Being a clothing designer isn’t easy. You’ll face a lot of rejection before someone willing to buy your design comes along. But there are ways you can deal with this. 

And don’t get disheartened if it takes you a while to find success. Clothing is a very competitive industry, and you’re competing with established brands.

Keep reading our guide. We’ll go over:

  • Why you should sell your designs
  • Selling your clothing designs to companies
  • Selling it yourself
  • Managing revenue streams with Countingup

Why you should sell your designs

As a small designer, growing your business can be quite tricky. One good method can be to sell your designs to other businesses, and use that to build brand recognition.

Brand recognition

If you’ve just set up your business and have no online presence, there’s no reason why companies should pay attention to you. You first have to build some sort of recognition, and make a name for yourself as a designer. 

You can do this by selling your designs to other businesses. They can then produce your designs, and you might be paid a flat fee or a percentage of the profits. 

The more you’re able to get recognised, the more likely you are to get better deals.

Increase revenue

Another reason to sell your designs is to increase your revenue. You could be the best designer in the world, but if nobody is buying your designs or clothes then you’re not making any money. 

Selling your designs can be an essential method of creating revenue, especially when you first start out. 

Selling your clothing designs to companies

Unfortunately, clothing companies aren’t going to just buy your designs. These are usually big businesses with teams of their own creators and designers, and they’re not looking for ‘ideas’. 

If you’re going to try, you need to stand out.

Have a killer portfolio

If you go to show off your designs, you need to make an impression. Having just a few initial plans isn’t going to cut it. Instead, build a brilliant portfolio

You want your portfolio to show off your abilities, including designs, materials, and concepts. It’s also good if you’re able to show some finished pieces in your portfolio too. 

It’s about the execution

Clothing companies frequently get designs sent to them, and most of these get swept under the rug. If you’re approaching a company, avoid becoming another face in the crowd by remembering one thing.

It’s all about the execution.

Basically, don’t worry about the design — instead, think about how you can create the type of final product a clothing company would want. Different companies have different goals.

For example, Primark might be interested in more simple designs that can quickly be reproduced. Other companies may want a more complex design that can’t be copied too easily. 

Accept rejection

Your pitch isn’t going to be successful 100% of the time. In fact, out of 100 businesses you approach, only one might accept you.

That doesn’t mean your designs are bad. 

It’s vital that you remember not to take rejection personally. It can be difficult not to, especially after you put so much of yourself into your designs — but getting upset won’t change anything. 

In fact, if you get upset and act unprofessionally, you might never get to pitch to that company again. 

Keep trying

Just because you haven’t sold a design doesn’t mean you should stop and give up. Ask for feedback to see why your designs were rejected. Keep creating new designs and pitching them

Eventually, someone will take a chance and you’ll see success. 

Selling it yourself

You don’t need to rely on big companies to buy your designs, in fact why not try creating your clothes and selling them yourself. You might even find this more interesting as it gives you more freedom. 


If you want to see your designs become reality, you could always set up an Etsy shop. Etsy is home to a large number of creators, and could be the perfect place to sell clothes you’ve designed. 

Since you’re designing and creating pieces yourself, you also get to keep all your creative freedom. When you sell designs to other businesses, they might not like certain aspects and ask you to change them. 

By producing and selling everything yourself, you get to decide what is and isn’t changed. 


If you don’t fancy paying a portion of your earnings to a third-party, you could always try selling your clothes on your own website

This can be tricky to set up, since a new clothing business may not have a lot of customer confidence to start with. Keep building though, and you can be quite successful. 

Volante Design started in much the same way, as “one guy, a blog and an idea”. Years later, they’re a team of eight creating unique clothing designs and still gaining popularity. 

By investing in your business and growing your online presence, you can attract the attention of larger companies willing to work with you. 

Manage revenue streams with Countingup

If you choose to use one (or more) of the methods listed above, you might experience an increase in your revenue streams. Managing additional income can be exhausting, especially if your finances aren’t tidy.

That’s where the Countingup app comes in. As a two-in-one business current account and accounting software, the Countingup app boasts a lot of features designed to simplify your finances. 

Having trouble with creating invoices? The built-in custom invoicing feature lets you create invoices straight from your phone. Better yet, it’ll match incoming payments with the relevant invoices so you know who has and hasn’t paid. 

Ready to take your financial management to the next level?

Download the app for free today.