Here's where you can find manufacturers for your clothing brand
In this article I'll dissect parts of our Manufacturer Blueprint ebook. I'll be giving you valuable information that's enough for you to take away and implement after you've finished reading but be sure to read to the end on how you can get a better understanding of this whole process overall and get a bonus tip.
Let's get into it.
Finding a Manufacturer
Firstly, everyone tells you the same answers. Use Alibaba. I know. You get it so I'm not going to bother with that point. I'm going to give you 3 other places to look for manufacturers.
Here’s one tip I don't hear often at all. Just google it. I know you're probably shaking your head right now but hear me out.
A Google search can go a long way and lead you down rabbit holes of information that will help you. Simply search things like:
“Clothing manufacturers near me”
“Clothing manufacturers in … (insert country/city/state)”
“Manufacturer for custom … (insert item of clothing you want to get done)
One of the pros of this is that you're way more likely to find domestic manufactures (manufacturers in your country)
While this may seem the simplest method on paper, it can also be the trickiest when it comes to filtering through the results. A lot of manufacturers struggle to update their sites meaning some of the best manufactures won't even come up in a search, causing you to miss out on some good quality manufacturers.
To combat this, you can make yourself familiar with the basics of how Google works. When searching, use a variety of search terms, go past page 2 and beyond, use other search engines that can all help in narrowing down search results. Using Google's shortcuts to efficiently narrow down results.
The next place you can find manufacturers is discord servers. I'm in so many discord groups right now and I try to join as many as I can to stay tapped in with the community. There's always people asking about manufacturers and getting blessed in return. This can sometimes go left as some people just overall hate this question, so you wanna be careful how you go about this.
I've seen channels within servers literally for finding manufacturers so definitely try that out. If you need an invite to any servers, be sure to dm me. I got you.
Lastly, you can also search up a bunch of directories. The good thing about them is they are pre vetted meaning it's much easier to trust them with your work. We've included over 10 directories in our ebook all from around the world meaning you're covered wherever you're from.
One of them is less so a directory but I want to give a shoutout to Seaggs and their manufacturer resource list. He's done amazing in this space himself so he definitely knows a thing or two. In this product he laid out his own manufacturers, recommended channels as well as designers he's worked with. This would definitely be useful for a beginner so i'll leave here for you to pick up.
Now these are just some of the ways you can find a manufacturer. In the book I've listed more places and actual linked resources on where you can find manufacturers. The idea was to give you a myriad of options so you're almost left with no excuse to not find one.
Communicating with a Manufacturer
So , You've found a selection of potential manufacturers and now it's time to communicate with them. This is the point where you ensure you don't f**k up. Not to make it sound scary, but essentially just be normal and professional. Treat your manufacturer like a human and let them know what you're looking for. Also ask them questions you have.
You want to come with the right approach to avoid being ignored by them. In short, you will want to be clear and concise. Don't beat around the bush and be vague. Avoid long messages and get to the point. Briefly introduce yourself and brand, explain exactly what you need done and include your most important question(s) related to your opener.
Don't fill your opener with too much information that would be irrelevant. Manufacturers do not need to know your whole backstory.
There are 3 ways to communicate with them being voice/video call, email/message or face to face. Now some of these will depend on how close you are to the manufacturer but overall face to face is the best way to go. While it's probably inconvenient and expensive, do not be afraid to travel overseas to visit a supplier, given you have the budget. It is extremely beneficial and really goes a long way. In the end, it could be possible that you use all 3.
In the ebook i've left a comparison table among these 3 which I'll help you decide what is the best way to go for you! It also includes tons of other info regarding communication.
I also cover…
What to do when they ignore your opening request
What to do with the weird manufactures who spam every brand on Instagram
And I've also left a massive list of questions you can ask later on once you got your first message back from a manufacturer
You may be unsure of what to ask your manufacturer or maybe you want reassurance on a question. This list should have you covered!
Shortlisting your Options
This can come before the last point depending on how many potential you picked but now you want to shorten your options into one that's best for you.
Bonus tip - Be sure to keep 1-2 in case things go wrong
Double bonus tip - Things will most likely go wrong at least once. I talk to a lot of brand owners and almost all of them mention manufacturer issues
So how do you shortlist options?
Well in the ebook I cover this more in depth and give more points to look out for but I'll give you 3 points to look out for.
Proximity - In an ideal world you want your manufacturer to be close to you, just because of the pros. I know this isn't possible for everyone though
Communication - How easy is it to talk to them? And how quick are their responses
Lastly samples - Simply put, you want the best quality at the best price for your brand. It's up to you to find an equilibrium between the two.
Red Flags and Things to Know
Before I close off the video here are a few red flags and things to know.
Poor communication - taking long to respond, rude or unclear messages, bad english/spelling/grammar etc.
Manufacturers with instagram accounts spamming your DMs, comments and following thousands of accounts.
Lies. No matter how little. This can also include false marketing
Things to know
Be picky & don't settle. This aspect of your business is so important so it has to be damn near “perfect” , take your time with it and don't rush into a decision, you want to be proud to show off what you have made. This is in regards to not only your manufacturer but also samples
While you can definitely start a brand on a budget, it's definitely better to start a brand with a large budget, especially if you're looking for a cut and sew manufacturer.
Put yourself in the manufacturer's shoes sometimes to avoid frustration and conflict.
Bonus: How to Find any Brands Manufacturer
Now I'll show you how to find any clothing brands’ manufacturer. There is a website called Import Yeti that allows you to see the factories and manufacturers used by the big brands.
It currently only shows information for US brands but that's still a good scope of brands to search from. Below are the steps:
Search Import Yeti
Type the brand you're curious about
Make sure you choose the right company
See your results!
This is the basics of most of the things you need to know and you'll cover a lot of good ground with the stuff I've mentioned up to this point. But if you're still looking for more, keep reading.
This was more of a simplification of our manufacturer blueprint meaning there's way more depth and things you can learn in the ebook. Let's look over them.
In the Manufacturer Blueprint we also cover
How to vet manufacturer to avoid getting scammed or any issues
Showcasing your designs: this is quite straightforward but easy to mess up. You need to ensure you do this correctly to avoid any confusing and future problems
How to pay your manufacturer: this is also a little straightforward but can be complicating for some. We've made it as simple as possible to understand this process.
Getting your products shipped/delivered: whether your manufacturer is domestic or overseas we got you. If you're looking for cost effective or sustainable options we got you too
Carrying on the topic of sustainability, we also cover identifying unethical manufacturers. There can be a lot to look out for so we made it easy for you understand with additional links included for you to expand your knowledge
There are also more red flags and things to know to help you avoid making costly and time wasting mistakes along your journey
We also got bonus content covered and while i gave one bonus away, the other bonuses would be finding a low MOQ manufacturer and starting s brand with little to no money!
That's the rest of the ebook in a nutshell not to mention the depth we go into and additional links and resources I included to help your knowledge even more.
Finding a manufacturer isn't too hard, but there can be many parts to it. So see this ebook as an ultimate all round guide into your path of finding your manufacture.
This was also co written by Marcelo Chaman at verycalmstudios, Teddy Opong and Ollie Darani at Casadarani. These are all people experienced in dealing with manufacturers so I ensured that this is quality information that you can take and implement.
You can pick this up below, I'll also hook you up with a discount code. Enter code “Blueprint” for 20% off at checkout to save you some money.
I hope this helped you tons and that you go on to find a manufacturer. Be sure to leave questions and comments below. Don't forget to Share this to someone who needs it.