HOW TO FIND PRIVATE LABEL MANUFACTURERS FOR CLOTHING LABEL?
There is no easy way to put it so I’m going to be very blunt. It’s very, very difficult to find the right supplier for your sourcing needs. On one hand, there are millions (millions, here is not a figure of speech but a realistic number of registered or unregistered, for that matter, apparel and fashion manufacturers worldwide) so by now you’ve already got the idea why the mission of finding a good apparel supplier is often compared to finding a needle on a haystack.
Moreover, when I think about outsourcing the very first thing that comes to my mind is reliability. Reliability, in my opinion, is so important for a brand that outsources clothing manufacturing, I cannot stress enough its importance. Still I am going to try. You see, say you are a sourcing manager for a top international label or retailer it is up to you to decide the brand’s sourcing strategy, strategic private label clothing manufacturer suppliers and trustworthy partners. These third-party companies will then manufacture your brand’s product under a private label contract agreement, according to your specifications and ship floor-ready merchandise.
You are outsourcing your brand’s name and that is a big deal. I don’t know much about accounting but they even have a name for it in the books and it is called “Goodwill” so, in my opinion, it is a big deal as it is reflected on a company’s value.
WHAT IS PRIVATE LABEL CLOTHING MANUFACTURING?
I personally accompanied some of the major clothing and accessories brands as well as top international activewear, sportswear and outerwear international retailers achieve great success outsourcing production to a private label manufacturer and selling it under the brand’s name.
As a brand, you specify everything about the product - fabrics, accessories, how it’s labeled and packaged – and the supplier ships floor-ready-merchandise to your distribution center or store.
Now consider this. When you work with an experienced supplier your life gets so much easier because this supplier can help you with product development, textile sourcing and quality control. Wait a minute, a supplier that can help me with both materials and technique research from my design team sketches? Is this a real thing? Yes it is. I know you are probably questioning - Ok, but what about fitting and scaling? - An experienced supplier has that covered too.
THE BEST CLOTHING SUPPLIER | TIPS AND HACKS
So what is an experienced supplier? Many theories have been written about this subject, there are lists and there are both free and payed directories, and some more lists with completely different indicators from the former. But I’m not going back to “finding nemo” conundrum.
Here’s my opinion. There are 3 key thing you should look into that make an experienced supplier, or private label clothing manufacturer if you prefer. The first one is, a company that has been around in the market for at least more than 20 years, here is why – track record. You can trace the company’s history and find out its past trajectory, in addition, being in the business of fashion for two decades the staff has seen a lot, knows how to run a production from scratch season after season, after season.
The second thing is a low turnaround. Very often overlooked, it says - this company is able to retain and motivate its very best. The quality of the staff is forward on to the products and service your company gets. It also tells you it has got to be a good place to work, because staff isn’t going anywhere.
Third, this one is by far the most important of them all - good references. The best way to know a suppliers work is to actually know a suppliers work. It may seem like an odd phrasing but I’ll get right to the point. A supplier that works with prestigious labels and fashion houses is used to high quality standards, speed to market, design and raw material specifications in addition to reporting regularly on production planning in your required spread sheet template or software.
This is where the hard and long work comes in, as private label manufacturing supplier one has to establish reliable and long term relationships with clients acting in their best interests. Of course this takes an extreme amount of time and most of all great deal of dedication to one’s job. That is why there are so few of us out there willing to take this long road of getting the necessary skills and know-how to work closely with different clients, some of which acknowledged designers in the fashion industry.
Which brings me to my initial statement – the right supplier for your sourcing needs is very hard to come around. Because one thing is for sure, an experienced supplier has got to have all of the 3 characteristics that I already explained nonetheless if you are so lucky to find one, pay close attention. This company will never compromise quantity over quality nor an old steady production for a new one. But this is a whole other subject that I will be very glad to discuss in another time.