5
min read

How to find small batch clothing manufacturers for emerging brands

Published on
November 3, 2023
 Two individuals conversing in a garment manufacturing workshop.
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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 small batch clothing manufacturers for emerging brands

When starting a fashion brand, in most cases, you think about beginning by producing a small number of units for various reasons such as investment, inventory, experience, etc. For these small-scale productions, finding the ideal manufacturers can often be more challenging because most manufacturers don't accept minimum productions.

While most clothing manufacturers produce exclusively on a wholesale basis, there are small batch clothing manufacturers that are ideal for emerging brands or designers looking to maintain low production volumes.

For this reason, it's important to know the types of manufacturers in the industry (you can get to know them by clicking here), what they offer, and their benefits.

What are small batch clothing manufacturers?

Small batch clothing manufacturers are clothing producers whose MOQ or minimum order quantity is lower or smaller than that of a wholesale manufacturer.

It's important to note that the term 'small batch' is very subjective and varies among each manufacturer, meaning that for some, a small batch could be 500 units per style, while for others, it might be 50 units per style.

It all depends on the manufacturer and the type or design of the garment you want to produce. However, you may find cases where the manufacturer doesn't require any MOQ and allows you to produce as few as 1 unit or up to 100, although in such cases, the production cost will be higher.

Benefits of small batch clothing manufacturers

  • Low MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity): These manufacturers free the customer from having to produce more than 1,000 units per design and the risk of inventory overstock. They allow you to produce in smaller quantities and vary among the design options to be produced.
  • Shorter production times: Usually, the production and delivery times of wholesale garment manufacturers are longer, often taking months. On the other hand, small batch clothing manufacturers offer shorter production times due to fewer units.
  • Product quality: Monitoring production and the quality of garments is easier with small batch clothing manufacturers than with wholesale production involving thousands of garments. With small batch manufacturers, you can have a more detailed and concise observation of each process and make necessary changes in a timely manner. This ensures that the final product meets the quality the customer needs, and if a garment needs to be reproduced, the delivery time remains short.
  • Minimize investment risks: Since the investment is lower than producing wholesale, the risk of losses is minimized. This gives you the creative freedom to experiment with different designs and test the market. This option is useful while the designer or emerging brand identifies their market and the best-selling designs to produce on a wholesale scale later.

How do I know if my brand needs a small batch clothing manufacturer?

Producing with small batch clothing manufacturers has its benefits but also its drawbacks, depending on your brand's goals. Although you have more control over quality and production, and the investment is lower than mass production, the profit margin will be lower with low volume production.

If your goal is to produce multiple designs and have a variety of products while testing and identifying the market, a small batch clothing manufacturer is ideal for your brand.

How and where to find small batch clothing manufacturers?

IMAGE OF THOMAS.NET

  • Identify the type of manufacturer you need: In the garment production industry, not all manufacturers do the same thing or focus on the same things. Some manufacturers specialize in women's high-end garments, while others focus solely on lingerie, swimwear, and so on.  

Identifying the type of manufacturer your brand needs is essential before starting the search to locate the ideal manufacturer that suits your brand/product.

  • Networking: If you already have a brand in mind that produces with these types of manufacturers, don't hesitate to contact them and ask for their contact information. Another effective method is attending industry events to generate contacts that can be beneficial for your brand in the future.
  • Online search: There are websites dedicated to recommending clothing manufacturers based on the specific sector the customer needs, similar to a directory. One example is Thomas.net. These platforms work by entering your specific industry and the type of product you want to produce, and the site will automatically suggest manufacturers that meet your requirements.  

The positive aspect of these platforms is that they ensure recommendations for manufacturers with a database of satisfied customers. However, it's important to verify the information by searching for the company on Google and reading customer reviews and ratings.

  • Attend trade fairs: One of the best ways to find manufacturers and have instant contact is by attending trade fairs or industry events. These events take place in different parts of the world, including Europe, the United States, Colombia, etc. If you want to learn more about these fairs, don't miss our blog here.  

These fairs allow you to appreciate the latest fashion trends, make contact with all types of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and more. They are also useful for building a good network of contacts.

Questions to ask your manufacturers

After conducting a relevant search and selecting potential manufacturers, before contacting them, you should consider the following questions to ask them to gain a more specific insight into who they are, what they offer, and how they work.

  • What is your MOQ or minimum order quantity per style?
  • How many sizes are included in the MOQ?
  • How do you calculate quotations?
  • How fast is your typical response time?
  • What manufacturing processes or technological innovations are included in your garment production process?

To learn more questions to ask manufacturers, click here.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we are full-package manufacturers, but we also have our production line with accessible MOQs. You can learn more about this service and our offerings by visiting our website here.

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