Entering an industry that is as fast paced as the textile industry can seem very scary. Endless queries on where to begin and how to choose the right dealers, can leave one feeling confused and frustrated. But in complete honesty, the industry is not really as scary as it looks and reconsidering your decision of entering it would only mean that you are less likely to experience the impeccable joy of seeing your product come to life!
The first and the most crucial step in bringing this vision to life is to choose the right clothing manufacturer. So what goes into picking the perfect clothing manufacturer? Years of having worked as cloth manufacturers, we have hand picked a few challenges some of our clients had encountered when they chose to enter the industry, along with ways you can address it.
How reliable is your manufacturer?
The markets are flooded with innumerable cloth manufacturers and finding them is not at all difficult. But, how well do they understand your design? How well can they match up to your expectations? How well are they equipped to meet your design requirements? A sample is their best work and your best bet is to choose the cloth manufacturers who are able to translate your fashion requirement into the perfect sample. .
Ask as many questions as you can until you are convinced with your manufacturer’s work.
Pricing and quality – These are two key deciding factors to the success of your fashion business. Needless to say, this becomes crucial for you to identify your cloth manufacturer. Competitive as the industry is, you will find innumerable cloth manufacturers willing to meet your requirements at the lowest of the prices. The question is the impact on quality if any, at the given price.
The best way to see that the manufacturer is for you, is to check if they have worked in similar projects before. Samples from that work can help ease your decision making process. Observation and a critical analysis of their work is key to building trust. Ask as many questions you feel like, till the time you are thoroughly confident of your supplier.
What is their ability to adhere to your demands?
A less spoken about but important factor when it comes to picking manufacturers is the quantity that apparel manufacturers can produce. Bulk manufacturers are easy to come by, but minimum supply is a different ball game altogether. Check for your manufacturer’s ability to produce the minimum number of products you need. Often there might be a clothing range that needs limited production and having a manufacturer who will not be able to deliver it can affect the product’s pricing.
It is also crucial to check for the clothing manufacturer’s experience across verticals. The apparel manufacturing industry with it’s vast magnitude and extensive manufacturing processes (Check out our previous blog for information on this), has several verticals within it like embroidery, button making, label making, etc. It is wise to pick someone who understands these verticals and can handle challenges that are likely to arise at every single stage of cloth manufacturing.
How committed would they be to your vision?
The relationship between the manufacturer and your brand is a very crucial one. All attention goes to factors like quality, quantity and pricing, that the understanding between the buyer and the manufacturer often gets left out. A bad rapport can often lead to miscommunication and tiffs that’d affect the business.
With sustainable fashion and environment friendly practises being extensively practised around the world, it is also wise to check on how far the manufacturers ethical policies go in tandem with your own. How responsive are they? How easily do they understand your requirements? What is the extra mile they are willing to go to help you meet your requirements? These questions go a long way in helping you make the right choice. Go with your gut instinct about how comfortable you feel about your interactions and about working with your cloth manufacturer.
How good is the manufacturer with their services?
Building a rapport with your clothing manufacturer tends to be extremely beneficial in the long run. Look out for the quality of their services and the way they deal with their clients. You’ll have to let the manufacturers know that you’d like to be as involved in the process as you can. Because it is an evolving industry, a lot of clothing manufacturers may not have the set up to keep their buyers informed of progress on the consignment at every stage.
As per the current industry norms, a sample is sent to the clients for approval and once approved, bulk manufacturing begins. The next update, which is often the only other update is given after the finished, packaged bulk goods are sent to them. This means that often buyers are not kept in the loop about the status at various stages of manufacturing.
Yet, a lot of manufacturers these days have begun releasing the critical importance of letting clients and buyers know of the day to day progress on the production. .
How capable are they in understanding the latest trends?
Finding a manufacturer that understands fashion trends and the changing pace of the industry, means half your battle is won! A cloth manufacturer who is as involved in your requirements as much as you are, will be able to give you better inputs on how to improve your product and on alternate possibilities. Such manufacturers also tend to pick the nuances of your requirement and understand the needs of your customers better. Such detailing usually comes from clothing manufacturers who have an in-house design team, often allowing you to outsource your entire designing from the manufacturer itself. Their suggestions and expertise enables them to pre-empt challenges and hurdles helping you avoid unexpected designs mishaps and confusions.
Quality Check Procedure is key to selecting the right Manufacturer.
Your brand value, the word of mouth publicity your clothes can generate is all based on one fundamental aspect of your product and that is the quality of your products. A good QC will ensure that the brand has a 100% recall value. It is vital therefore that your cloth manufacturer understands quality like you do.
Samples are just one way of ensuring your supplier is able to meet the standard of clothing you have set, but may not be enough. Do not forget to ask your apparel manufacturer about Quality Check Procedures in their manufacturing units and the evaluation systems they have for certifications (whether in-house or by professionals).
The most quality conscious manufacturers adapt the three stage QC process – This includes quality checking at the Pre-Production, During Production and Post Production stages. The quality check does not just stop with production but also focuses on other finer details like fabric condition, packing and assortment, workmanship defects, inside seams, collars and embroidery.
Having been in the apparel manufacturing sector for quite some time now, we at Cotton Monk are proud to say that 89% of our customers are repeat customers. In order to build this kind of an understanding and loyalty from our buyers, we have been manufacturing quality products and building that trust for several years now. So the next time you think you are ready to choose your manufacturer, don’t forget to prepare yourself thoroughly to find THE ONE!
Do you need help in getting samples for your clothes or knowing more quality standards at Cotton Monk? Contact us.