With the right tools and know-how, you can start a clothing and fashion label. Even better you can test your product idea first without committing a large investment. Don’t commit to a large commercial order and see how it goes, first learn how to test your idea, markets and suppliers first.
Learn to prove your idea first, then learn to import and launch your own label to market. Our team have helped many labels import and launch, and advised many more designers to export overseas.
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1. Decide your Clothing Style – a Sample
Choose a ready to go factory clothing style, new design or colours or a completely new piece of clothing.
There are thousands of clothing manufacturers in China that export to many different markets, so the likelihood that your preferred style of clothing is already produced, or partly produced for other markets is quite high. For start-up importers, it is often easier to start with ready to go factory clothes and designs then build your own label clothing over time.
We always encourage our clients to go to overseas and meet with their suppliers. Manufacturers LOVE to have their buyers visit them at the factory. Seeing products being made, chatting to production staff and meeting the factory manager is a great foundation for long term supplier success.
Learn to evaluate which clothing pieces to import and suitable suppliers to work with. Then learn to negotiate with clothing and fashion manufacturers for your commercial order.
2. What will your Label say about your Clothing?
For clothing, your label is the identity of your range. A glimpse of your label or brand should tell your customer what your business is, what it sells and project your image of style and quality. Never underestimate the importance of your label and brand design – it’s much, much more than just a fancy logo.
New online stores can often stock recognised and unknown label clothing. The key is to always market your own brand online store over and above the labelled products you may sell. You want your customers to remember your store, not the branded product you sold them – unless it’s your brand.
Learn to develop your own label clothing, so your products market your business and importantly you can start wholesaling to retail stores.
3. Clothing Quality and Suitability to Purpose
The sampling process is critical for all products, more so for clothing and there are literally thousands of manufacturers to choose from. So when deciding between manufacturers don’t cut corners – get samples from different factories and road test extensively.
Dryers and irons will help test shrinkage, washing and stretching will test fabric strength and testing of seams and collars is essential. Don’t be afraid of ruining your sample, you won’t know how durable the clothing is unless you do proper road tests. The sampling process will help to weed out unsuitable suppliers and minimise product faults and returns down the track.
Learn to develop a customer audience while you are sampling and get real feedback about styles in demand and price points.
4. Clothing Range and Season
Your clothing customers and potential retailers like to see consistency of style from season to season. If you are tracking well then stick to the basic main selling items (change colours with the seasons) and mix up pallets, textures and structure.
Understanding the lag time between new season ideas and final products is critical, especially if you plan to sell your products wholesale. Stores have specific buying cycles so you need to find out buying cycles for your market and how the buyers purchase.
Learn to develop your clothing piece, import and launch to market with a simple online learning program you can complete in just six weeks.
5. Wholesaling your Clothing Label
Find out what the store mark ups are and their buying process. Do they buy direct from designers, go through agents/sales representatives, or do they buy direct from the manufacturer? This will all affect your end margins and determine your required purchase price from the manufacturer.
Find out what the store’s buying terms are. Some are COD (cash on delivery) but more often than not most hold 30 day accounts. This is why selling to a distributor is preferred as they pay on purchase order. Some smaller stores might consider selling on consignment. Once the garment sells they keep a percentage of the sale and the designer gets what’s left. Then when the store owner deems the products unsaleable they will return them to the designer.
Learn to set-up your label for online, wholesale and export markets. Our paid members can access a clothing and fashion expert that has supported many designers in Australia to export to the US, UK and East Asian markets.
How My Import Label can help you Start a Clothing Label?
Start our free 30 day learning program today, or just get started for $499. You become an expert importer in just six weeks. Each week you will learn the techniques and develop the skills to import and launch your own label, with software and tools to make your task easier.
You’re learning experience will include:
- Up to fifteen new learning modules per week
- Weekly updates of industry trends and news
- Monthly coaching webinars with Q&A
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by Craig Ford
Starting a Clothing Label
My Import Label
How to import and launch your own clothing label