Finding ethical factories can be a daunting task in and of itself. Most people do not know what standards a factory should have to be considered ethical in the first place. But if you are just starting out you not only need standards, you need a factory willing to offer lower minimum production orders. Some factory minimum order quantity is 2,000 units per style per color...yep that's a lot. Here's how to find a low minimum ethical factory overseas.
Check their certifications
When looking for a ethical factory, certifications can inform you on their ethical practices. Just because they say eco-friendly or ethical on their website doesn't mean the product is that. In fact, in our experience many factories who actually ARE ethical and have fantastic certifications don't even put that on their websites. Ask the factory if they have any ethical or sustainable certifications you can review? You can learn more about standards here.
Ask about their Sustainability
Again, many factories aren't great at communicating on their website all they do, so it's up to you to ask. Inquire if they have alternative energy sources? What do they do with their fabric scraps? Are they other ways they are practicing increased sustainability standards?
Request Lower Minimums
Sometimes factories are open to lower minimums than they post for one of two reasons: 1. They may be in a slow season and able to do smaller orders or 2. They may believe in your brand and see value in building with you from the start. No time has been better to request smaller minimums that 2021! COVID shutdown production for many factories, so getting as many orders to maintain work and profit is crucial as they work to stay in business.
Managing production feels impossible and growing a brand is overwhelming because you wear so many hats. If you are ready to launch or grow your sustainable brand, we'd love to help. Our 4 month brand accelerator the Coaching Club teaches you everything from production to press and for the first time ever will give you access to a database of ethical factories, sustainable materials, and more. Applications close Feb 28th, check it out and apply now!