The fashion and clothing industry is quite compelling in terms of its size, variety of clients served, and a sprawling range of products developed that rule the fashion scene and even stuff the wardrobes of people. Thus, it is natural for fashion business owners, particularly the new designer labels and the emerging fashion boutiques to get baffled about where to produce their product? The underlying concern is to meet customer expectations with the promise of quality while grabbing the best deals.
A Flurry Of Conflicts In Choosing Between Domestic And International Clothing Manufacturers:
More often than not, roping in international clothing manufacturers can be a daunting task for most of the fashion brands and labels, mostly the startups and SMEs. Figuring out the intricacies of customs, shipping, etc. amidst communication barriers can be quite intimidating.
On the other hand, rooting for a domestic garment manufacturer or a jeans supplier makes things less challenging and more straightforward. A fashion brand that is starting its journey can get hands-on with the production, survey if things are working out according to his ideas, and stay up-to-date with every manufacturing detail. However, the cost of convenience gets factored out in the price of production as often; an acclaimed domestic garment manufacturer will quote significantly more than its international peers.
With a host of things to consider while you zero in on your choice of garment manufacturer, we have narrowed it down to three basic things that should not avoid your attentive gaze.
Unarguably the most crucial factor to consider while entrusting international clothing manufacturers or indigenous ones to take care of your preferred fashion clothing production, the price tag that comes with the products is instrumental in your decision-making and final choices. The cost of products is the foundation of a business venture’s profit structure and is the trump card that can make or break its sustainability!
Often, fashion labels and startups partner with international clothing manufacturers because of the significantly lower labour costs. But you must look beyond the value of the products and take into account other expenses as well.
During the product development phase, shipping the prototypes and the approvals back and forth from international destinations will cause the costs to escalate quickly. On top of that, you have to pay for international freights shipping, duty rates, insurance and a host of others. Thus, if you are an emerging fashion studio, choose to partner with those international clothing manufacturers that charge for LDP (landing duty paid) or DDP (delivered duty paid), instead of FOB (freight on board). It will significantly minimize the cost of the products as it takes into account all the additional costs and delivers the sample to your doorstep.
Though shipping and logistics charges seem intimidating, an indigenous garment manufacturer or a jeans supplier might charge atrociously on each of the prototypes, pattern change, adjustments and gradings. Therefore, choose wisely before you give the green signal to kickstart production.
- Minimum Order Quantity Or MOQ:
Every fashion label or brand aims for sustained success, though hardly all of them make it. It is because they do not regulate inventory and upfront investments wisely. Starting with fewer units and testing the market while gradually proliferating your customer base is a wise decision as it minimizes risk and up-front investments. You can also invest that money elsewhere.
With international clothing manufacturers, MOQs vary. Of course, this variation is different from a jeans supplier and a fabric producer. While the former will designate his MOQ in terms of 800 to 1000 units, the latter will measure it in terms of 1000 yards or so. Often, you will incur additional charges if you want to negotiate the MOQs with manufacturers.
Thus, you should look to select a garment manufacturer that provides industry-leading MOQs of 50 to 500 units per batch. Other international clothing manufacturers specialize in lesser MOQs, and therefore you can test your customer’s desires before upscaling production. It also gives you a heavy chance to take a strategic decision and salvage a substantial profit margin while launching your business with minimum risk.
- Lead time:
It is often a wise choice to create a waiting list as it helps brands to reap in more excellent conversion rates once re-stocking occurs. If you are launching a brand that is always staying in-stock, you need to possess a loyal customer base, which is an uphill task for emerging fashion labels and startups.
International clothing manufacturers have an average lead time of 90 to 120 days after final order placement and confirmation. With unforeseen delays due to accidents, custom delays, port strikes and even international holidays, an overseas garment manufacturer will always be a cause of concern for a fashion business that is solely depending upon it. In such cases, the business owner should make an informed decision about going with an indigenous garment manufacturer or seeking an international one which has earned a reputation amongst its clientele with its least lead times.
Often, lead times are a meaningful thing for the business, because they help in forecasting sales trends, reorder the best-sellers, launch newer products and avoid disappointing customers in the waitlist.
Thus, you should not only move with a concrete inventory planning but consider all the above factors meticulously before making a leap to partner with domestic or international clothing manufacturers that can help you proliferate your business.