Starting with US manufacturing is common for emerging brands, but as you scale you may find being price competitive a real hurdle. Making the jump to overseas manufacturing can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Knowing which boxes need to be checked before starting the process of overseas apparel manufacturing will save you tons of time and money. Here's what you'll need in order to be ready to make the leap to overeseas production.
Know your MOQs
Most emerging brands don't consider overseas suppliers because they assume the MOQs (minimum order quantity) will be too high. While you aren't likely to find a factory with small batch minimums between 10-100 unless you are working with an artisan co-op, you can expect to find MOQs at 100-500 which as you scale is quite reasonable. We are proud to have several ethical factories on our THR3EFOLD Platform with 100-500 MOQs. So if you want to save time, start by joining the platform.
Have product development complete
Working with a professional and local dev shop to complete your tech packs, patterns, and samples will cut down on the back and forth you conduct with your overseas manufacturer. There will still be required due diligence in sampling to make sure they can meet your quality standards but by reducing the amount needed you save time and lower your environmental impact.
Know your production budget
It's no secret that production costs a pretty penny, and going into the process without knowing what to expect can make it even more difficult to manage your budget. Always make sure that you're speaking with people you can trust and run the numbers beforehand so you know what cost works for you. Most ethically certified factories have rates that are good for you but still allows them to pay their workers fairly keeping your mission in the forefront. *If you want to mitigate risk, we recommend crowdfunding (Kickstarter) to pre-sell your line before you go into production so you have the full budget you need. We have a course on crowdfunding if you want to ace it the first time.
Do your research
There are plenty of factories overseas to choose from so not knowing where to look might be your first obstacle. Look for emerging brands that use ethical manufacturing internationally because odds are they're in the same boat as you. Making sure they're certified and transparent before making the jump and keep in mind any problems that may arise because you won't be working with them in-person.
Having the opportunity to manufacture overseas has many benefits. As long as you're keeping yourself organized and putting in the effort to communicate with your factory, things should go smoothly. If your brand is ready to explore international manufacturing, join our platform and get access to our ethically certified factories so we can make it easier for you to find the right one.
Coaching Club starts NEXT WEEK!
Our 4-month brand accelerator gives you the expertise and resources to launch and grow your sustainable fashion brand successfully. You'll get access to all of our emerging brand courses, sourcing and production tools, coaching and feedback from industry experts, and access to an exclusive community of fellow brand owners for accountability, advice, and support. Applications close this week so apply here today! DON'T MISS OUT