If you’re on your way to contact an apparel manufacturer, you need to stop and reflect on certain aspects of your brand.
It’s critical to determine certain product details, prior to contacting the garment manufacturer. Having these details will help you shape the product idea and vision. Most importantly, it will save time, and speed up the entire garment development and manufacturing process.
Whether you’re launching your first collection or your last, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before reaching out to a manufacturer:
# 1 Are the product sketches ready?
Detailed sketches give direction and information to pattern makers. In case you don’t have one, you can send samples from similar brands to the pattern maker.
#2 What is your time frame?
First off, you need to assess the lead time for apparel production. What date do you expect to receive the initial pattern? When do you want to receive the samples?
Establish deadlines for each manufacturing step. Discuss them with your manufacturer and see if they can deliver on time.
But, remember these deadlines will probably be adjusted, given the many variables and moving parts that go along with fashion development and production. That’s why you should set soft deadlines.
#3 How many styles do you plan to launch?
Are you interested in a single style? Or do you plan to launch an entire collection? Consider these details before contacting the factory.
Have you thought about the pattern making, labeling and branding, sample making, fittings and revisions processes? This is often the most challenging step for new clothing brands and fashion designers as many factories require large production quantities from the start.
#5 Have you figured out fabric sourcing?
Have you figured out fabric sourcing? Where is the sample fabric coming from? Will the same fabric be there some months later for production?
Furthermore, labels and trim take time. In most cases, it can take up to a month or more to be delivered.
#6 What is your minimum order quantity?
Have you decided the number of pieces you are going to produce? At this stage, this amount is just a guess. However, it will help you set an accurate cost per piece. It will also determine if your chosen manufacturer can cater to your order requirements. Most foreign and US-based clothing manufacturers set high minimums but there are a rare few that will produce smaller quantities.
But a detailed sketch and tech pack are highly recommended for successful results.
For help with all of these steps, get in touch with Lefty Production Co. We offer full-service design, development and manufacturing of children’s wear, women’s wear and men’s wear, with specialties in swimwear, active wear and athleisure styles. We also produce handbags, leather goods, home textiles and other custom textile design in Los Angeles.
Our vast knowledge and expertise in the fashion business has enabled us to become one of the most respected US-based apparel manufacturers in LA, California and in the country. From materials sourcing to high quantity textile production, we are here to help every step of the way.