Understanding the manufacturing options for apparel brands
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Owning a small apparel company requires you to make several vital decisions about you fashion collection production. You will most likely decide to outsource the production of your garments, so it is important that you understand the technicalities of the manufacturing process. Make the best decision about outsourcing for your company by considering which choice suits best your product and your entire supply chain.
Your manufacturing options for a small apparel company include:
You may choose to produce all of your collections in-house. Although this requires more employees, more equipment and more money, it has advantages. Most importantly, you will have complete control of the entire production process from research and design to packaging and shipping.
2. Cottage Industry
In the fashion industry, cottage industry production often refers to home-based production. This works especially well if you are just starting out, or for apparel items that you don't wish to mass produce. Start up costs are significantly less because you take advantage of your home and have a very small number of employees.
3. CMT (Cut, Make, Trim)
If you choose CMT production, you will continue to create new designs and make samples in-house, while finding a third-party to finish the production process. They will cut the pieces from the patterns you provide, sew the garments together, and trim loose threads. Trimming is often part of the quality control process. Garments are inspected and faulty workmanship is corrected before they are packaged and shipped.
4. Full Package Manufacturers
Full package manufacturers take most of the production process out of your hands. Their part begins with sourcing the fabric for your designs. The extent to which they do this depends on your agreement. Many full package manufacturers like to use fabric mills that they have relationships with, so they will provide you with several fabrics from which to choose. In other cases, you provide your fabric samples and they will order and use what you have chosen.