Reaching out to garment factories can be daunting for emerging brands. Factory managers are often reluctant to take on first-timers as they can require a large investment in time for little financial return. So how do you catch the attention of a factory and convince them to work with you? Preparation and professionalism are key! Here are 3 tips to start working with garment factories for emerging brands.
1 | Create a brand email account
First impressions count, so it's important to project a professional image from the very first time you connect with a factory. One of the simplest (but often overlooked) ways of doing this is to send an introductory email from your brand's email account. Factories are much more likely to respond to an enquiry from firstname.lastname@example.org than email@example.com. So if you don't have a brand email account yet, be sure to create one before you send that first email.
2 | Craft a clear and concise production inquiry email
Solidify your first impression with a clear and professional email introducing your brand and providing full details on your production needs. Factories will want to know the following:
3 | Have your tech pack ready
Your tech pack is the blueprint from which the factory creates your garment. It contains all the technical information about your product including your sketch, sizes, fabrics, trims, artwork, colors, construction information and labeling. Garment factories will absolutely need a tech pack to complete a price quote.
BONUS | Not asking for an NDA
One of the biggest signs that a new brand is super green, is asking factories for an NDA. Factories are busy. They do not have time to build a brand. They make the least amount of profit in the whole supply chain and they aren't interested in stealing your designs. *We are not your lawyers and this is not legal advice. We are only providing you with industry norms for your edification. Yes, in fashion there is risk of copy and it's very hard to protect your intellectual property, all brands face this challenge, and the industry notoriously copies each other from top to bottom. It's also highly likely the person fielding the new production inquiries is not legally authorized to sign such a document. If you truly do have a patent and want an NDA signed, you need to address this after the factory responds and explain to them the situation.
Need more help? We go through all of this in-depth in our Production Pro course so you are ready to approach a factory AND get a favorable response from them. If you're in need of product development but don't know where to go, get started here and we can connect you to a product development expert!