property in those designs.
  • Only if invoices have not been settled would any Intellectual Property in design work produced by us remain our property until such time any outstanding invoices are settled.
  • More information on our Terms & Conditions and Intellectual Property can be found here.
Will my design ideas be shared with others?
  • Absolutely not! We never share customers design ideas with others without first seeking your approval first. For example, we may request to use your design work as portfolio work to show others however we would seek your approval first if you’re happy for us to do so.
  • If you are at all concerned about sharing your design ideas, we can also provide you with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to be signed by both parties to ensure your ideas are safe & won’t be shared.
Do I have an obligation to use you for sampling & production?
  • “No”, there is no obligation to use us for the sampling & manufacturing of your products.
  • If you just need to use us for our design services that is entirely fine.
  • Once we’ve completed your design project and have provided the ‘Tech Packs’ for each of your products, those ‘Tech Packs’ can be taken to any clothing manufacturer or footwear factory. They will include all the information any factory could use to produce your Initial samples.
  • Therefore, should our sampling or sourcing services not be suitable for you, on the assumption our invoices have been settled in full, you are entirely within your rights to take your ‘Tech Packs’ to any other supplier of your choice.
  • Of course it is in our interest to keep you as an ongoing customer and this why we offer discounts on our rates to keep you with us, but you have no obligation to do so.
What is the purpose of the sampling process?
  • Regardless if we’ve designed your collection or you’ve had your collection designed elsewhere, we will require a ‘Tech Pack’ for each of your products (If you do not have a ‘Tech Pack’, please see the “Design FAQ” above).
  • The product type, likely ultimate production quantity, fabric type, ideal delivery date & target cost price will all dictate the best production region for your products.
  • We have tried, tested & trusted factories worldwide & will discuss this with you to ascertain the best likely production region for your products.
  • We will initially have your products costed to provide you with a unit price of each product.
  • Assuming the unit costs are workable in principle (subject to seeing a sample) we can then proceed into Initial sampling of your products.
  • An initial sample will be produced, turning your 2D design into a 3D garment you can fit, test & wear for the very first time.
  • Once your Initial sample arrives, we will work with you on any comments or changes you might have.
  • You then have a choice to make;
    • A) Proceed to placing & committing to a bulk production order. This does not mean the physical production will start. It only means you’re making a commitment to the order. Subsequent Pre-Production sampling will then commence to refine your products & seek all the approvals required. As you will have committed to a bulk production order, all subsequent Pre-Production sampling is free of charge. Only once all approvals have been sought, will the physical bulk production commence.
    • B) If you are not ready to commit to a bulk production order, then you may wish to request a Resubmit Initial sample. Due to there being no order commitment, Resubmit Initial sampling would also be chargeable. Also due to there being no order commitment, any Resubmit Initial samples are still subject to the same limitations over fabric, colour, label & trim availability of the first Initial sample.
  • The process of Initial, Resubmit Initial, Pre-Production & Resubmit Pre-Production sampling can continue as many times as required until such time all the approvals required have been sought to proceed into the physical bulk production.
  • At each sample stage we’ll work with you on the official comments required to refine & approve your products.
  • Only once all approvals have been signed-off, will the physical bulk production start.
What is the difference between an ‘Initial’ sample & a ‘Pre-Production’ sample?
  • An Initial sample is the name for any sample produced before committing to and placing a bulk production order.
    • If multiple samples are required before committing to a bulk production order, these are called Resubmit Initial samples.
  • A Pre-Production sample (also called a PP sample) is any sample produced after committing to and placing a bulk production order.
    • If multiple samples are required after committing to a bulk production order but before the physical bulk production, these are called Resubmit Pre-Production samples.
  • Due to Initial samples being produced before any order commitment there are limitations in what can be produced. For example;
    • In some cases, specialist fabrics might not be available. In most cases fabrics are readily available however in some special cases an exact fabric match might not be possible. Should this be an issue a substitute similar fabric might be used. We would always endeavour to alert you in advance should a substitute fabric be required.
      • A good example of this might be a wick moisture absorbing material. This may not be readily available at Initial sample stage and therefore a substitute fabric might be used without the wick moisture absorbing properties.
    • In some cases, a fabric might be available, but an exact colour might not be available. Should this be an issue a substitute similar colour might be used. We would always endeavour to alert you in advance should a substitute colour be required, and we’d always try to use the next nearest available colour.
      • A good example of this might be a product in a particular red pantone colour. If this pantone cannot be exactly matched, a similar available red might be used.
    • During Initial sampling stage, as there’s no bulk order commitment, then Initial samples will not include any branded labels or trims. To be able to produce branded labels & trims requires an order commitment. Generic un-branded labels & trims will be used during Initial sampling. In some cases, if labels & trims are specifically required it may be possible to develop them however this will likely result in a higher sampling cost.
    • In some cases, as there’s no bulk order commitment, Initial samples may be submitted in parts. For example, one fully stitched sample for fit, a fabric swatch for fabric approval, a fabric swatch for colour approval, prints and embroideries on fabric swatches. Think of it like a recipe of elements for individual approval which will later be combined together into a more finished sample.
    • Where possible we always try to ensure Initials are as accurate as possible however the main purpose of the sampling procedure is to secure all the individual approvals required to secure the bulk order which subsequent Pre-Production sampling will refine your products into a finished article.
  • Once a bulk order has been placed & committed to, this does not mean the physical bulk production will start. Subsequent Pre-Production sampling will be undertaken to refine your products & to seek all the approvals required to enter into the physical bulk production.
  • Pre-Production sampling will generally be much more accurate to your final products than Initial sampling. Due to having committed to a bulk order, your bulk fabric can be ordered & dyed, your branded labels & trims can be developed, your Pre-Production samples will have any comments from your Initial samples actioned. Therefore, Pre-Production samples tend to be far more accurate & a representation of your final production however are still subject to comments & approvals.
What if I need another sample?
  • This is precisely the purpose of sampling. In the early stages of sample development, it’s highly likely the product won’t be exactly correct. The purpose of going through the sampling stages is to develop & then subsequently refine your products. It is also to help weed out any potential production issues later to ensure your final bulk production is correct. If 100% of samples were 100% correct first time, there would be no need for the sampling procedure & we’d just go straight to bulk production.
  • The reality is, from experience, no matter how comprehensive a ‘Tech Pack’ might be its highly likely you will need multiple sample rounds; be that due to a misinterpretation of the design, be that a fit or styling change from the original specification, be that due to an unforeseen issue with the original design or be that simply a diversion from the original design.
  • The purpose of the first Initial sample is the first attempt to turn your 2D design into a 3D garment for you to fit, wear & comment on. It’s highly unlikely the first Initial sample will be perfect & therefore it’s highly likely you’ll want to see another sample.
  • The purpose of the first Initial sample is not necessarily to make a 100% perfect first sample. Due to no bulk order commitment, there are limitations with Initial sampling of fabric, colour, label & trim availability.
  • The purpose of the first Initial is to supply a sample for you to make comments on.
  • The purpose of the first Initial sample is to help secure the bulk production order commitment.
  • Subsequent to the bulk order commitment, further Pre-Production sampling will be undertaken to refine your products which will be much closer to your final products. Due to there being an order commitment your bulk fabrics can be ordered, fabrics dyed to the correct colours, branded labels & trims developed & comments actioned from your Initial samples. It is therefore more usual for Pre-Production samples to be much closer to your final product than Initial samples.
  • When you receive your first Initial sample, it my not be perfect, you may have comments or changes to action but you have a decision to make;
    • A) Proceed to placing & committing to a bulk production order. This does not mean the physical production will start. It only means you’re making a commitment to the order. Subsequent Pre-Production sampling will then commence to refine your products & seek all the approvals required. As you will have committed to a bulk production order, all subsequent Pre-Production sampling is free of charge. Only once all approvals have been sought, will the physical bulk production commence.
    • B) If you are not ready to commit to a bulk production order, then you may wish to request a Resubmit Initial sample. Due to there being no order commitment, Resubmit Initial sampling would also be chargeable. Also due to there being no order commitment, any Resubmit Initial samples are still subject to the same limitations over fabric, colour, label & trim availability of the first Initial sample.
What sizes can I have my samples produced in?
  • We can produce your samples in any individual size you wish however, samples can only be produced in one size. For example, you could request your samples in Small, Medium, Large or X-Large (whatever size you want) however, we could not produce samples in multiple sizes.
  • The reason for this is that during sampling stages we will produce the patterns for your products based on one size only. Only once we have sought all the required approvals & have confirmed the fits & styling of your products would we then go onto to developing the pattern pieces for all the other sizes. Therefore, it’s not possible to make patterns for all the different sizes before we’ve sought approval on fit & styling as otherwise if there’s a comment change, all the patterns across all the sizes need to be continually changed.
  • We would always recommend choosing a sample size you have easy access to be able to fit & comment on. Be that your personal size, a friend’s size or a model’s size, you will need to fit & wear the samples to give comments so samples should always be made in a size you have easy access to fit & check.
Can I have multiple samples produced of the same product?
  • The main purpose of sampling is to seek the approvals required to move into bulk production. The sampling process is not there just to make multiple samples of the same product.
  • Where possible we will try to accommodate any sampling requests for multiple samples however it’s not always possible & even if it is, may carry an additional sampling cost.
  • Even if multiple samples of the same product can be supplied, they can only be supplied in one size. Please see “What sizes can I have my samples produced in?”
I have a photoshoot; can I get a sample produced in time?
  • We get asked this question a lot. We fully appreciate customers need samples for their website or marketing photoshoots. We will try to accommodate samples for photoshoots wherever possible. That said however;
  • The main purpose of sampling is to seek the approvals required to move into bulk production. The sampling process is not there to specifically make samples for photoshoots.
  • Initial samples cannot usually be used for photoshoots, they are the initial attempt(s) at producing your products & tend to be limited by fabric & colour availability, as well as not having any branded labels & trims, as well as usually having comments & changes needing to be actioned. Therefore, we don’t usually recommend using Initial samples for photoshoots.
  • Pre-Production samples tend to be more accurate & closer to your final production. They will be in the correct fabrics, colours, have branded labels & trims attached, & have any comments actioned from your Initial samples. That said, Pre-Production samples are still subject to comments and therefore may not be entirely accurate to your final production.
  • Whilst we will try to accommodate samples for a photoshoot as much as possible, this is not strictly the purpose of the sampling procedure. Therefore, we always highly recommend that even if you are to use your Initial or Pre-Production samples for a photoshoot, that you wait until they are physically in your hands, you have checked them & are happy that they can be used for a photoshoot before booking anything.
  • We are afraid we cannot be held responsible for any clients that book photoshoots without our knowledge (as our advise would always be to wait until you have the samples in your hands before booking anything) or on the assumption their samples will arrive on a specific date or be 100% perfect. The whole purpose of the sampling procedure is to refine a product through comments & approvals & therefore we can never guarantee the exact delivery date or accuracy of any samples.
Are reference samples required & will I get them back?
  • Alongside a ‘Tech Pack’ we often suggest, where possible, reference samples are also supplied.
  • Whilst a ‘Tech Pack’ is fully compressive, due to distances & language barriers, in some case they can be left up to interpretation. Therefore, alongside a ‘Tech Pack’ we often suggest reference samples are also supplied.
  • Reference samples can be for multiple things. A particular fit you’re trying to replicate, a fabric you like, a label or trim, a construction, styling or stitching detail. From experience, the more reference samples that can be supplied, the more accurate the subsequent sampling will be & the less time it will take to resubmit samples for approval.
  • Any reference samples that are supplied we will endeavour to have returned to you however, we’re afraid, this isn’t always possible.
  • Our factories produce thousands of samples every single month. There are thousands of reference samples also circulating.
  • Reference samples may need to be sent to 3rd parties such as fabric mills to match a fabric type or to a print-house to match a print technique.
  • In some cases, reference samples may need to be cut or un-picked to establish the particular fabric of pattern shape.
  • For this reason, we will always endeavour for any reference samples to be returned but it’s not always possible.
  • Therefore, if you particularly need a reference sample returned we need to be made aware in advance and we’ll do what we can to ensure their safe return where possible but cannot guarantee this.
How much will the sampling stage cost?
  • Our factories produce thousands of samples every single month. Not all of these samples turn into bulk production orders. Therefore;
  • At Initial sample stage, due to there being no order commitment, sampling is chargeable.
  • Any Resubmit Initial sampling is also chartable for the same reason.
  • Sampling costs vary based on product type & country of origin but, as a general rule of thumb Initial sampling costs are as follows;
    • T-Shirts, Sweatshirts & Hoodies (or similar) = £100/sample
    • Jeans & Trousers (or similar) = £150/sample
    • Bags & Jackets (or similar) = £200/sample
    • Footwear (or similar) = £250/sample
      • In addition to the sampling costs, any additional costs are also to be borne by the customer. For example, any courier charges sending samples to & from the factories. For example, any additional accessory or trim costs.
    • Once you’re ready to commit to a bulk production order, all subsequent Pre-Production sampling is free of charge as included in the order value.
    • As an example, if we had a customer looking for a collection of 5 products including x2 t-shirts, x1 hoodie, x1 jean & x1 shoe the quotation for sampling might be something like the below;
      • x2 T-shirts @ £100 each = £200
      • x1 hoodie @ £100 each = £100
      • x1 jean @ £150 each = £150
      • x1 shoe @ £250 each = £250
      • TOTAL = £700 +VAT +Courier or other additional charges
What are the sampling payment terms?
  • Due to having to order fabrics, prepare patterns, produce the initial samples; all sampling charges are required in advance prior to the sampling process starting.
  • Once the sampling invoice has been issued & paid, the samples can then be instructed to start.
How long does the sampling process take?
  • Lead times for sampling can vary hugely based on fabric availability, product type, country of origin & even time of year (factories have busy periods during the year).
  • Sampling can be as quick as 1 week or as long as +6 weeks. As a general rule of thumb we usually estimate 4 weeks are required per sample round (+1 weeks for shipping samples & securing comments).
  • It then depends how many sample rounds are required;
    • Some orders it can be as quick as x1 Initial sample, then order commitment, then x1 Pre-Production sample before proceeding into the physical bulk production.
    • Other customers require x2 Initial samples before committing to a bulk order, then x1 Pre-Production sample before proceeding into the physical bulk production.
    • Other customers require x2 Initial samples, then x2 Pre-Production samples.
  • Every order is different, it just depends how many sample rounds are required to seek all the approvals needed before proceeding into the physical bulk production.
  • On average, most customers require x3 sample rounds & we normally estimate roughly 4 weeks per sample round.
Do I own my samples?
  • “Yes”, you will have paid for your Initial samples, they are yours to do with them as you wish.
Do I have an obligation to place a bulk order?
  • “No”, there is no commitment to place a bulk production order off of your Initial samples.
  • That said, the purpose of Initial sampling is to help secure a bulk production order commitment. We are not solely a sampling company. Whilst we fully expect that some sampling will not turn into bulk orders, we have a duty of care to our factories just as much as to our customers to ensure sampling is likely to turn onto bulk order commitments.
  • Whilst Initial sampling is chargeable, this cost really only covers the raw materials & the time developing the patterns & producing the samples. Neither we, nor our factories make money off of the Initial sampling costs.
  • Therefore, whilst we fully appreciate not all Initial sampling turns into a bulk order, and whilst we fully appreciate you as a customer will have paid for your Initial sampling, and whilst we appreciate it’s your prerogative if you want to commit to a bulk order or not; where possible we need to try to ensure the likely outcome is that the intention to place a bulk order is there from the outset, I’m afraid we cannot take on sampling just for samplings sake.
What are the stages of production?
  • Once your Initial samples has been delivered & commented on you will be ready to place your bulk production order.
  • We will formalise a formal Sales Order for you which will outline all the products you are ordering, alongside the order quantities per style (split into the size ratio’s) & unit costs. The Sales Order will formally set out what you are ordering alongside the order Terms & Conditions. We will require you to check & sign your order.
  • Upon signing your order, we will issue any deposit invoices. Once any deposits are paid, your order can commence.
  • Committing to your bulk order does not mean the physical production necessary starts, what it means is you’ve made an order commitment which will allow your bulk fabrics to be ordered & dyed, your labels & trims developed, & your subsequent Pre-Production sampling to commence.
  • Due to there being an order commitment no further sample charges will apply; all future Pre-Production sampling will be free of charge as included inside the order value.
  • Pre-Production sampling can therefore commence & start to refine your products to seek all the approvals required to start the physical bulk production.
  • Your Pre-Production samples will be far closer to your final product than the previous Initial sampling as they will be produced in every style, in every colour, with branded labels & trims attached & with all comments actioned from your Initial samples; they will be a representation of your final production.
  • We will work with you through the Pre-Production sampling process to help comment & secure all the approvals needed to move into the physical bulk production.
  • In most cases only x1 Pre-Production sample is require before proceeding into the physical bulk production but depending on the product, depending on its complexities and depending on the comments, multiple Pre-Production samples may be required to seek all the approvals necessary.
  • Once all approvals have been sought, your physical bulk production can start.
  • At this stage production planning will be undertaken and a likely timeline & lead times can be ascertained for when your products are likely to be finished & shipped.
  • As a general rule of thumb, from the point we have all approvals required to start the physical bulk production, the production process usually takes 3-6 weeks (subject to product type, fabrics or any special requirements).
  • Ultimately the bulk production will conclude & your products will be put through quality control procedures before packing & boxing ready for shipment.
  • Once your products are ready for shipment a final sample will be sent to you called a Shipment sample.
  • A Shipment sample cannot have comments or changes made, it is pulled from your bulk production and a representation of the finished products. The purpose of the Shipment sample is solely to ensure the final bulk production matches your requirements & to seek approval to ship.
  • Once shipment approval has been given any final production invoices will be raised.
  • Upon payment of the final production invoices, the shipment of your goods can be arranged ready for delivery.
What are the minimum order quantities?
  • Minimum Order Quantities are often referred to as MOQs.
  • The MOQs are highly dependent on the product type, fabric & country of manufacture.
  • It goes without saying, the more you produce the cheaper the unit price will be (economies of scale)
  • Do not let us scare you when we say this (please read on), but factory MOQs tend to start, on average, from 300pcs per style per colour. This does not mean you have to produce 300pcs per style per colour!
  • What it means is that at 300pcs per style per colour the unit prices will achieve full mark-up & margin to RRP.
  • Effectively if you produce less than 300pcs per style per colour, you’re effectively being sur-charged. If you produce more than 300pcs per style per colour, you’re effectively receiving a discount.
  • Therefore, you can produce 200pcs, or even 100pcs per style per colour, if you choose to do so, it will just effect the unit cost.
  • When production quantities go below 100pcs per style per colour, the unit cost tends to jump up considerably.
  • This is because the products can no longer be produced in the factory stitching lines (they need to be stitched in the sampling rooms), the fabrics can no longer be table lazer cut (they have to be hand cut), the fabrics have to be dyed in small sample dye drums, etc. When you go below 100pcs per style per colour, the unit cost jumps up as effectively it’s considered a large sampling run, rather than a production run.
  • Therefore, when you cost the production budget, we tend to find most people start at 100pcs per style per colour as below this quantity the unit costs makes it unworkable & it’s better to produce 100pcs at a lower cost price than 50pcs at a higher cost price (you’ll get more product for your money).
  • The reality therefore is that, in most cases (unless the product is specialist in some way, i.e. seamless rotary knitting), that the MOQs start from 100pcs per style per colour.
  • Inside the total quantity per product, we can separate this into different sizes however there are limitations, see “What size breakdown ratio should my order include” below.
What do you mean by “per style, per colour”?
  • When we talk about production quantities, we always refer to them as “per style, per colour”.
  • Even if you had exactly the same t-shirt in two different colours, they are considered two separate styles.
  • Even if you had exactly the same t-shirt in the same colour but with two different prints, they are considered two separate styles.
  • The reason is there are lots on MOQs during the production run. There are MOQs on ordering fabrics, dying fabrics, cutting minimums, stitching minimums, printing minimums.
  • This is why products are quoted on a per style per colour basis as each product (no matter how similar, if there’s any difference at all between them), they are considered a different style.
What size breakdown ratio should my order include?
  • Subject to your total order quantity per style per colour you can split this quantity into different sizes however there are limitations.
  • Do not let us scare you when we say this (please read on), but factory MOQs tend to start, on average, from 300pcs per style per colour. This does not mean you have to produce 300pcs per style per colour!
  • At 300pcs per style per colour, generally no limitations apply. Normally any fabric is available, any print or embroidery technique is available (bar some specialist products such as seamless rotary knitting). At 300pcs per style per colour any size ratio split is possible (you can generally have as many sizes as you’d like, within reason).
  • Below 300pcs per style per colour limitations start to occur due to hitting cutting minimums. For example;
    • At 200pcs per style per colour you can generally have a maximum of 5 sizes.
    • At 100pcs per style per colour to can generally have a maximum of 4 sizes.
      • You can have any sizes you want XS:S:M:L or S:M:L:XL but you are limited to a maximum of 4 sizes.
    • You are not limited to the quantity per size, they do not need to be equal.
    • For example; you can weight the production quantities to the most popular sizes.
    • You may wish to produce a quantity of S20:M40:L30:XL10:TOTAL100pcs, this is a ratio of S2:M4:L3:XL1 (basically this means that for every x1XL that is produced, x2S, x4M & x3L will be produced)
Will my delivered quantities match my ordered quantities?
  • Not necessarily, when an order is placed a factory will always over-produce by 5-10%.
  • This is to allow for the quality control procedure to remove faulty products prior to shipment.
  • When it comes to packing of your goods, any 2nd qualities will have been removed.
  • In some cases this leaves either a surplus or shortage against the original order quantity.
  • This is industry standard & to be expected. As an industry standard the tolerance for over or under shipping is;
    • Order qty 100-299pcs per style per colour = 15%
    • Order qty 300-999pcs per style per colour = 10%
    • Order qty +1000pcs per style per colour = 5%
  • Therefore, subject to the original order quantity, your final shipment quantity may vary from between +/- 5-15%.
  • After the quality control procedure, should the shipment quantity tolerance exceed or fall short we will ask you if you wish to accept the additional quantity or re-make the shortfall. You have the option to refuse a re-make shortfall or refuse the excess quantity over and above the industry standard tolerances.
  • You will be billed based on the final shipment quantities, not the original order quantities & therefore you’ll only ever pay for the quantity you receive.
What are the likely unit costs of my products?
  • Unit costs are based on your bespoke design, each product will have its own unique unit cost.
  • In the early stages of design, we can give you a likely indication of an average product unit cost. This is not specific to your design, it’s just an average unit cost based on the product type.
  • Later, once your ‘Tech Packs’ are complete & prior to moving into sampling we can give you a more accurate unit cost based on your bespoke design, however;
  • It is not until your first Initial sample is produced & we have received comments & are ready to place a bulk production order, that we can formalise your final unit costs.
  • This is because we cannot formalise unit prices until the first Initial samples are produced in order to check fabric usage & workmanship, as well as formalise any comments you may have (if there’s a considerable change in comments this may affect the unit cost).
  • Therefore, at this stage we can only provide rough average general unit costs of different product types.
  • Unit costs are also highly affected by production quantity (economies of scale).
  • Below you can see a list of example average general unit costs based on product type & production quantity.
  • All unit costs are quoted FOB excluding freight, duties & taxes to export & import your products.
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PRODUCT TYPE<500499-400399-300299-200199-10099-50>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
What is an ‘FOB’ unit cost price & are there any additional costs?
  • An FOB unit cost stands for ‘Freight on Board’, it is the cost of the product including the product itself, all it’s labels & trims, prints & embroideries. It is the entire cost of the product up to the point of shipping (it includes all the Pre-Production sampling as well as our fees in managing the entire production process)
  • In some cases, specialist labels & trims or packaging may be required. If this is the case this will be costed separately but generally an FOB unit cost for a product is the entire cost price (no other additional hidden costs for the product itself).
  • In addition to the FOB unit cost you also need to consider freight, duties & import taxes to bring your products into the country (we can organise this all for you or you can arrange your own freight, but this is an additional cost over & above the product FOB unit cost).
  • Depending on the product type & country of origin (CoO); then different freight, duty or taxes may apply. For example;
    • CoO China;
      • Freight (by sea) = C.8% of the order value; or,
      • Freight (by air) = C.15% of the order value; and,
      • Duties = 12% (different product types carry different duty rates); and,
      • Taxes = 20% VAT (please note, children’s wear is 0% VAT)
    • CoO Turkey;
      • Freight (by land) = C.6% of the order value; or,
      • Freight (by air) = C.12% of the order value; and,
      • Duties = 0% (no duties to import from Turkey); and,
      • Taxes = 20% VAT (please note, children’s wear is 0% VAT)
    • CoO India;
      • Freight (by sea) = C.6% of the order value; or,
      • Freight (by air) = C.12% of the order value; and,
      • Duties = 8% (different product types carry different duty rates); and,
      • Taxes = 20% VAT (please note, children’s wear is 0% VAT)
    • Do not worry, when we cost your products, we will estimate the additional likely Freight, Duties & Taxes which may be applicable to give you an overall likely cost including the import & delivery of your products.
    • Therefore, at the time of placing your bulk production order, you will have knowledge & sight of the entire cost not just for producing your products but shipping & delivering them also.
    • For your information there are other abbreviations for different costs. See below a list;
      • EXW = Ex-Works. This is the cost of the product up to the point of shipping but doesn’t include delivery to the export port (it’s the cost of the garment up to the point it leaves the factory door).
      • FOB = Freight on Board. As above, this is the cost of the product up to the point of shipping and does include delivery to the export port but does not include and shipping, duties or taxes to import the goods.
      • CIF = Customs, Insurance & Freight. This is the cost of the product including shipping, insurance & freight to the import port. It does not include duties or taxes to be paid to import the goods.
      • DDP = Delivery, Duties Paid. This is the cost of the product including shipping, insurance, freight & duties to the import port. It does not include taxes to be paid to import the goods.
      • LND = Landed. This is the cost of the product including shipping, insurance, freight, duties & taxes to the import port.
        • We always quote prices based on FOB however if you are seeking counter costing with an alternative supplier it’s always good to check what terms they are quoting to ensure you’re comparing “apples with apples”.
How long will the production take?
  • Production lead times are highly depending on the product type, fabrics, complexities & sample approvals we may need to go through.
  • You will need to go through Pre-Production sampling to ensure we have all the approvals required to move into the physical bulk production. Please see the section “Sampling FAQ – How long does the sampling process take?” for more information on the sample development lead times.
  • Once we have secured all the approvals we require, the physical bulk production can start.
  • At this stage production planning can be actioned and a more accurate idea of the production lead time can be ascertained as to when your products might likely ship.
  • As a general rule of thumb, from the point we’ve secured all approvals needed and are ready to move into the physical bulk production, the production lead times are roughly 3-6 weeks.
  • Therefore, as an example, for an average total order lead time from sample development through to the physical bulk production we would estimate, on average;
    • x3 sample rounds (x1 Initial + x2 Pre-Production samples).
    • Each sample round is C.4 weeks + 1 weeks for sample shipping & comments.
    • Therefore, a total sampling lead time of x3 sample rounds @ (4+1) x5 weeks per sample round = 15 weeks total sample development lead time.
    • Once all the approvals have been obtained the bulk production can start @ C.4 weeks physical bulk production
    • Therefore, a total order lead time from sample placement through to bulk production = 15 weeks sample development + 4 weeks physical production = 19 weeks total lead time.
  • Of course, some orders can be manufactured much quicker (less weeks per sample round, less sample rounds needed) but on average, C.19 weeks (or 4-5 months) is roughly the time it will take from placing your products into Initial sampling though to shipment.
  • Please note however, lead time is not the essence of any order. The essence of the order is to ensure we seek all the approvals required to proceed into the physical bulk production. The essence of the order is to ensure correct & quality products are produced in the end. We are sure you would agree, that it is better to ensure the products are correct, rather than cut corners or risk the final production by going too fast.
  • We will always endeavour to ensure orders are shipped as fast as possible however our primary job is to ensure they are shipped correctly rather than to a specific date.
What quality control procedures do you have?
  • There are multiple quality control procedures to ensure your products are produced not only correctly but also to the highest quality.
  • Our factories have their own internal quality control procedures & it is not in their interest to ship poor quality goods.
  • In addition to the factories own procedures we also have our own controls. We have in-line & end-of line quality control checks.
  • In-Line checks are checks performed during the production. QC’s roam the production units continually checking production as it’s happening. The purpose of in-line QC checks is to try to pick up errors as they happen (rather than trying to fix an issue after the event). These QC’s will check fabrics, cutting tables, stitching lines, printing machines to try to weed out & fix issues before the occur.
  • End-of-Line checks are checks performed once the production is complete. Once the goods have been QC’d by the factory, packed & boxed ready for shipment, our end-of-line QC’s will open the shipment boxes at random to check the goods. On average 5-10% of the total production quantity is checked at this stage (it’s impossible to check 100%). If the end-of-line random 5-10% check passes, the goods are approved to ship. Should the QC check fail for any reason a larger % of the goods will be checked (up to 100% if required). Should any faulty goods be found they will either be re-processed or removed from the shipment. Only once the end-of-line QC checks are satisfied, will the goods be approved to ship.
  • In addition to the factory’s quality control procedures and our own quality control procedures we welcome any customer who might wish to perform their own independent quality control checks. There are independent internationally renowned quality control companies we can put you in contact with. These companies will QC the goods on your behalf and are answerable directly to you. Their reputation hinges on their strict procedures & therefore you can rest assured of their independence.
What ethical trading policies do you have?
  • We have strict ethical trading policies, we do not and will not work with any ‘sweat-shops’!
  • Each and every factory we work with has been independently audited and ISO accredited.
  • All of our factories comply with local laws surrounding wages & fair pay.
  • None of our factories employ children under the age of 16.
  • None of our factories allow hazardous materials handled by anyone under the age of 18.
  • All of our factories dispose of hazardous waste properly.
  • All of our factories comply with health & safety as well fire safety measures.
  • Most people would be shocked how clean & sophisticated modern-day factories are.
    • For example, most have x-ray machines & metal detectors to check garments to ensure any broken needles are removed from the stitching lines.
    • For example, most have large canteen areas for staff for lunch & break periods.
    • For example, most have sophisticated timetable shifts for employees.
    • For example, most have employee incentives and bonus schemes.
  • Modern-day factories resemble hospitals with the cleanliness rather than visions you might have of dark dingy places.
  • All of our factories are independently audited & accreditations are available upon request.
Can you produce sustainable clothing?
  • “Yes” we have specialist factories specifically dealing in sustainable production.
  • Organic cottons, bamboo’s, re-cycled polyesters, rPET fabrics, faux/vegan leathers & furs; are all the norm these days.
  • Did you know 6/10 requests we received have some element of sustainability included in the project? We get more requests for sustainability than ever before & the industry & factories are responding to it. The industry is moving in the right direction!
  • This said, there are x3 types of sustainable fashion;
    • Sustainable fabrics (ensuring fabrics are sustainable)
    • Low carbon (ensuring everything is produced locally)
    • Fair Trade (ensuring you can trace everything from the grown cotton to the retail store & ensuring everyone in the supply chain is paid fairly)
  • Currently, we are afraid, there is no combination of all three. Currently you have to pick what’s most important to you. For example;
    • Sustainable fabrics tend to come from Asia. Therefore, you can have sustainable fabrics, but it can’t be Low carbon.
    • If you produced locally, the likelihood is the fabrics would have been imported from Asia in the first place. Therefore, you can produce locally & Low Carbon but wouldn’t be able to use Sustainable fabrics.
    • Fair trade tends to lean more towards Indian production. Cotton growers, hand beading or embroidery work. Fair Trade is not the same as Ethical Trading (See “What ethical trading policies do you have?” above). Fair Trade is ensuring the entire supply chain is certificated so you can track a garment all the way back to the field the cotton was grown in to the shop floor its sold on.
  • Therefore, whilst all these three options are available, currently there’s no real combination of all three, or even two. You have to choose which one is most important to you.
Do you produce anything in the UK?
  • Unfortunately not. The reality is the skill sets required for garment production were widely lost in the UK back in the 1980’s.
  • There are still some small pockets of production left in areas like Leicester however, in general, these units don’t tend to be the cleanest or most ethical of companies. For this reason, we won’t work with these types of factories.
  • Furthermore, even if production was available in the UK, due to local labour costs, the unit prices for production generally cost out the UK as a manufacturing country.
  • All our clothing manufacturing & footwear sourcing is produced offshore.
  • We have factories worldwide, examples include; Turkey, Portugal, Italy, India, Pakistan & China.
Why choose Rag-Sourcing over direct factory sourcing?
  • We are a management company between customer & factory. We help customers design their collections & sourcing their production.
  • We have years of experience in the fashion supply chain industry from an existing established factory base.
  • Due to the volume of business we have across our customers we are a very important customer to our factories & therefore can command better unit costs & lead times from our suppliers.
  • We are often told by customers when they’ve tried direct factory sourcing;
    • They are often ‘stabbing in the dark’ trying to find a factory & may possibly not stumble across a good one.
    • They are possibly individual brands with low order quantities so struggle to command authority, unit costs or lead times.
    • They are possibly in-experienced with the processes, stages & industry standard terms & acronyms.
    • They are possibly juggling multiple product types across different factories and countries.
    • They need to concentrate on the marketing & sales for their company, not the backward supply chain.
    • They are dealing with factories hundreds of miles away, in different time zones & languages.
    • They likely have no quality control procedures.
  • For all these reasons & more, is where our value add comes from.
  • Due to our volumes & the unit costs we can command, we often find it doesn’t end up costing any more to use our services than trying to source directly & you get the added advantage of our team, our knowledge & our experience.
  • No matter what the product type, quantity or fabric; we are a one-stop-shop for sourcing your products.
What are your order terms & conditions?
  • Each bulk production order placed is subject to our Sales of Goods Terms & Conditions.
  • Each Sales Order we raise includes these terms & conditions.
  • If you would like to read these Terms & Conditions in advance, you can do so here.

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