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Looking for clothing manufacturers can be very tedious. Fortunately, this blog will assist you in finding the right one.

How to Find Clothing Manufacturers for your Startup

  • Post category:Blog
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Finding clothing manufacturers may not seem as business visionists or entrepreneurial enthusiasts may think. There’s a lot more depth to it! The first manufacturer you may find could be the factory to deal with. Or, you may have to keep looking for other manufacturers until you find the right one. In this blog, we’ll give some of our advice to find a manufacturer for your clothing startup.

Where to look for them?

Before you pick your manufacturer, you need to find one first. Finding clothing manufacturers will seem very overwhelming without the help of some guidance. And when you finally do find one, you’ll need to decide if it’s the right one or not. Thus, as a disclaimer, you might have got a lot of work cut out for you so, let’s take things one step at a time. Here’s how to find them.


One of the appropriate ways to find a manufacturer is by going to events and make friends who’re running or are involved with other startup brands. This takes a lot of time. That’s because people just can’t open their arms to you at an instant and hand over all the efforts they made to build their supply chains. You’ll need to develop a trusting relationship.

The key here is to share when it comes to establishing a friendly business relationship. You’ll also have to give some information about your startup brand, whether you may like it or not. Clothing manufacturers aren’t desperate for their first order, especially the good ones. And even if they are, they also want to know what’s in it for them, not just for you.


Of course, how can we forget the internet? The internet is a great place to find a manufacturer and break the ice. Forums, Google, and social media groups are the places to go. You can set up an ad post or write a status in a forum or Facebook group asking for a collaborative partnership. You can look for custom clothing manufacturers’ websites on Google and get their contact details to talk to them. 

Arguably, this approach might be the quickest but might also be the least effective. That’s because some clothing manufacturers prefer to have a face-to-face conversation rather than a conversation over email. 

Finding the right fit

Unfortunately, most enthusiastic startup entrepreneurs want to work with supply chain partners that the big brands work with. Although the reason behind working with reputable manufacturers may seem understandable, it can still bring more harm than good to your clothing startup. Working with the big players as a startup is a rookie thing to do. So you’ll have to find the right fit.

We all know life is not always perfect. Partnering with startup niche clothing manufacturers is also not good. Avoid them because they’re bizarrely expensive. The cost of developing samples of three clothing styles can go up to $14,000. And to be clear, they’re not usually sophisticated manufacturers either. Things can go terribly wrong considering they’re new to the business too. 

Selecting the right one

The perfect clothing manufacturer should balance the two extremes – big and small.

A hands-on team

The first thing you want from them is to produce the clothes that you want to make. Just don’t go to some generic garment factory and mass-produce the products. The manufacturer you should be looking for must be specialized and an expert in what you want to be manufactured. 

You’ll also need to get to know the person that will be handling the production. Often, when you start working with them, the owner or the upper management will be talking to you to set out the terms. But you still need to bring clarity by talking to all your manufacturing partners that you know and learn who’s managing what. You need to understand the roles so that no big issue arises.

No shady outsourcing

Some clothing manufacturers may act shady and outsource production without being upfront and honest about it. As a matter of fact, they may not even manufacture your clothes at all! The reason why they would outsource is because of cheaper materials or cheaper labour. The rule of thumb is that they should be honest and transparent about it. If they don’t, then they’ll definitely harm your startup brand. 

If they do outsource, then it’s not a bad thing as it’s industry standard. The reason being is that some things just don’t get made in the factory, such as buttonholes. Some offer to do buttonholes as a separate service and get paid for it. So it’s really not a big deal. But, always clarify yourself and keep note of who else is involved in the manufacturing process.

Rule of thumb: middle-of-the-ground

All in all, what we’re advising you is to go for the middle-of-the-ground sort of manufacturer. That’s perhaps the way to go to find a manufacturer. You don’t need to partner with a star player in the industry, and you also don’t need someone that’s too specialized on very specific and detailed orders, especially for a startup brand. You need to find the perfect balance for your startup. Otherwise, all your savings for investing in the growth of your business can drain rapidly due to high costs and a difficult supply chain. Most likely, finding clothing manufacturers will take a long time. But it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Iconic Apparel House

Now that you’ve read our blog, ever thought of partnering with us? That’s right. The Iconic Apparel House manufactures custom clothes for you to sell to your customers. We’ve worked with various brands, and we’re the clothing manufacturer to go. Contact us now to learn more about what we do and let’s get to work.