Looking for high-quality clothing manufacturers in the UK? Here’s why more and more businesses are choosing to buy British

The UK is famous for its stylish fashion garments, exceptional quality fabric, and creative fashion clothing designs. These days, more and more designers and fabric specialists choose to use local clothing manufacturers; they aren't looking overseas.

There are two reasons: fashion clothing manufacturers in the UK offer exceptional products. It’s also much more sustainable to work with UK suppliers, too.

To start with, many fashion clothing 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 company, there’s no way you can compete with a major brand. But you can learn some of the tricks of the trade in the garment industry. 

If you’re a little business looking to outsource the production team for your fashion clothing products, we give you a list of reasons why you should choose to buy local:

Benefits of choosing a UK clothing manufacturer

Buying UK goods is not as expensive as it sounds. There are many reasons to choose a UK clothing manufacturer. They offer:

  • More sustainable fashion clothing manufacturing process and printing methods
  • Better conditions and wages for garment workers
  • Cheaper delivery – no customs costs. And you’re saving on greenhouse gas emissions for deliver      Faster delivery, as you don’t have to get your product to you from a great distance. 
  • Good quality materials and production for local fabric and fashion clothing manufacturing.

Need a manufacturer in the UK?

As a smaller 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 units, say sportswear, for example, you may decide to order readymade sportswear items from a selection of different clothing brands. If yours is already an established little 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.

Little business owners should have an idea of the benefits and disadvantages of using the services of UK clothing manufacturers instead of making the items themselves.

Pros and cons of using local clothing manufacturers

If you’re going to start a company, it’s time to take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of using one clothing manufacturer 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 clients will be happy.
  • With a regular supplier, you can start to design 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 clothing 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 units on time. Are their products high quality? Is the sizing up to scratch?

11 Questions to ask before choosing clothing manufacturing services

You can either order readymade items from the manufacturer or design and custom-make garments yourself. Maybe they are helping you with fabric sourcing, pattern grading, or design cutting. But you need to ask these questions first:

1.     Can the UK garment manufacturer create the garments 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.     Is the manufacturer sustainable? 

If your focus is on being green, you need to ensure that the methods you use to manufacture and print garments are sustainable. Ask what fabric certifications, plus the amount of energy and water used in manufacture and print. 

3.     Where is the garment manufacturer based?

We’ve already discussed using the UK’s 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 clothing manufacturers, this will cost you more in customs and delivery.

Another important point: You have easy access to UK clothing 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 good selling point.

4.   How much do the services cost? 

A less sustainable overseas clothing manufacturer often offers more inexpensive services than local ones. You need to be aware that if you order from a UK supplier, you can charge more than if you have your products produced in China, for instance. 

5.   Where is the garment being produced? 

Sadly, international garment workers often don’t have healthy working conditions. Factories around the world often produce fast fashion garments (i.e inexpensive, bad quality clothing) in bulk. Ensure to consider all these points before you decide which manufacturer to choose. 

6.   What is the minimum order for manufacturing? 

It’s important to ask what your minimum clothing manufacturing order is before clothing manufacturing, ie how much you need to buy when you order either readymade or custom made clothing.

Here at maake we have no minimums, and you can order from as little as a 20x20cm sampling too!

This way, you can ensure that you can afford to work with the particular clothing 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 products that are ready but unsold.

7.   Do UK manufacturers provide samples? 

It’s a good idea to request sampling 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 fabric and what each stitch sewn 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 production costs are before you commit to a manufacturer. You don’t want to end up with hidden production costs that you were unaware of. So if there are additional fees, request these upfront. These production costs include shipping, delivery, customs, etc.

9.   Is the manufacturer big or little? 

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 its production be high-quality designer clothing? 

10. How long will it take to deliver your clothing 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

Nothing works better than by word of mouth. So enquire who they have used previously, and ask about every service they offer, their products’ quality, etc. 

One of the best UK clothing brands

At maake we pride ourselves on being one of the best in the fabric industry. And there’s a good reason for this. We focus on what is important for little businesses because we are a little enterprise ourselves.

  • We are extremely conscious of sustainability. In fact, every product we make is manufactured sustainably.
  • maake only buys local. We support UK businesses.
  • Our North London factory uses locally manufactured fabric that is produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
  • The company prints on fabric sustainably, using as little water and energy as we can.
  • The readymade clothing and home accessories we produce at maakeHome are all made in Britain and sustainable.

Choose your fabric    

Order sustainable readymade items 


September 07, 2023 — Alexander Wills