How do you pick your clothing manufacturer for the best success? The rapport you as a designer or as a brand has with your manufacturer is essential and mostly overlooked. Whether it is your first clothing manufacturer or simply a change to a new clothing manufacturer the same processes apply. We turn this question on its head with this brief guide of what to expect from Ametlab whether you are a new designer or an established brand. This brief guide makes it easy for you to pick your clothing manufacturer for success and longevity.
The relationship you create with your clothing manufacturing company will determine the overall quality of your collections. At its most basic, if you switch manufacturers every season your collection will always remains expensive to produce and ultimately the quality and finish of your products will never be the same. The clothing manufacturing company you choose is responsible for bringing your product to life and scaling with you as you grow. This relationship is crucial because it marks the foundation of your business and creates clearly seen end results of your product.
There are three basic options for manufacturing your collection, with no right or wrong way. What works for you depends on your personal background, experience, and final goals.
This is a full-service operation from Ametlab. We source your material plus any accessories and trims. We then handle the pattern making, cutting, sewing, printing, packaging, folding, and everything that comes in between until your full collection is at your door. We find both emerging designers and well-established brands want this service from us. With constant communication from both parties and clear common goals we always see a satisfying end result.
CMT (CUT, MAKE, TRIM)
Instead of sourcing the materials ourselves, you source the materials and send them to us for production of your goods. We cut and sew the garments and send them back to you on completion. This service is mostly used by established brands who have created their own relationships with fabric manufacturers over time or who have niche or technical fabrics in their collections that have led them on a detailed research.
Piecemeal is not a type of factory, but a process. Essentially, you use a different factory for each individual step. The issue with this method is that you are spreading the production process over multiple places which can lead to communication and price issues. If you have detailed and particular processes that only a handful of people have the ability to do, this will be the sure path to follow.
When starting your production process, have a clear vision of your final product and work backwards from there. A thorough vision gives us a clear picture of what we need to do, and ultimately how much it will cost you to achieve it.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of achieving what you want is to provide us with a fit reference sample. This should be a garment with the measurement and fit that you want to achieve. Along with this sample, bring your notes. Do you want it longer or shorter? Different sleeves? Round, square or V neck? The more info we have, the closer we achieve your vision without delays.
WHAT BRANDS HAVE WE WORKED WITH?
We respect you and your brand as well. We don’t publicise the brands we manufacture for in the public domain unless we have your express consent. We are proud of what we do, and of our client list – so just ask us! We will gladly share.
WHAT IS THE APPROVAL PROCESS DURING DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION?
At what stages will you, as designer get to step in and make the executive decision? This is your line, your hard work, and your money. A pre-production sample approval is standard on clothing and accessories. Pattern approval is not as important unless you have an extensive background in pattern making, in which case you can also give us your paper pattern to digitalise.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A DESIGNER DURING THE PRODUCTION PROCESS?
Be upfront with us about the level of involvement you want and expect to have during the development process. What stages do you want to check quality? We are great at honest, transparent communication, but we haven’t mastered telepathy yet! We’re working on it though.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY?
Whether we are producing 50 or 500 units, there are certain steps that take the same amount of time and cost, like approving patterns, negotiating with vendors, picking up and receiving materials. It is easier to absorb the cost of these non-value added activities by spreading them across a larger number of units.
We don’t impose a minimum order quantity, but the cost for one sample will incur a base cost that is greater than an order of 100 plus units.
The apparel manufacturing process can be daunting whether you are taking the leap for the first time or taking the leap with us for the first time.
We try to simplify the processes as much as possible for you. Communication is key and we in turn will always be clear and involve you in all the steps of manufacture for a mutually successful long-term partnership. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiries.