Apparel Producer are present almost in every country. You will find all kinds of clothing manufacturers small, medium, and big in their capacity. But, still, brands find it difficult to get one. And even if they do, things usually do not work out as they want to. This is a common issue with startups about finding the right supplier. Custom clothing manufacturers demand a sizable order to run their units. And for startups, meeting that threshold is difficult. As a fashion tech pack designer and consultant, I get a lot of queries from startups for production. It is difficult to work on a low MOQ order. Often emerging brands find it difficult to understand the sampling and production process. And they come with complaints about their previous vendors. In short, there is always a gap and we can try to figure out what it is.
Startups often come with complaints from the previous vendors they have worked with. The complaints are that they find it difficult to convey their idea due to language issues. Or the vendors they work with do not keep up with the timeline, or quality as desired. Common complaints among them are clothing manufacturers do not understand what I want. And as a result, sampling does not come as expected, or issues with production and delay. Brands wonder what went wrong in their process and where the gap is. Startups end up spending a lot of their time and money for nothing. Loss of effort, time, and money. Now have you thought what is the real reason behind this mess-up? In my view, there is nothing wrong with a clothing manufacturer. It is in the process startups follow.
Reason For Low-Quality Apparel Production
Fashion labels jump into production without proper preparation. If you send an image and expect a custom clothing manufacturer to replicate it, you are inviting trouble. Here you are expecting the clothing manufacturer to understand the style in and out. And make the pattern with no measurement specs and with no technical instruction whatsoever. In other words, they start apparel production without doing proper preparation. This is because you are not serious about your brand man!!. And even if you are you don’t look like one. And no clothing manufacturer wants to get involved with a brand that has no base. As a result, you end up spending your time and money with no result. Apparel production is a serious job and needs attention before even you think of getting into it. It is important that you prepare yourself with a solid plan before floating your order.
How to Connect with an Apparel Producer
Finding an apparel producer is easy. Look through an online directory and you get lots of them listed there. Hold on! The information that you get from the directories is raw. You need to validate them and make sure they are the right fit. Finding the apparel unit capable of doing your style is important. Not all factories do everything and each has its specialty in any one of the categories. Some can produce knitted garments and some woven garment specialists. Their machinery setup is based on the type of garment they produce. So, figure out whether the factory-assigned production is equipped to produce garments. If you are not aware of this, take the help of a person who knows. The best would be if you could hire a consultant with experience. Here are a few questions that you can ask to find out if the factory you are choosing is the right fit.
1. What is the Specialty of the Factory?
Not all production units produce everything. They stick to one category and sometimes one style and keep producing the same thing year-round. For example, you will find factories that do only button-down shirts. They are specialized in it and prefer to produce only button-down shirts. Same with t-shirts, hoodies, and so on.
2. Factory Size, Production Capacity
This is an important factor to consider before approaching the factory for an order. If the factory is too small, or large for your order you may have issues during production. So, you have to choose the right factory size based on the order quantity you have. Know the factory size and production capacity.
3. Get an Idea about Supporting Units for Apparel Producer.
Apparel Production Units whether big or small do not have all the facilities In-house. For example, they have to depend on Print, Embroidery, and Washing units outside. Although manufacturers do not want to reveal their contacts, you can still get an idea. The success of a production unit depends on the quality of its supporting units.
4. Understand the Concept of MOQ of Apparel Producer
MOQ ( Minimum Order Quantity ) is the Quantity that amounts that a factory needs to be in operation. Below that quantity, the factory either functions partially or not at all. Factories working below the minimum order quantity are never profitable. So, if they get orders that are below their MOQ capacity they refuse to take the order. Clothing manufacturers consider MOQ as the most important criterion for accepting any order. If the order is below the minimum order quantity they simply refuse to take it.
5. Apparel Production Costing
Every brand wants to plan its production which is an inevitable part o the business. To do so, the brand seeks cost estimation from more than one vendor to compare. That’s how they take a decision on whom to roll the production order. But production costing is not just a number. Calculations of materials and labor charges are taken into account to get the right cost. And merchants follow the bills of material to prepare to cost. But, most startups do not take those things into consideration and ask for cost. The issue here is when you ask costing with an image you will never get the cost close to what it actually is. Manufacturers give much higher costing just to be on the safe side. But if you are prepared with a tech pack and spec sheet, there is every chance that you get the right costing.
You need to consider all the above points before approaching an apparel producer. The best way to do it is by preparing technical drawings ( tech Packs ) of all your styles in the collection. This is especially important for those who are into custom clothing. Whatever your collection is a tech pack and detailed size chart are a must. Brands looking for regular tech packs can get them from Tech Pack Template Store.