6
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How to find a clothing factory in Colombia?

Published on
April 22, 2024
 clothing factory in Colombia GAT Fashion Lab
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Fashion Designer and Content Creator. Daniela leads the social media operations at GAT Fashion Lab

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Finding a clothing factory in Colombia can be a somewhat complicated task if you're not clear about the service you're looking for or the type of factory your brand or company needs.

That's why it's essential to have enough information to start your search. Here's an easy guide on how to find a clothing factory in Colombia and everything you need to know before hiring such a company.

How do I know what type of service I need?

The function of a clothing factory is often generalized to believe that it's the only clothing manufacturing service available.

However, the function of a clothing factory doesn't include certain benefits that people often look for first in such a service.

In the industry, there are various types of services, including:

  • Contract Manufacturing
  • Full Package
  • Private Label
  • Tailors/Sewers

Let's explore them in more detail:

RECOMMENDED: BLOG | Essential Guide, types of Contract Manufacturing, and how to choose the right one

TYPES OF CLOTHING MANUFACTURING GAT FASHION LAB
TYPES OF CLOTHING MANUFACTURING

MAQUILA/ CLOTHING MANUFACTURERS

What is it?

Contract manufacturing or garment workshops are smaller businesses dedicated solely to the assembly/sewing of garments.

These businesses do not engage in designing or pattern making and may not offer cutting services in some cases.

The work process here begins with:

  • Pre-cut pieces
  • Sewing instructions or guides
  • In some cases, a physical sample of the finished garment

Contract manufacturers are characterized by having large operating teams. However, not all contract manufacturers specialize in producing the same type of garments; some are specialized in certain sectors such as:  

  • Underwear
  • Sportswear
  • Swimwear
  • Streetwear

etc.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we specialize in manufacturing premium women's garments. To start your process with us, click here.

FULL PACKAGE

Full package service covers all garment manufacturing processes. Unlike contract manufacturing, full package companies undertake:

  • Trend research
  • Collection design
  • Pattern making
  • Physical or digital sample making
  • Cutting
  • Sewing
  • Logistics

They handle everything for the client, freeing them from production worries so they can focus solely on sales. Since it's such a comprehensive service, its cost is slightly higher compared to traditional contract manufacturing.

Sometimes, full package companies offer services separately, depending on the client's needs. However, this requires specific requirements, depending on the company.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we are a full package company with experience in the market and in meeting the needs of our clients. To learn more about our service, click here.

PRIVATE LABEL

Private Label is a service where the brand or company purchases prefabricated/existing designs without any tags, labels, or logos from the manufacturing company.

In private label, you have the option to:

  • Customize labels
  • Customize tags
  • Modify parts of the design or change the color of the garment

This service is ideal for new or emerging brands since its cost is much lower than that of a full package or contract manufacturing, and bringing products to market is faster than manufacturing from scratch with a contract manufacturer or full package service.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we have a Private Label catalog. To view it and learn more about this service, click here.

TAILORS/SEWERS

They are individual people who are a smaller, less scaled-down version of a garment workshop or contract manufacturer. Usually, these are businesses where 3-5 people work on sewing, repairing clothes, or making custom garments.

For larger garment production for a brand, this option is not viable due to lack of experience, production capacity, scalability, and more.

To delve deeper into these topics, visit our textile contract manufacturing blog here.  

Items to consider to find the ideal clothing factory

  • Define what your brand or company needs
  • Define selling prices
  • Define units per design
  • Production capacity
  • Location
  • Previous experience
  • Good labor practices
  • Sustainability

Let's look at each one in detail:

Define what your brand or company needs:

It's important to define what service your brand or company needs—full package, contract manufacturing, cutting only, pattern making only, etc.

Once you have clarity on this, the next step is to make a checklist of what is required to work with this type of service. For example, if the service your brand requires is contract manufacturing, the list would look something like this:

  • Provide pre-cut pieces
  • Technical sewing sheet  
  • Production development sheet
  • Complete sourcing
  • Ready-to-use materials

And so on for each type of service.

Define selling prices:

The most important thing here is to be very clear about the price at which you want to sell your garments to end customers. This makes it easier for the manufacturer to propose a production budget.

A common mistake is to want to sell garments at a very low cost, but what you should know is that these low prices require high production volumes per unit, which is unprofitable for those who are just starting out or don't have a high production budget.

RECOMMENDED: Exploring the Concept: What is White Label in the Textile Industry?

Define how many units you want to produce per design:

Here, it's important to understand that the more units per design are manufactured, the lower the production cost per garment will be. However, the brand or company runs the risk of being left with a high number of garments in stock that, if not sold, will be a loss for the business.

That's why it's important to be clear in the finances about the stipulated budget to define how many units can be manufactured without risking losses.

Capacity:

It's essential to verify the actual capacity of the place where the garments will be manufactured because some places claim to have a high production capacity when they don't, putting the client in trouble by delaying delivery times and delivering incomplete order batches, among other issues.

Location:

Although production abroad is cheaper, it's essential to consider that distant productions increase shipping costs. Usually, international shipping costs more than domestic shipping.

That's why we recommend moving productions as close as possible to the city where your brand/company is located to avoid the shipping costs being higher than the production costs themselves.

In Colombia, the quality of garment factories is quite good and internationally recognized, so if you're looking for such a service in this country, you don't have to worry.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we are located in Colombia and are recognized for our quality standards and delivery compliance. Start your process today by clicking here.

Experience:

Experience with previous clients is the best introduction for a clothing factory. We recommend conducting a thorough analysis of who the previous clients are or were, getting to know the opinions of these past clients.

This helps us get a clearer idea of who the company is and how its work is outside of what they offer on their website or when contacting them.

A good indicator of experience is if the clothing factory has worked with large companies or brands since these types of clients are quite strict and demanding regarding:

  • Quality
  • Delivery times
  • Product

Good labor practices:

The fashion industry is infamous for labor exploitation. That's why we recommend that when hiring the service, you make sure that the company complies with the labor laws of each country (in this case, Colombia) and that all its employees are legally formal to avoid inconveniences.

RECOMMENDED: Contract Manufacturing in Colombia: The key to optimizing costs and maximizing the quality of your products

Sustainability:

Garment manufacturing and the fashion sector are among the most polluting on the planet. That's why

it's essential to hire services/companies with good sustainability policies and, if possible, are certified or meet minimum sustainability parameters both environmentally and socially.

For more information on these items, visit our blog by clicking here.

Where can I find clothing factories in Colombia?

  1. Fairs and events
  1. Institutions
  1. Directories/online search
  1. Recommendations

In Colombia, being a country where one of its strengths is garment production, there are spaces such as events and fairs where you can find a clothing factory. Let's look at them in detail:

FAIRS AND EVENTS:

This method is effective because by attending these events, you can directly contact manufacturers and suppliers, both large and small. In Colombia, the most important events where we recommend you to attend are:

-Bogotá Fashion Week:

This event is celebrated every year and over time has become a commercial and promotional platform for fashion internationally. Here you can find both national and international manufacturers.

BFW 2024 SITE
BFW 2024 SITE


-Colombiatex and Colombiamoda:

Colombiatex and Colombiamoda are the largest showcases in Latin America for manufacturers of all modalities, fabric suppliers, inputs, machinery, chemicals, clothing, fashion, and home.

This event takes place in Medellín in January and July of each year and is the right crossing point for national and international brands that want to manufacture and distribute in Latin America.

COLOMBIAMODA 2024
COLOMBIAMODA 2024


-Cali Fashion District:

This event opens its doors, and it's possible to find future manufacturers in its trade and connection spaces.

CALI DISTRITO MODA
CALI DISTRITO MODA 2024


-Ixel Fashion and K platform:

The event takes place in the Colombian Caribbean region and has spaces for the textile industry at the Latin American fashion congress in Cartagena.

Here, cultural events and runways are held with the participation of approximately 10,000 people.

IXEL FASHION SITE
IXEL FASHION SITE


To learn more about these fairs, you can visit the following link.

INSTITUTIONS:

In some countries, there are institutions dedicated to promoting textile exports to generate changes in the sector's guilds.

In Colombia, there is Procolombia, which is a public institution dedicated to connecting foreign companies with local ones. They have an online directory for easier search.

ONLINE SEARCH:

Google is the perfect and #1 digital directory that makes this job easier. Google has a unique advantage: it allows us to see external ratings of the company or business we are looking for. Furthermore, it provides extra feedback with comments from previous clients.

This allows us to get an image of the possible company and the previous experiences of clients with the place, helping us make a more informed decision when hiring a clothing manufacturer.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

This method is old school but the most reliable. For this, you need to have contacts within the industry. Ask them who manufactures for them or with which companies they have worked to understand clearly and in detail how their service is and see the possibility of contacting them in the future.

At Gat Fashion Lab, we offer full package and private label services. You can complement this information with our weekly informative blogs. To access them, click here.

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