How to start your own clothing line

clothing lineSo you have a dream to start a clothing line and label business? Success is easy when you master the art of marketing, providing the cloth base on the season and putting your priorities right.

The clothing line business has experienced a constant growth rate. According to IBISWorld’s research, has put the annual US growth clothing sales at 19.3% and Women’s clothing and accessories is the largest market segment based on volume and total sales, accounting for an estimated 52.0% of industry revenue in 2015.

This growth is possible because of increase in internet ubiquity which makes it easier for both retailers and customers

Here are some steps that will help you to setup your clothing and fashion business.

The planning stage

Decide on the cloth line

Several types are available that can form your line. Some of it could include Wedding gown, T-shirt , Children clothing, Vintage clothing, sports cloth, corporate cloth and so on.

This will help you to focus and eventually become a leader in the sector.

Write a business plan

This is a complete layout of how to start and manage your clothing line. Be realistic and set plans you know are achievable. The following should form part of your clothing line business plan:

  • Executive summary-contains the business description, the purpose of the business plan and the future plan as well.
  • Business description-this is what gives your customers idea of the type of clothing line you are in and why you’re different from your competitors. This is really good if you want an investor to invest in your business.
  • Industry analysis-this analysis the clothing industry and the opportunities available.
  • Financial analysis-Gives you the cash flow analysis, profit and loss account and projected capital expenditure.

Never overestimate your abilities else you’ll be disappointed.

Prioritize your business funds

How you manage your funds, will definitely determine how your business will go. Even when you do not have the money at this stage, it’s still important to put your financials in order. Here are certain things that will help:

  • If you’re collecting loan to finance the business, you’ll need to know how much you’ll need that will help in launching the business.
  • What percentage goes into capital expenditure and recurring expenditure
  • If you’re to find an investor or a partner, how much stake are you willing to relinquish?
  • What are the materials you’ll need to get started and there cost?

Do a market research

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Very important steps to know who your competitor is what they’re doing, and to find out what your customers want to improve upon.

You’ll need to know how much you can sell your cloth at a retail and wholesale price. Ask people around, store owners how much they’re willing to pay for it.

Get the knowledge

It’s great to get the knowledge by having a part-time retail job. This exposes you to the industry and equally put you in the shoes of the customer by knowing what they’re buying.

Get necessary license/permit

 The requirement may vary based on your location (state). You’ll need a tax ID and permit to start the business.

Determine the number of personnel

Hiring people in clothing line business is really a way to make your business a success, but you’ll have to consider what assistant they’ll bring, availability of work and how to pay them, before hiring them.

If you’re planning to outsource for your designs, you may not need much personnel. If you’re doing it from the ground up, on a small scale, you can be able to do the design, cut, stitch and hem.

But on a larger scale, you’ll need people that will do the design, cut, hem, and stitch.

Action plan

Choose to build your brand

This is what is making Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein one of the top brands in the business. They build a reputation that people trust.

To build your brand, you’ll need

  • A unique name-the popular clothing line businesses have used that strategy to build their brands. The name can be your name (example is Ralph Lauren) or a name you just created (Example is Rodarte)
  • Make the name really appealing and easy to remember.
  • Your company name should be different from your clothing line business name.

Design a logo

Get something that represents you. We recognize Rodarte with their logo, so also is Calvin Klein. Brainstorm different logo and create one that really represents your business.

Design the cloth

There two ways to go about it when it comes to design.

  1. Design it yourself-You make sketches, give it to your team for feedbacks and make the final correction. Remember this is your first production, it’s important to make a good first impression and to use fabrics that are good and cost effective.
  1. Outsource your design if you’re outsourcing your design, you’ll need to tell the designer exactly what you need. An example is the cloth size, type of apparel and cloth color.
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Design to target all seasons

You’ll need to target all seasons and to do that, you’ll need to design to target different seasons of the year.

Find a manufacturer

Bring your sketches to reality by finding a manufacturer to produce them. The first point of call is by searching via the internet. Keep in mind that most of the manufacturer may be found overseas.

Their prices may be low, but manufacture in large quantity.

You can request for samples which they’ll send to you before they can produce the product.

Market your clothing line

Your product is ready and it’s time to begin to market your product.  The best way is by creating a professional website to put the items in place.

Your site must portray the business the best way and should include your business contact, item and shipping cost, the method of payments, expected delivery dates under different shipping method and purchase protection/guarantee.

Enter into a partnership with websites that help build your reputation which encourages sales.

Other methods include:

Fashion shows-create a fashion show to showcase your designs. This show attracts a lot of fashion lovers and industry expert. Owners of clothing stores or boutique may be able to pick some cloth on the runway and sell them in their stores.

Celebrity endorsement-Another vital way to expose your clothing brand. When a celebrity endorses your brand, it makes their fans patronize it as support for the celebrity.

Press releases-Write press releases and distribute it to newspapers and online news agency. Purchase ads on authority websites to display cloth line.

Social media-The social media huge, but not all will work. Anyone, you choose, you’ll need to know how to build your audience.

If you’re using facebook, it’s important you create a facebook page. This enables you to build your brand and promote your clothing line business.

Billboards-Create billboards and display in a strategic location about your business. Make your billboard message simple and straight to the point.

Affiliate marketing-Many e-commerce websites are doing it and why don’t you? In other to make more sales, you can create a way where affiliate will promote your product in exchange for a commission.

More tips

  • Make your design unique
  • Be creative always
  • Be part of any show when the opportunity presents itself
  • Use a catchy name
  • Use whatever possible to continue to build your brand




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2 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    Great article Nigfree! This will definitely help startup clothing companies.


  2. Mengjiao says:

    Thanks. Very impressive and helpful article.
    We are the best women’s clothing manufacturer and supplier in China. We are a manufacturing and trading combo for women’s clothing in Shandong China, with more than 19 years’ full experience and a professional sales team.

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