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How to Find a Clothing Factory in Colombia? Quick Guide

Published on
October 3, 2023
Graphic representation of a woman in a clothing factory
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Fashion Designer and Content Creator. Daniela leads the social media operations at GAT Fashion Lab

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How to Find a Clothing Factory in Colombia?  

Graphic representation of a woman in a clothing factory
Woman in a clothing factory

Finding a clothing factory in Colombia can be a moderately difficult task if you're not clear about the type of service you're looking for, the functions, and the items your brand or company needs. It's essential to have enough information to begin 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 to Determine What Service You Need? Terms and Differences

It's common to generalize the function of a clothing factory, assuming it's the only clothing manufacturing service available. However, a clothing factory does not provide certain types of services that people often seek first in such services. In the industry, there are various types of services, including clothing manufacturing, full package, private label, and dressmakers. Let's explore them in more detail.

Representative chart of illustrations of types of production services
EXPLANATORY IMAGE: TYPES OF CLOTHING PRODUCTION

Clothing Manufacturing  

What is a clothing factory?

A clothing factory or dressmaking workshop focuses solely on assembling/sewing garments. This type of business does not engage in design or pattern-making and does not provide cutting services. The workflow begins with the delivery of pre-cut pieces, sewing instructions, and, in some cases, a physical sample of the finished garment.

Clothing factories are known for their large operating teams. However, not all clothing factories specialize in producing the same types of garments; some are specialized in specific models such as underwear, sportswear, etc.

Full Package  

Full package, also known as "full package," is a service that covers all garment production processes. Unlike a clothing factory, full package companies conduct trend research, design, physical sample creation, cutting, sewing, and logistics. They handle everything for the client, making their cost different from traditional clothing factories.

In some cases, full package companies provide separate services based on the client's needs, requiring specific requirements, depending on the company.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we offer full package services with experience in the market to meet our clients' needs.

Private Label  

Private Label, also known as a private brand, is a service where the client can purchase pre-existing designs without any trace of the manufacturing company (labels) and can personalize labels, tags, and more with the buyer's logo. This service is ideal for new or recently started brands because it is cost-effective compared to full package, and the time to market is faster than starting from scratch with a clothing factory or full package service.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we have a catalog of private label options.

Dressmakers/Seamstresses

These individuals represent a smaller version of a clothing factory or dressmaking workshop. Typically, these are businesses where 3-5 people work on sewing, repairing clothing, or creating custom-made garments. For large-scale production, this option is not viable due to the lack of experience, production capacity, and other factors.

For a more in-depth understanding of these topics, visit our textile clothing blog here.

Items to Consider When Finding the Ideal Clothing Factory

Define what your brand or company needs:

It is crucial to define the service your brand needs. Once that is clear, the next step is to create a list of requirements for each service. For example, if your business requires clothing manufacturing, you must provide pre-cut pieces, technical sewing specifications, a sample of the physical design, supply materials, and so on for each type of service.

Define selling prices:

Having a clear idea of the price at which you want to sell your garments to end consumers facilitates the budgeting process for production. A common mistake is trying to sell clothing at a low cost, which requires high production volumes per unit, making it unprofitable for those who are just starting out.

Define how many units you want to produce per design:

It's important to be clear that the more units you produce, the lower the production cost per garment. However, this also poses the risk of having a high number of unsold garments in inventory, which can lead to business losses. Therefore, it's essential to have a clear understanding of finances and established budgets to determine the number of units you can manufacture without risking losses.

Capacity:

Verifying the actual capacity of the place where the garments are manufactured is important because some places overcommit their production capacity, leading to issues such as delayed delivery times and incomplete order batches, among other problems.

Location:

While outsourcing production might be cheaper, it's important to consider that distant productions can increase shipping costs significantly. International shipping costs are usually higher compared to domestic shipping. Therefore, it's recommended to move production as close as possible to the city of origin of your brand/company to avoid shipping costs outweighing production costs.

In Colombia, the quality of clothing manufacturing is highly regarded internationally, so if you're looking for a clothing factory in this country, you have nothing to worry about.

Experience:

Work experience is the best reference for a clothing factory or clothing production company. It's advisable to conduct a thorough analysis of who their past or current clients are, as well as past customer reviews. This will give you an idea of the company's reputation and work quality. A good indicator of experience is whether the factory or manufacturer has worked with large clients/brands, as these clients typically have high-quality and product requirements.

Labor Practices:

The clothing industry is known for labor exploitation, so it's recommended that when hiring a service, you verify that the company complies with labor laws in each country (in this case, Colombia) and that all its employees are legally formalized.

Sustainability:

The clothing manufacturing industry is one of the most environmentally polluting in the world. Therefore, it's essential to hire services/companies that have good sustainability policies and certifications.

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

Where Can I Find Clothing Factories in Colombia?

In Colombia, where clothing production is abundant, there are various events, fairs, and spaces where you can find clothing factories. Here's more information about your search options:

Fairs and Events:

This method is quite effective because attending such events allows you to make direct contact with both large and small manufacturers. In Colombia, some important events where we recommend searching include:

Bogotá Fashion Week:  

This annual event has evolved into an international platform for fashion commerce and promotion. Here, you can find both national and international manufacturers.

Website for bogota fashion week
Website for Bogota Fashion Week

Colombiatex and Colombiatex:

Colombiatex is the largest Latin American showcase for fabrics, supplies, machinery, chemicals, clothing, and home goods. This event takes place in Medellín and serves as a meeting point for national and international brands looking to manufacture and distribute in Latin America.

Website for colombiamoda y colo,mbiatex
Website for Colombiamoda-Colombiatex

Cali District Fashion:  

This event opens its doors, offering opportunities to find future manufacturers through its trade and networking spaces.

Website for  cali district
Website for Cali district

Ixel Moda and Plataforma K:  

These events take place in the Caribbean region of Colombia and include textile industry spaces within the Latin American fashion congress in Cartagena. These events feature cultural activities and runways with approximately 10,000 participants.

Website for  Ixel Moda
Website for Ixel Moda

For more information about these fairs, you can visit the following link.

Institutions:

Most countries have institutions dedicated to promoting textile exports and industry associations. In Colombia, there is Procolombia, a public institution that connects foreign companies with local ones. They provide an online directory for ease of search.

Online Search:

Google is the #1 digital directory that facilitates this task. The advantage of this tool is that it allows you to see the company or business's rating and provides feedback with comments from previous customers. This helps form an image of the potential company and the experiences of previous customers, aiding in making a more informed decision when hiring a manufacturer.

Recommendations:

This method is the oldest but the most reliable. If you have contacts within the industry, it's essential to ask them who manufactures for them or which companies they have worked with to gain a deeper understanding of their services and potentially contact 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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