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Every day, new online clothing stores open in all corners of the globe. If you want your clothing brand to be distinct, it’s vital to establish yourself apart from the competition. Finding a clothing manufacturer is all about finding the right fit for your brand and making sure they can deliver products that meet your business’s requirements. There are different choices for how to find the right clothing manufacturers for your own clothing line. Domestic clothing manufacturers and overseas clothing manufacturers are two of the most common options, but how do you know which one serves your purposes best? Some people may opt to work with local manufacturers and others may choose an international partner. You must do your research and understand the requirements for production and potential costs like shipping costs before you spend your hard-earned money on clothes that are low quality.

Where to look

One way to find clothing manufacturers is to search online directories. A search engine can be a great way to start your search, google searches often have a comprehensive list of manufacturers. Another option is to search for a trade show in your area. Trade shows are a great way to see a variety of different clothing manufacturers in one place, and they often have representatives from overseas clothing manufacturers who can answer any questions you have about working with them. Local fashion schools and Facebook groups may also point you towards potential factories that can work with.

Sewing contractor factory floor.

Overseas manufacturers factory floor

Types of Manufacturers

When looking for an apparel manufacturer, it’s important to understand the type of business you are looking for in the clothing industry. There are a few different types of clothing manufacturers:

– Contract Manufacturers: A contract manufacturer is a company that will produce your clothing for you, usually to your specifications. This can be a great option if you’re looking to produce a small amount of clothing or if you want a specific design that is difficult to find.

– Private Label Manufacturers: A private label manufacturer is a company that will produce clothing for you and put your label on it. This can be a great option if you want to get a product to market faster and you are not too concerned with having a unique style.

Blue sweaters hanging on a rack

Domestic clothing

How to find Clothing Manufacturing Companies

So how do you find the right clothing manufacturer that’s the right fit for your apparel brand? It all starts by doing your research. There are a lot of clothing manufacturers out there, but not all of them will be a good fit for your brand.

First, you need to decide what type of clothing you want to manufacture for your clothing line. Potential clothing manufacturers for your brand should be specialized in your category be it children’s clothing or women’s clothing Once you’ve nailed down your product line, you can start researching clothing manufacturers. Make sure to look for manufacturers that have experience in making the type of clothing you want to produce to find the best manufacturing partner.

Another important thing to consider is production capacity. Can the manufacturer handle producing the volume of clothing you need? If not, they may not be a good fit for your business.

Apparel factory owner responding to email inquiries
Apparel factory owner responding to email inquiries

Responsive factories are the right partner

It’s also important to see how responsive manufacturing companies are when you reach out to them. Can you get in touch easily with the company? Is their customer service good? Manufacturers that respond quickly and provide quality customer service are more likely to be a good fit for your brand. You don’t want to have an issue come up mid-production and not be able to get a hold of your manufacturer. Domestic manufacturers are the best fit for startup brands that require a high level of communication. Established brands are more likely to have operating procedures on how to place their wholesale clothing orders to streamline the process.

Sewing factory spreading table
Sewing factory spreading table

Spreading tables at a clothing manufacturer

You can also ask how many orders they typically deal with in a given month and how long the production process takes for an average order. This will help you get a better idea of how quickly you’ll be able to get your clothing in stock.

Finally, how do you know how much the total cost will be? Manufacturers should be able to provide their customers with all of the costs associated with manufacturing clothing, including shipping fees and duty tax for international orders. Most clothing manufacturers provide a price list for how much it costs to manufacture clothing in each country.

Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when looking at quotes from different clothing manufacturers. If possible, ask your manufacturer how long their quote is good for so that you have ample time to think the deal over before committing

Worker inspecting garments for defects

Quality control inspection

The benefits of working with a clothing manufacturer

There are a lot of benefits to working with a clothing manufacturer.

Access to manufacturing services

First, you’ll have access to high-quality manufacturing services. Clothing manufacturers have the experience and equipment necessary to produce high-quality products and you will want to develop a long term partnership with them. As a fashion designer, you want to be able to catch trends quickly by having a business relationship with vetted manufacturers.

Order styles quickly

Second, you’ll be able to get your clothing in stock quickly. Most clothing manufacturers have a relatively quick production process, so you won’t have to wait long for your clothing to arrive. Fashion designers with that don’t need to find manufacturers get their styles to market faster.

Jeans being decorated with laser

Jean clothing supplier

Time and money savings

Third, you’ll save money. Garment manufacturers typically offer cheaper prices per unit than if you were to produce the clothing yourself. They also have access to material suppliers that usually do not do business with individuals.

All in one

Fourth, you’ll get access to design and branding services. A lot of clothing manufacturers offer design and branding services in-house, so you won’t have to worry about hiring designers or graphics experts. One of the benefits of using an in-house design team is that they are specialized in designing the types of styles your brand is trying to produce.

Questions to ask a potential clothing manufacturer

What type of clothing do you specialize in?

Most clothing manufacturers specialize in a certain type of clothing, such as knits or wovens. There are clothing factories that only make t shirts for example. You’ll want to work with a manufacturer that specializes in the types of clothes you want to produce as they will have the know-how and industrial machinery to produce your styles.

Worker sewing children's clothing

Clothing manufacturer producing children’s clothing

What processes do you use to make clothes?

The production process will depend on how clothing is manufactured in the country where your manufacturer is located. You’ll want to choose custom clothing manufacturers that use production methods that will work best for how you plan on manufacturing the clothing.

Are you taking new customers?

Clothing manufacturing companies book productions in advance and may not be taking new customers. When you’re finding clothing manufacturers it never hurts to ask so you don’t go through the ordering process to find out that they can’t start on your production until many months later.

Clothing manufacturer factory floor

Apparel manufacturer – factory floor

What is your minimum order quantity?

Most clothing manufacturers have minimums for how many items a customer can order. You’ll want to be sure that your brand is large enough to meet any minimums the manufacturer has before committing to working with them. If you are starting you will want to look for small-batch clothing manufacturers that specialize in the type of clothing you are looking to produce.

Embroidery machine

Embroidery machine- overseas clothing manufacturer

What’s your turnaround time?

You’ll want to choose a clothing manufacturer who can get your items manufactured and delivered quickly. Depending on how fast you want your product, how much inventory you have, how long it takes to make the clothing, and how much inventory is in stock, will affect how long it’ll take for your goods to be delivered.

What is your production capacity?

Manufacturers that can produce large quantities of clothing will be able to work with designers and brands that want to order in high volumes. If you’re looking for a manufacturer to help you complete one-off orders, it might not make sense to work with a manufacturer that only deals with larger quantities.

What are the shipping times to my country?

If you choose to work with overseas clothing manufacturers the shipping times for your country will vary depending on how quickly you need your clothing. Most manufacturers have a quick turnaround time, but you will want to be sure to ask how long it will take for your order to be delivered. You will also want to ask about any shipping restrictions that the manufacturer might have. Overseas manufacturers may have the best price per unit but you will always want to factor in your shipping cost and shipping times. If you have a quickly approaching launch date overseas suppliers may not be the best option.

Worker silkscreen printing apparel

Worker silkscreen printing fabric panels

Find a manufacturer

If you’ve been thinking about how to launch your clothing business and want a few tips on how to find great clothing manufacturers, we hope this article was of some help. It’s important that you take time when finding factories so that you can make sure they can produce quality products promptly at an affordable price. If all of this sounds overwhelming or if you need help figuring out how to find the best clothing manufacturers, don’t be afraid to reach out! Our team is ready and waiting with years of experience helping designers like yourself get their brand off the ground by finding them the best clothing manufacturers who specialize in making clothes just like yours.