How Do I Find a Clothing & Sports Goods Manufacturer?

Best way to Find a Manufacturer for
Clothing, Sports Goods

Depending on your requirements and your personal situation, there are three main categories of production in many cases of Garments, Sportswear and some other sports accessories like Goalkeeper Gloves, Cycling Gloves, Socks, Caps, Gym Gloves, Belts, Bags etc.

Some clothing manufacturer will simply assemble materials that you provide, whereas the others will help with the designing process, creating patterns and sourcing the materials too.

The most easiest and time consuming way for Finding the best manufacturer for your business is to assume your business situation and then find what type of manufacturer, your business needed. There are most common types of manufacturer or available here.

Three types of manufacturer:

There are the most common manufacturing types for garments and many other items are:

  1. Cut, Make, Trim (CMT)
  2. Full Package Production (FPP)
  3. Print On Demand (POD)
clothing manufacturer

What is Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) Manufacturing?

This type “Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) manufacturer” works as per the acronym; they cut the fabric, make up the apparel and trim (finish) them with the provided trimmings such as zips and buttons. On face of it, this seems like a great solution, however, CMT includes only the physical making of the clothing and some kind of accessories like Gloves, caps etc.

A CMT manufacturer would not assist with the design process or supply materials, meaning you have to provide the absolutely everything to them. CMT usually charge an hourly rate, as opposed to charging per piece. It works well for them because their manufacturing is purely time based, with them making money on the amount of time it takes to make a piece. Due to this, there’s usually no minimum order quantity (MOQ).

A CMT will usually be happy to make 1 or 100 units, because either way they are being paid for their time. CMT is often favoured by independent designers who only produce very small runs of clothing and other relating goods, and who would not be able to work with the MOQs of other manufacturers.

Services provided by CMT:

  • Basic pattern development
  • Fabric cutting
  • Fabric stitching
  • Occasionally basic trim sourcing

Pros of CMT:

  • Usually have no minimum order quantities
  • High quality control measures
  • Fully customize

Cons of CMT:

  • Expensive
  • Unable to grow along side business due to their limited workforce
  • It is time-consuming and complicated for start-up brands to know where to find suitable fabric and trim

What is Full Package Production (FPP)?

Full Package Production is the term that used to describe the type of the production whereby the manufacturer handles the entire process. They provide the “full package”, with the guiding of manufacturer to the client through every step of the process from an initial meeting or design brief, right through to delivery.

Some FPP manufacturers also offer the design services, however mostly can produce an initial sample from reference images and text descriptions, with the bulk items being developed from the sample.

FPP manufacturers tend to have the fabric expertise and are able to offer advice and guidance as to what fabric will be suitable for specific applications.

This type of manufacturing is mostly suited to those brands who are looking to outsource the whole process to a third party whose expertise is in producing fully customized products, most likely because they are new to the industry or looking to have more involvements with the branding side of their business. This is by no means a hands-off approach though; the FPP manufacturers will be in constant contact with the client to ensure that all of their specifications are well understood.

The main disadvantage to FPP manufacturers is, they implement minimum order quantities ‘MOQs’ in order to make production viable. Manufacturers difference, with some offering far lower MOQs than others. In the FPP manufacturing world, ‘MOQ’ could range from just 50pcs to 1000pcs per design, so it is best to talk to manufacturers and ask what their ‘MOQ’ are right away. “Some manufacturers implement MOQ not just per colour, or per design, but per size”. This means that some FPP manufacturers are not viable option for small start-up brands, however, there are start-up specialist FPP in the industry who can help you if you are new to the business.

Services Offered by FPP Manufacturers:

  • Raw material sourcing and purchase.
  • Pattern Development.
  • Cutting, stitching and finishing.
  • Trim Sourcing.
  • Fabric Dying.
  • Pre Washing.
  • Fabric Treatment.
  • Product customization (embroidery, printing etc.).
  • Logistics.

Pros of FPP:

  • Fully customizable.
  • Handle the entire process, from concept to delivery.
  • Economies of the scale mean as you order more items, the unit cost decreases.
  • Experts in their field, with advice to offer in the all areas of production.

Cons of FPP:

  • Have minimum order quantities to make production viable.
  • Can have a higher initial financial outlay because of MOQs involved.

What is Print On Demand (POD) Manufacturing?

With print on demand, your product designs are printed when you need them, instead of in bulk before you need them. They usually have low MOQ, just 1 in most cases. In A print on demand business, just like the every other business model, has its own set of pros and cons, the main cons being limitations when it comes to the customization.

POD manufacturer works using “stock, pre-made” items, which have been purchased in the huge bulk quantities for the low prices. They will then print or embroider one of these items with designs supplied by customer. Although cheap, the obvious drawback of this is that the garments are not unique to your brand, and you have no control over finer details.

You have no control over sizing, style, or composition. Some offer relabeling services, however most do not, and if they do offer relabeling services, it will be expensive. Some POD manufacturers even use the labels of the stock garment – Gildan and Fruit of the Loom for example, so any customer will know that they are really just getting a cheap item which has been re-branded.

When it comes to POD manufacturer however, they can offer you some convenient services which your brand may benefit from, like drop shipping. Some POD will take an order from yourself and deliver it directly to your customer, meaning you never have to even see the items.

Services Offered by POD Manufacturers

  • Printing
  • Embroidery
  • Stock Garment Sourcing
  • Occasional relabeling

The best way to reach the overseas manufacturers is:

  • B2B Platform
  • Search engine (Google, Bing, Yendex)

The very important thing you should keep in your mind before contacting any overseas supplier is MOQ, FOB, C&F costs . In low MOQ you can’t take more control on FOB Cost as well as C&F Cost. It will be higher than average not also the manufacture can take control on cost. Specially if you are making any sample.

In suggestions: You should spend a bit more time to talk with them about fabric, patterns styles, other production processes like printing types, embroidery etc in order to know- are you talking to a right supplier for your brand?

Believe in those manufacturer who are able to give you the best knowledge about your niche. or they have properly align their landing pages of their website.

Edited: Sourced By @Howthorninc