If you’re thinking about starting a clothing brand, one of the many things to consider is the manufacturer you should use. There are many options, so we’ve put together a list of the best ones. 

This guide covers:

  • Types of manufacturers
  • Types of clothing
  • Examples of clothing manufacturers

Types of manufacturers

As a clothing startup, the clothes themselves are unsurprisingly important. So making sure that you choose the right manufacturer is vital. There are two primary types of manufacturers to consider for your clothing startup:

Print on demand

In this method, you connect your website directly to a manufacturer. When the customer orders the product, the manufacturer takes a percentage for printing and shipping it. As the manufacturer takes care of both inventory and production, this type allows you to focus on other tasks like marketing, financial management, etc.

Wholesaler

This type of manufacturer will sell you large quantities of your product (at a potentially discounted price), but you’ll need to sell and send the products to the customers yourself.

Types of clothing

When choosing a manufacturer, you want to make sure that you know what kind of clothing you want to sell. For example, if you have a vision for producing great graphic shirts, that might mean you should choose a print on demand service.

If you want to build a brand offering quality custom pieces instead, you may be better off choosing a wholesaler with suitable options. It will all depend on the style of clothing you want to put out there. 

You can, of course, change suppliers in future depending on what you want to sell, but having a clear vision early on allows you to build your brand from day one.

Examples of clothing manufacturers

Inkthreadable

The print on demand manufacturer Inkthreadable is compatible with sites built with Shopify, Etsy or WooCommerce. In addition, they offer a range of plain clothing options to place your designs on. 

The process is simple; your customers place an order on your online store, and you forward that order to this manufacturer or connect it to your website if it’s compatible. From there they:

  • Produce and print on the product
  • Package for you
  • Ship to your customer

This manufacturer targets clothing brands aiming to put artistic pieces onto plain products. It is a UK company, which means quick shipping to your domestic customers.

Printful

This print on demand manufacturer Printful connects to your website; you can connect to Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Big cartel and other eCommerce platforms. 

Once connected, you can take orders. Using Printful is great for saving time, as they will take care of several tasks, including::

  • Producing and printing on the shirt
  • Packaging products
  • Shipping to your customer

You will be able to focus on advertising your products and running your business. If you would like to sell products without the need for the service to print for you, they also offer warehouses. You can send them your products, they will keep them and when you get an order they will:

  • Prepare your product
  • Package for you
  • Ship to your customer

In exchange, the service will take a percentage from each sale you make. After the costs from their end, you keep the profit. This service is ideal if you want to sell plain clothes with your designs or have stock but need help with the shipping. They have fulfilment centres in every continent, so this is an excellent choice if you have customers worldwide.

Hawthorn

This wholesale manufacturer Hawthorn is for startups who want to create unique clothing beyond printed tees. They offer patchwork, embroidery, zips and buttons, custom fabrics, badges, distressing, washing, and printing. They are solely a manufacturer and do not ship your products.

You have to purchase a minimum of fifty pieces per design, but if you are looking to offer a wide range of clothing, this is more suitable. This is because the manufacturer markets themselves to provide a small business with the same level of customisation as a larger one.

If you have a passion for fashion design and want your pieces to be custom, you may benefit from this manufacturer. If you do, keep in mind that you would be responsible for shipping.

Visionary Manufacturing

This wholesale manufacturer Visionary Manufacturing is similar to Hawthorn, focusing on streetwear. In addition, they offer the options to create custom clothing (this includes cutting and sewing, printing, embroidery, patchwork and labelling). In addition, they also can help your brand in other areas.

They offer the service of aiding your marketing; they mention photos of models in your clothing and video advertising. They also provide services for help with your website and branding. These services require quoting, and prices are not on their site. 

The minimum purchase differs for the type of product. The options revolve around streetwear fashion (Vans, Nike, Adidas). So they offer:

  • Apparel — 50 piece minimum per colour
  • Hats — 50 minimum per colour
  • Socks — 200 pairs minimum
  • Bags — 50 piece minimum per colour
  • Shoes — 500 pairs minimum

If your startup targets streetwear fashion and you would like to offer more than t-shirts, this may be a good choice. That said, the marketing extras may be expensive.

Make sure to keep on top of your finances 

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re an eCommerce clothing brand that has just started up. With any of these manufacturers mentioned, you are going to want to keep a record of your costs. That’s one of the reasons why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here and start your three-month free trial today. 

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