With more than 15 years working in the Fashion Industry, Carlos is the Co-founder and CEO of GAT Fashion Lab.
We know that finding the best clothing manufacturers is challenging, especially because there are a lot of options, but finding one of good quality that fits your needs requires a lot of research and work.
With more than 15 years of experience working with some of the biggest fashion retailers in Latin America to bring their collections to life, we wanted to share some of our knowledge to make your search easier
Let's take a moment to go over 4 very important things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect private label clothing manufacturer for your brand (and if you want to know more about how and where to find clothing manufacturers check this)
The first thing you need to find is a clothing manufacturer that fits your unit requirements. Generally, smaller brands or those just starting out may produce 24 to 50 units per style and color, even less, while a big fashion brand may have an average order of 2.000 up to 10.000 units. At GAT Fashion Lab, we have a very affordable and flexible MOQ of 300 units per reference and color, and we call it very affordable and flexible because we know that most clothing manufacturers in Asia have MOQs of 1,200 or even more units.
It's highly likely that every clothing manufacturer you ask about their available capacity will tell you that they have a lot of free capacity, and this is very common because clothing manufacturers often oversell their capacity to pursue a bigger revenue. So, ask very well and make sure they are telling you the truth because the lack of production capacity is one of the main reasons why your order can be delayed.
Another mistake of many clothing manufacturers and fashion entrepreneurs is believing that all clothes are manufactured the same way. Our recommendation is always to look for specialists by segments: women, men, kids, etc., and by categories or types of garments: tops, bottoms, denim, swimwear, lingerie, streetwear, sportswear, fashion, etc. Although some clothing manufacturers, especially the larger ones, can manufacture several categories or segments remember that they have higher MOQs. So is better to hire different manufacturers for each category.
Full Package Clothing Manufacturing or Full Package Production is a kind of clothing manufacturing service that covers all processes from trend research, design, sample creation to bulk production and logistics (here you can learn more about what is Full Package Clothing Manufacturing). It's not a very popular service but it's perfect when you're looking for a private label clothing manufacturer because they takes care of your production and design processes, and you can work harder on areas such marketing and sales. This kind of service is very used by large brands, because is faster than working with internal manufacturing. So start looking for this kind of clothing manufacturing service.
All of us know that Asia is the number 1 clothing manufacturer in all the world, countries like China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Pakistan are well known for their large manufacturing capacity, however, with such large capacities, their MOQs tend to be very high, the communication is hard and they are far away from the USA.
In recent years, Latin American countries such as Mexico and Colombia have begun to receive a lot of fashion manufacturing needs from US brands that are no longer making their clothes in Asia. This happened because Latin America is closer to the USA, from Mexico or Colombia your clothes can be shipped by plane to almost any city in USA in just a couple of hours.
One of the main reasons why Nearshoring (aka working with suppliers closer to our countries of origin or operation) has gained a lot of relevance is that by being closer, logistics costs are cheaper, especially for brands that don’t have large manufacturing volumes and can get delivered by plane.
This proximity also facilitates the rapid response to unique opportunities, the sending of samples, or even working under a made-to-order model. By producing closer to home, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your products.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of manufacturing clothes in Latin America, you should check out this article.
Making a sample is an activity that can take between 2 and 8 weeks (and we are not including here the shipping time), some Asian clothing manufacturers can take up to 4 months just to create a sample, which is ridiculously long when you know that a brand like Zara takes 3 weeks to put a product in their stores and Shein creates products from scratch in 5 days, and what is behind these giant companies to increase their decision-making speed is technology.
So, look for private label clothing manufacturers that use technologies like 3D Clothing. This can help to speed up the design and approval process, allowing you to bring new products to market more quickly. By using 3D design software, manufacturers can create virtual prototypes of your clothing designs in a couple of hours, allowing you to see how they will look before committing to a physical sample. This can save you time and money, and allow you to make changes to your designs more easily.
In addition to 3D design and prototyping, look for manufacturers that use other advanced technologies like artificial intelligence or data analysis to improve their operations. At GAT Fashion Lab, we use 3D clothing technology in all our design and sample development processes, we have created digital samples in as little as 8 hours for some of our biggest clients, learn how we do it by clicking here.
Experience is definitely a decisive factor when looking for clothing manufacturers, that's why we decided to include it as our last tip to keep in mind when finding the best private label manufacturer for your brand.
A quick way to know if a clothing manufacturer is trusted or has enough experience is by searching who they have worked with, and even if you don't know them, a little research on their size (number of stores) can help you create an idea of how big they can be, and remember, the bigger the brand, the more demanding they will be. A clothing manufacturer that works with big brands (more than 30 stores) is a very good sign, but this could be also a problem because these big clothing manufacturers tend to have higher MOQs.
So, the recommendation here is first to find if the MOQ of the clothing manufacturer meets your needs and if so, ask about their customers, and if they are big, be sure that they will provide you with good service, however, it is always better to ask that customer how their experience working with that clothing manufacturer has been.
We hope that this article helps you. We know how hard is to find the a private label clothing manufacturer in the USA, but by following these tips, you will surely have better results.
Remember that at GAT Fashion Lab we are specialists in Women's Tops, we work with some of the biggest fashion retailers in Latin America under the Full Package Production model and our MOQ is 300 units per reference and color, if you would like to know more about our process you can check this page or if you prefer, you can contact us by clicking here.
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