Clothing Manufacturers for Startups How to Start a Clothing Line: The 5-Step Guide

Clothing Manufacturing for Startups:
How to Start a Clothing Line: The 5-Step Guide

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the leap and become a fashion designer. After years of envisioning your clothing designs being worn by others, launching your own clothing line feels like a dream come to life.

Turning your ideas into reality — and getting paid to do it — can be exhilarating and rewarding. But to start a successful clothing line, you must have the right combination of business know-how and artistic creativity to produce fashions that people will love. To help you achieve your dream, use this step-by-step guide to learn how to start a clothing line including picking the clothing manufacturer.

Step 1. Define Your Demographic

The U.S is a vast market and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce a startup clothing brand. Knowing how to start a clothing line first requires identifying a niche and showing that there’s a need for your garments.
The three key components to launching a successful clothing brand are:
Bringing something unique to the market

Awareness of what your specific audience wants or needs

Building and maintaining a base of loyal customers

By providing unique new products that fulfill a need, the audience you’re marketing your clothes to — aka your target market — will appreciate your approach and are more likely to become loyal customers.

Finding Your Niche

When launching a clothing line for the first time, finding and catering to a specific niche is vital. If you try to appeal to the entire fashion market, you’re competing against well-established companies with much more exposure and brand recognition. Rather than putting yourself at a disadvantage from the start, build your designs and brand identity around a niche market that you can stay true to.

Lululemon is an example of how having a specific niche can pay off enormously. Initially, the brand focused on a seemingly narrow market: yoga wear for women. Today, Lululemon apparel sales pull in about $4.4 billion a year.
Choosing a niche allows you to create personalized fashion that caters to the needs of your target audience. Capture the imagination of your audience by crafting a brand story that resonates with them.

To help discover your niche, you’ll want to strike a balance amongst these main driving factors:
Your unique perspective
Doing market research can help pin down your clothing company’s place within the fashion industry. Research larger social or industry trends that align with the unique perspective of your fashion brand. It’s good if your approach to fashion is hitting a current trend. For example, perhaps you produce eco-friendly, natural fabrics for your women’s casual wear line.
Current social and industry trends
Finding fashion journals and blogs along with relevant industry research can give you a better understanding of popular trends. Celebrities and influencers are trendsetters. You can look to discover the latest styles that’ll be popular with your target market.
A unique solution
Once you’ve gathered your research, you can create clothing items that are unique, timely, and target your ideal niche.

Step 2. Craft Your Brand

Once you’ve defined your demographic, it’s time to craft your brand. Crafting your brand identity upfront allows you to better communicate your message and story within your niche.
To craft your own brand, you need to ask yourself: What kind of brand would speak best to my target market?
Your brand pillars are the foundations that will guide every aspect of your business model and decision making:

  • Mission: Your brand mission is the goals and the philosophy of your business.
  • Values: Your values form your brand culture. They are the set of guiding principles that drive your entire busines
  • Purpose: The driving force behind creating your brand and clothing line.
  • Vision: Ideals essential to preserving the future you’re heading towards.

Your brand pillars act as a simple tool for ensuring your brand’s consistency throughout all the decisions you make for your small business.
Nike is one of the most recognized brand names in the world. And a master of brand recognition — a simple swoosh on a T-shirt or hoodie instantly identifies its products. Nike’s success is attributed mainly to its brand pillars. The following tenets ensure Nike follows its business philosophy.

  • Mission: “To bring inspiration to every athlete in the world.”
  • Values: Community. Sustainability. Diversity. Social Responsibility.”
  • Purpose: “Move the world forward through the power of sport – breaking barriers and building community to change the game for all.”
  • Vision: “Building a creative and diverse global team and making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.”

Creating a Brand Aesthetic

Brand visuals are what people associate with your brand. They’re are an integral part of how to start a clothing line. These include logos, brand fonts, and colors, along with your overall design and photography aesthetics.

Color Palette
The next step is to narrow down your color pallette. Early on, selecting a color palette will keep your brand looking consistent. Pay attention to the dominant colors throughout your mood board. They’ll stay with you throughout the design process, so make sure you’ve settled on a good one!
Finally, craft a logo for your clothing business. It must represent your brand and speak to your target audience. Though you’ll need to pay extra for a trademark, there are plenty of cost-effective options like Looka for creating a custom logo. Get creative with your business!

Step 3. Find Your Clothing Manufacturer for Startup

When developing and producing your clothing line, you’ll want to choose a Custom Clothing Manufacturer carefully. There are many factors to consider. One of the most important is if the manufacturing process will take place in the U.S. or abroad.
Where it was once much more financially viable for clothing stores and designers to manufacture abroad, recent industry trends have given rise to domestic factories.

Step 4. Development and Production- Custom Clothing Manufacturing

clothing manufacturing

In short, development and production are the foundations of your clothing business. Everything’s invested into turning your fashion business ideas into reality.
The development process is where your designs come to life.

clothing manufacturing

How to Start a Clothing Line.


Step 5. Market Your New Clothing Line

clothing manufacturing

Now that you’ve learned how to start a clothing line, it’s time to produce the first run. There are a lot of components to a successful marketing plan, so let’s review some of the key tactics you can deploy.
Unless you have a substantial marketing budget, online marketing is the most effective and financially viable option to promote and sell your line. Make sure your online presence is solid.
Fashion e-commerce is projected to reach $153.6 billion in sales by 2024. With so many people buying from online businesses, promoting your new clothing brand online can be a real advantage to reach your target audience.
Start with building a website that:
Showcases clear images of your collection.
Displays your contact information.
It brings your brand to life.
Tells your story.
Use high-quality images. As potential customers, partners, or even funders base their first impressions on these photos, they need to be good. Furthermore, this is also a great opportunity to highlight your slogan. It’ll enhance your brand story and differentiate you within your niche.
For example, if you’re designing a line for solo female travelers, pick an empowering slogan to match your niche. Something like, “Travel With Attitude” or “Goin’ Solo.“
Tell your story. Using social media is a great way to promote your brand and get people invested. Use every tweet, like, post, and social media interaction to share your brand and story.
Launching your line with a giveaway is a great opportunity to generate exposure. When done correctly, they’re crucial for getting your name out there. Research social media content ideas and then promote them on your website and social media channels.

Perfecting the Production of Your New Fashion Line

Finding a reliable and skilled manufacturing facility is a must for your new clothing line.
You want the garments’ value to match throughout development and production.

Outsource I.D. is here for you. We will walk you thru the process from Start to Finish.
Contact us Today: (949) 439-7654

Building Your Brand

Developing brand loyalty is critical to a company’s success.
Building a brand goes far beyond filing your paperwork and opening a business checking account. A brand is more than just a company logo or slogan. It’s how people feel when they see your logo or hear your name. Branding is the most powerful marketing tool in the world.
Great branding spreads like wildfire.

Here are several steps that you need to seriously consider when developing your brand.

1. Create marketing strategies that get your existing customers to become brand advocates for your business. Partner with influencers who can bring your brand to life.

Many top brands actively pursue relationships with key ‘influencers’ in their industry. Sometimes the influencers will accept free ‘merch or services’ while others require more lucrative compensation. Engaging influencers and brand ambassadors can be a very effective method to increase brand awareness and increase sales.

2. Encourage customer reviews.
Many companies offer incentives to customers who post reviews, complete surveys and provide other feedback on their products or services. Independent reviews have become critical to a business’s successes where a single negative review can have real impact on the bottom line.

3. Run promotions to incentivize referrals.
A personal referral is considered the gold standard for a business, because the potential customer in most cases, fully trusts the advice of the person providing the referral. In that respect the new customer engages with the brand on a active and motivated basis.

4. Create a customer loyalty program.
From retail coffee to the airline industry, all top companies offer some form of reward program. This has been proven to generate ‘repeat’ business and incentivize loyalty to the brand. This is invaluable to the business because it encourages the customer to return again and again creating a revenue growth curve.

Brand Marketing is an important concept that should be the driving force to an effective, overall marketing strategy. A well thought out brand marketing strategy will highlight and bring awareness to your products by connecting values and voice to the right audience through strategic communication. Let your brand personality shine. Build a brand story and messaging. Create a brand logo and tagline. They will go a long way to help you to grow your company for many years to come.

If you are just Starting Your Clothing Line, you will want to partner with an experienced Custom Clothing Manufacturer. They will be proficient in developing screen prints, embroideries, hangtags and other on product branding tools, that will go help better reach your target customer and develop stronger brand loyalty.

Another important concept to consider is Brand Identity. This is essentially your company’s reputation. It’s not what you tell people about yourself; its what people tell each other about you. Brand identity is not one specific aspect of a business. It’s comprised of multiple factors, such as company values, communication style, product offerings, logos, color palettes, and more. All of these element’s help portray your brand to the outside world. But the world’s perception of those factors ultimately becomes your brand identity.

A Custom Clothing Manufacturer can be pivotal in helping you develop products and marketing strategies that influence Brand Identity, as your reach out to your target market. Weather you’re a start-up or an existing brand, partnering with an experienced Clothing Manufacturer will have a powerful impact on the success of your Brand Marketing efforts.

Reach out to Outsource I.D. today at 949-439-7654 or

leading custom clothing manufacturer

The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed!

One of the most important reasons a start up will succeed (or fail) is… Timing.

Of course there are other significant considerations that need to be examined. Entering the market on a timely basis, under prime conditions as opposed to being even somewhat premature, can be the difference between success and failure.

Determining when to launch a company &/or product, must take into account a plethora of factors including but not limited to; funding, tastes & preferences of consumers, current technology, supply and demand features, the team & execution abilities and of course the idea/business model itself.

By workiing closely with a professional Custom Clothing Manufacturer, you will be able to coordinate a product devlopment timeline, that could be optimal for the market/ industry you’re looking to penetrate.

Bill Gross of PIMCO fame, has founded a lot of start-ups and incubated many others. Over the years he became curious as to why certain startups succeeded while others failed. So, he gathered data from hundreds of companies, both his own and from the open market. He then ranked each company on their merits based on five critical factors. In order of prominence, they were found to be.

Bill’s research consistently determined that a company’s ‘Timing’ was the one factor that greatly influenced the startup’s success (or failure) more than any of the other factors analyzed. That is not to say that the other 4 criteria are not important. On the contrary, each of those attributes are also highly relevant and critical to increasing the likelihood of success.

To quote the great boxer Mike Tyson “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face”!

How to start a Clothing Line, especially in the highly competitive apparel industry can be intimidating. Working with Outsource I.D. who is an experience Clothing Manufacturer will greatly enhance your prospects of a successful startup and minimize expensive learning curve costs.

Reach out to us today!
(949) 439-7654

Apparel Inventory Planning

Scheduling when and how much inventory to purchase is one of the most important business decisions you will make each season. Excessive inventory translates to valuable cash flow not working for you. On the other hand, too little inventory causes lost revenues and profits.

Sales projections are challenging to establish, especially if you’re a start-up or have limited sales history. One approach is to use the 80-20 rule. Normally, he bulk of your sales are coming from 20% of your items in terms of styles, colors, and sizes. You need to focus on ensuring you have the right amount of the 20% of inventory.

Knowing the lead times from your clothing manufacturer is another important consideration. If your products are coming from overseas, you will need to account for production time, ocean freight, U.S. customs clearance and ground freight. It is often wise to allow for extra time just in case there are unforeseen delays. By working closely with your clothing manufacturer, a timeline can be developed according to your budget, to ensure that purchase orders are issued at the right time.

Another key consideration is the seasonality of the apparel items you are carrying. When importing, starting to look at fall/winter gear in the months of March/April is generally a good idea. For spring/summer merchandise it would generally be good to start looking at issuing Purchase Orders in the months of October/November.

By carefully pre-planning the order process in a strategic manner, taking into consideration the right quantities, the seasonality of the products, and your apparel manufacture’s timeline and capabilities, you can successfully streamline your inventory. This will translate to higher sales, better customer satisfaction, and greater profits.

For more information and valuable guidelines on inventory planning, contact Outsource I.D. at (949) 439-7654 or email

Custom Designed Gear Bags

Nothing beats a Cool and Original Gear Bag. Whether going on a weekend trip, heading to the gym or off to the beach, the gear bag you’re carrying is super important. Yes, it needs to be functional but equally important, it must have the look that reflects your style.

A one of the best Wholesale Custom Clothing Manufacturer’s, Outsource I.D. has been producing Custom Designed Gear Bags for over 32 years. It starts with an idea and a design. From there our production team will recommend the best materials, trims, and logo placement. We can make it happen.

We recently designed a Startup Development Product, Sales Rep Utility bag for a Medical Company that had 7 panels, custom created to hold specialty medical tools. Now, instead of the sales reps digging into a large bag in search of instruments, they were now able to flip panels one by one and show the hospital the range of tools in a simple and organized way. Adding their logo made it look very professional.

Weather you’d like to introduce that special gear bag to compliment your other branded products, or come up with that one killer design, as a top Custom Brand Clothing Manufacturer, Outsource I.D. can develop and manufacture that bag for your company. We’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Reach out to us today so we can discuss your project.

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