Updated: Feb 18
So, you're new to sportswear. You don't really know much about manufacturing and you're probably hoping for some advice. The good news is you're on the right blog, because we will be telling you the true secrets of the sportswear manufacturing sector.
Empty promises- we wish we could tell you otherwise, but unfortunately the sportswear manufacturing sector is full of people saying they can do something, but in reality they can't. A lot of manufacturers will take on a load of work, so that they can make money, but they can't really do the work to the standard that is required. From experience, we've found the best manufactures tend to have their speciality. What we mean by that is they have a particular style of production that favours certain styles of garments (i.e. zipper garments, seamless or even sustainable manufacturing) and these are the manufacturers we work with- due to the number of options we have, we can usually find the perfect one for your production needs.
Shortcuts- this is something that will inevitably happen, but only with certain manufacturers. From experience, we've found that this quite often happens with manufacturers based in Pakistan. Using fabric that is stained, or lack of attention to detail on stitching (particularly hems) and general lack of quality (across not just one, but five different manufacturers) became apparent for us. That being said, we'd like to hope that most don't do this but it does happen sometimes and is a nightmare to resolve after.
Negotiation- what a lot of new brands don't realise, is that as your buying power grows you can quite often negotiate and this doesn't always have to be in monetary form. Sometimes negotiating more colour-ways under the MOQ, or customisation options for certain garments. Manufacturers, as with any business want to retain customers and if you're placing orders often enough, then they'll tend to want to negotiate with you to ensure you stay with them.
It doesn't always have to be bespoke- a lot of new brand owners misconceptions revolve around having to have bespoke manufactured garments for their sportswear brand, but that doesn't have to be the case. With business such as White2Label Manufacturing offering such a comprehensive white label service- it often means that as a brand owner, you now have more options and cost-effective ways to manufacture your sportswear goods Of course, bespoke is the end-goal, but you don't want to drown yourself before you even get a chance to launch the brand; with high MOQ's, you're very likely to be overstocking on your initial collections which ultimately increases your overheads and puts you at a disadvantage from the get-go.