The Best Way to Approach Clothing Manufacturers
Top tips for approaching clothing manufacturers
As one of the UK’s leading clothing manufacturers, we deal with a lot of inbound enquiries from new and prospective clients, so we wanted to create a blog that outlines what we think is important when approaching clothing manufacturers.
In essence, there’s really only one thing that’s fundamentally important for clothing suppliers to understand and it’s so simple, you might be surprised - it’s what you want. Now this might sound like we’re messing around, but you’d be surprised how many inbound enquiries don’t include this simple piece of information. Of course, there’s more to it then simply saying what you want manufactured, but clothing suppliers need to understand the complexities and specific nature of your order to asses whether it’s something they can do, and if it is, how much it’s going to cost, the turnaround time and the MOQs - all of which are the burning questions!
As one of the leading UK clothing manufacturers, we deal with a lot of clients; all of which have vastly different requirements and therefore, we don’t have a standardised price list, nor do we have standardised processes. Some elements (like turnaround times and MOQs) can be advised from the get-go, but these are still quite heavily dependent on the design, materials, order value and so on.
This means that pricing up a project often requires a lot more information than you might initially assume and this includes;
- Quantities: Simply, we need to know how many units per style, per colour you require - not only so we can ensure it’s a project we can take on, but also to establish prices per unit!
- Specifications: Now we appreciate not every client has full-scale tech-packs and that’s absolutely fine, but we do need some indication as to what you require… you’ve seen our initial sketches when we started approaching clothing manufacturers back in our days of owning a brand, so don’t be afraid to send through sketches! Anything that’ll help us better understand what you require is absolutely fine by us.
- Reference points: The more, the better! Images, links to products, physical samples and so on. The more references you have, the more precise we can be with pricing as every little factor comes into play and will ultimately affect how much the end-client pays.
Once we have all of this information, we can then begin to build a better picture of what you require and we can get down to the important points very quickly. What we don’t want to do is waste your time discussing a project, jumping into sampling only to realise what you require isn’t something we can facilitate (whether it’s because of MOQs, or prices, or any other details!)
In short, we’d really recommend filling out as much information as possible. As a clothing manufacturer, we have a lot of inbound enquiries and do our best to reply to every single one of them, but we often hear feedback from prospective clients who’ve Googled “clothing manufacturers UK” and are surprised that none of the top 10 pages have replied to their enquiry form and it’s often because those clothing suppliers aren’t looking into vague enquiries (and this isn’t practice we condone by the way) but it’s often the case from what we can understand.
Therefore, to close this very short but sweet blog up - we’d always recommend ensuring that you provide as much information to clothing manufacturers as possible, especially in the first instance - this will maximise your chances of being able to progress with your project much more efficiently and also, most importantly - help establish a great relationship between yourself and your clothing suppliers!
Anthony Mellor is a fashion entrepreneur, writer and consultant. Anthony writes in-depth articles about topics related to fashion, business and supply chains.
Anthony successfully scaled and exited a D2C fashion brand at the young age of 20. Since then, he's gone onto start and successfully operate two multi-6-figure clothing manufacturing businesses and currently offers up one-to-one constancy to brand owners.