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Starting a new business from scratch is easier than ever. However, that doesn’t mean it is completely devoid of troubles. Finding new ideas and capitalizing on popular trends might turn out to be the easiest part of the business. The real trouble begins when the brainstorm is over and you have to find a practical way to turn your ideas into profit.

The actual sourcing of products turned out to be a tripping stone for most new businesses. A lot of young entrepreneurs lost momentum because of that. A good supplier is not very easy to find, especially if you work in the clothing industry.

To choose a suitable supplier, you have to do your research, ask relevant questions and be direct with what you want. Spending a bit more time in advance will save you a lot of trouble later. Here is some advice about choosing the right clothing supplier for your business.

Do You Really Need One?

The first thing you should decide when launching a clothing enterprise is there really any need for a clothing manufacturer. If you want to start a small scale business it is much easier to have a clothing supplier. Choosing pre-made clothes from a catalog will relieve you of the production aspect. That way you can also avoid buying a whole lot of stock, which saves a lot of time, money, and risk.

How to Choose a Clothing Supplier 1
Photo by Andrej Lišakov

On the other side, the clothing manufacturer is necessary if you have a new and original idea for a new line of clothing, or if you are a fashion designer with the ambition to launch your own brand.

Can They Make It?

This seemingly banal question is actually quite important when it comes to clothing manufacturers. The thing is that not all sorts of manufacturers can produce all models of clothing.

The clothing of different purposes requires different materials, so you have to be sure that the manufacturer you choose is capable of making the type of clothes you need. It’s even better to pick a factory that specializes in that type of clothing you need.

Domestic or Overseas?

If you decided you actually need a clothing manufacturer for your business, the next step is to choose whether you’re going to work with local ones or overseas. The biggest global manufacturers are in Europe, the United States or Asia. Concerning Australia, a reliable clothing manufacturer such as Style State is not easy to find, but if you insist your product has to be locally made, you might find something that will work out for you.

What’s Their MOQ?

MOQ or minimum order quantity is the minimum number of items you need to purchase in a single order from the manufacturer of your choice. The numbers vary from 200 to 2000 or even more. It’s very important to know your manufacturer’s MOQ before starting a new business, or else you’ll get yourself into a bad situation of not being able to afford to buy 1500 units from them.

How to Choose a Clothing Supplier 2
Photo by Lauren Fleischmann

Furthermore, you should refrain from buying too many items if you’re not certain you could sell all of them.

Fees and Costs

Carried by the momentum, it is easy to forget some fundamental things which could seriously damage your business later on. Such as asking you a manufacturer do they have any additional fees you should know about, or what are their shipping costs and times. Those are crucial information for productive cooperation between both sides, so make sure you talk with your manufacturer early on about it.

Capacity of Production

This is not something you think about early on when your only goal is only to start your business as soon as possible. However, once your trade has taken off and your clothes start to sell at a higher rate, you need to reconsider can your manufacturer produce more clothes while keeping the same quality as your business develops even more. That’s why you should ask your potential manufacturer about production capacity. Another important factor is turnaround time, which is the time needed to fulfill your order.

Other Brands

The greatest indicator of the manufacturer’s reliability is the history of cooperation with other brands. Feel free to ask your manufacturer about the brands they were working with, then look at those brands up online. You can even contact the owners of those brands and ask them about working with your potential manufacturer. That’s the best way to provide your peace of mind before closing the deal. Or, if feedback was unfavorable, to move on and find another manufacturer.

Having the right manufacturer in the clothing industry is one of the most important things. The clothing industry is really competitive and it takes a lot of effort and wit to succeed in such a contentious environment. Although it may seem daunting, finding a good manufacturer is that so hard as long as you ask the right questions at the right time.