Buy local: how to choose the best clothing manufacturers UK
Looking for high-quality clothing manufacturers UK? Here’s why more and more businesses are choosing to buy British
The UK is famous for its stylish fashion, exceptional quality materials, and creative clothes designs. These days, more and more designers and fabric specialists choose to find British clothes manufacturers; they aren't looking overseas.
There are two reasons: clothing manufacturers UK offer exceptional products. It’s also much more sustainable to work with local suppliers, too.
To start with, many garment manufacturers around the world don’t have sustainable practices – they don’t ensure that their workers have safe, healthy working conditions and don’t pay them a liveable wage.
We also need to discuss how sustainably we manufacture, print, and deliver clothing. In the UK, factories take every process very seriously, but overseas they often overlook things.
It's a fact: the apparel industry is huge and extremely competitive. As a small business, there’s no way you can compete with a major brand menu. But you can learn some of the tricks of the trade in the garment industry.
If you’re a small business looking to outsource the production team for your clothes products, we give you a list of reasons why you should choose to buy British:
Benefits of choosing clothing manufacturers in the UK
Buying local goods is not as expensive as it sounds. There are many reasons to choose UK suppliers. They offer:
· More sustainable garment manufacturing and printing methods
· Better conditions and wages for garment workers
· Cheaper delivery – no customs costs. And you’re saving on greenhouse gas emissions for delivery
· Faster delivery, as you don’t have to get your product to you from a great distance.
· Great quality materials and production for locally produced fabrics and clothing.
What to do if you need clothing manufactured
As a small business, you need to decide whether you are going to produce your own clothing, or want to source readymade items from a supplier. If you’re a creative designer, the answer is obvious: you want to produce your own product from scratch and sell it.
Say you wish to sell items, say sportswear, for example, you may decide to buy ready-made sportswear items from a selection of different clothing brands. If yours is already an established small business, you may already know what your customer wants and what sells and what doesn’t.
You know your market, and you probably already have a list of regular, reliable suppliers who deliver products that you trust on time to you.
Small business owners should have an idea of the benefits and disadvantages of using the services of a clothing manufacturer instead of making the items themselves.
Pros and cons of using UK clothing manufacturers for your brand
If you’re going to start a business, it’s time to take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of using a clothing manufacturers UK:
· You can specify exactly what you want, and over time, as a regular customer you will work closely with the manufacturer and get what you ask for, and your customers will be happy.
· With a regular supplier, you can start to create your very own brand and identity.
· Once you have created a customer base, you're likely to make a decent profit.
· You can’t produce exactly what you want for your audience – you have to purchase what is available.
· You may need to purchase a bulk order. This may be expensive, especially if the clothes don’t sell very well.
· There’s a lot more risk involved in outsourcing to a supplier. You need to know whether they will deliver the items on time. Are their products high quality? Is the sizing up to scratch?
11 Questions to ask before you choose clothing manufacturers UK
You can either buy ready-made items from the manufacturer or design and custom-make garments yourself. Maybe they are helping you with fabric sourcing, pattern grading, or pattern cutting. But you need to ask these questions first:
1. Can the manufacturer create exactly what you want?
You must choose a specialist in the type of clothes you are selling. It’s no good choosing a manufacturer of household accessories for a high-end clothes brand. Check out previous or current clients to see what type of custom clothing the manufacturer specializes in.
2. Does the British clothing manufacturer use sustainable tech?
If your focus is on being green, you need to make sure that the methods you use to manufacture and print garments are sustainable. Ask what textile certifications, plus the amount of energy and water used in manufacture and print.
L:INK_ PRINTING METHODS BLOG HERE
3. Where is the clothing manufacturer based?
We’ve already discussed using UK suppliers. But there are some questions you need to ask them. Enquire exactly where in the UK the manufacturer is based, to get an idea of how far it is from your premises. You want travel costs for delivery to be as low as possible.
If you use international manufacturers, this will cost you more in customs and delivery.
Another important point: You have easy access to UK manufacturers. Visit their factories to watch them work and see how they treat their staff. And don’t forget: locally made brands are always a great selling point.
4. How much do the clothes cost?
Less sustainable manufacturers overseas are often more inexpensive than local ones. You need to be aware that if you buy from a local supplier, you can charge more than if you have your products produced in China, for instance.
5. The location where the garment is being produced?
Sadly, international garment workers often don’t have healthy working conditions. Factories around the world often produce fast fashion brands (ie inexpensive, bad quality clothes) in bulk. Make sure to take all these points into consideration before you decide which manufacturer to choose.
6. What is the minimum order?
It’s important to ask what your minimum clothes order is, ie how much you need to buy when you purchase either readymade or custom-made clothes.
Here at maake we have no minimums, and you can order from as small as a 20x20cm sample too!
This way, you can make sure that you can afford to work with the particular clothes manufacturer or not. Work out just how many items you want, and then discuss this with the manufacturer. You don’t want to land up with lots of unsold products.
7. Do UK clothing manufacturers provide samples?
It’s a good idea to request a sample so you can see exactly what the garment looks like when it’s made up. You need to be able to see what the quality control of the material and the sewing is like, and check out sizing, etc.
Although you may need to pay for the sample, this will be worth your while.
8. Ask for costs of production and shipping
Enquire exactly what all the costs are before you commit to a manufacturer. You don’t want to end up with hidden costs that you were unaware of. So if there are additional fees, request these upfront. These include shipping, delivery, customs, etc.
9. Is the UK clothing manufacturer small or large?
Does the clothing manufacturer have a decent supply chain? And does this particular supplier have the capacity to produce the amount of product you need? Will it produce high-quality designer clothing?
10. The time it will take to deliver your order
Be specific: ask how long it will take them to produce and deliver the products to you. You need to know this so that you can get the products and sell them in good time.
11. Check testimonials from other brands they have worked with
Nothing works better than by word of mouth. So enquire who they have used previously, and ask about their services, quality, etc.
One of the best British clothing manufacturer brands
At maake we pride ourselves on being one of the best in the material industry. And there’s a good reason for this. We focus on what is important for small businesses because we are a small business ourselves.
· We are extremely conscious of sustainability. In fact, every product we make is manufactured sustainably.
· maake only buys British. We support local businesses.
· Our factory uses locally manufactured fabrics that are produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
· The business prints on these fabrics sustainably, using as little water and energy as we can.
· The readymade clothes and home accessories we produce at maakeHome are all British-made and sustainable.