How Much Does It Cost to Start a Clothing Line?
If you are thinking about the cost of starting a clothing line, you are not alone. It is the first question that comes to the mind of entrepreneurs and people who wish to start a clothing line.
Entrepreneurs need an estimate to decide whether they can start a clothing line or not and how much investment they need. The right answer to the question is essential because it can motivate or demotivate entrepreneurs to start a brand or clothing line.
In this post, we will discuss the cost needed to start a clothing line. We will look at the important factors that decide the cost. Most importantly, we will tell you how to start a clothing line with a minimal investment.
Factors That Determine the Cost to Start a Clothing Line
The first thing for your clothing line is the design. You need to have the design of the clothing you want to get manufactured. If you are a fashion designer and know how to make tech packs, do everything on your own and save money. But if you are not a designer, ask experts and hire freelancers to get the job done.
The tech pack is the industry standard, and every reliable manufacturer will ask you to provide them with a professionally made tech pack. You must make sure your tech pack is perfect; otherwise, there will be delays and issues in the manufacturing.
The cost of the design or tech pack varies according to the services you need. For instance, if you only need someone to design the clothing on Adobe Illustrator, you can hire a freelancer for that. Then, you can do the rest on your own by looking at the tech-pack templates and tutorials.
But if you need all services from scratch, it will cost more, depending on the design. Expert designers charge more as they need to spend a lot of time creating a tech pack.
At MMS Clothing, we offer designing services. Our experts are ready to help you make a tech pack according to industry standards. Even if you only have an idea of the design or hand-drawn sketch, they can convert it into a professional tech pack.
The list of materials is provided in the tech pack. It helps manufacturers and buyers get everything they need. The raw materials can be fabrics, threads, labels, packaging, buttons, and other things you need to make the garments.
The raw materials cost too much, depending on the number of pieces you want to make. Usually, manufacturers do not take low quantity orders as they need to source materials in bulk. Therefore, the materials cost is essential for determining the right amount for starting a clothing line.
Various factors affect the cost of the raw materials, including the number of pieces, the design, sizes, color variants, number of fabrics required, and other accessories. It could be half to one-third of the total cost of manufacturing a dress.
Once your design is ready, the next thing is creating samples of your design. Before bulk manufacturing, samples are necessary. To ensure everything is up to the mark, you can order one sample of each design, size, and color. If you are not satisfied with the quality or some amendments are needed, you can ask the manufacturer.
The cost of samples is slightly higher than the cost per clothing in bulk production. Because manufacturers cannot buy the required materials in bulk, they buy materials at a higher price. They have sample costs according to the type of clothing. For instance, the cost of a jacket will be different than a bodycon suit.
Ask the manufacturer about the cost of the samples. You will get the idea of the overall cost to calculate your overall budget.
Once you are satisfied with the samples, you are ready for bulk manufacturing. The cost of bulk manufacturing depends on the number of pieces you need, colors, and raw material cost.
Some manufacturers have MOQ of 500 or 1000 pieces, so you need a massive amount for bulk manufacturing. If one piece costs $20 (excluding other expenses), then the total cost for 500 pieces will be $10,000. Moreover, there are other costs involved, such as payment transfer fees, packaging, and shipment. It is better to search for low MOQ manufacturers.
Some buyers prefer large quantities because the price per piece reduces when you deal in bulk. However, it is better to be on the safe side by ordering the pieces according to the demand.
Minimum Order Quantity is the industry standard, and many manufacturers have a pre-set MOQ; they do not accept any order below the threshold.
MOQ has a significant impact on the cost of starting a clothing line. Suppose there are two manufacturers. One has an MOQ of 100 pieces, and the other has an MOQ restriction of 500 pieces. The one with the MOQ of 100 pieces will require less amount for starting the clothing line. If your budget is low, you can search for low MOQ manufacturers.
The manufacturer’s location is another critical factor that increases or decreases the cost of creating a new clothing brand.
For instance, the labor cost in the US is relatively high, so a US manufacturer will charge you more. Many international and famous brands prefer China because it is the manufacturing hub and has a low labor cost.
The location of the manufacturer also affects the sourcing of materials. In China, materials can be easily sourced at a meager cost.
Although there will be a shipment cost involved, you will still get a low cost per piece from a Chinese manufacturer.
For a clothing brand, there are two options: a store or a website. You can also go with both.
If you want a physical store, you need to look for a suitable space. Many expenses are involved, such as rent, maintenance, staff, cleaning, etc. It is a costly option. For an idea of the rent, talk to a real estate agent.
Website creation could be feasible if you have a low budget. First, you need to spend on the creation of the website. You require a domain name, web hosting, website designer, web developers, and SEO team. All these things have a separate expense, but it is still more cost-friendly than a physical shop.
Marketing is one of the most critical factors for your clothing line. You have already made a perfect piece, and your inventory is full. But the end goal is sales. Without sales, the business cannot survive.
You need a powerful marketing strategy to sell your clothes. You need to target the relevant audience and reach more people. The better your marketing is, the better your sales will be.
Your business depends on marketing; thus, it requires a massive investment. The investment will go for the SEO of your website, marketing of your product on social media, photoshoot, influencer marketing, billboards, and other suitable options.
Many brands are already on the market, so your competitors are already established. You need to compete with them through a powerful strategy.
You cannot run a clothing store or website on your own; you need a team. Therefore, it is necessary to hire employees, and once you hire them, your expense is increased.
Before starting a clothing line, make sure to have enough to cover the salary of employees for a few months because you cannot expect high sales in the beginning. Your brand is new, so it needs time to reach people.
The next crucial thing is liabilities. The bills, rent, and other office expenses should be kept in mind.
When you get your clothes manufactured from China or any other country, you need to worry about the shipment because it involves expenses.
Depending on the order quantity, you can select a suitable option for shipment. Sea is the right choice if you want to save money. If the order quantity is large, a Full Load Container (FCL) is suitable. For small quantities, you need to go for Less than Container Load (LCL).
In FCL, your cargo is shipped alone as it can cover the entire container. Thus, your shipment reaches quickly at the destination. While in LCL, your cargo waits for the container to get filled with other shipments. It takes time to reach the destination.
Air freight is also an option, but it is pretty expensive.
A warehouse is required for the manufactured clothes. If the quantity is quite large, an enormous warehouse is needed.
If you are thinking about a warehouse, keep the rent and other liabilities in mind. Ask local real estate agents to figure out the rent.
For a small quantity, you can use your garage or spare room for storage.
Business registration and licensing are essential. If you want to do everything legally, make sure to register your business in the first place and acquire the license.
How to Start a Clothing Line with Minimal Investment?
We have discussed crucial factors that determine the cost of starting a clothing line. We know all these factors, but the question that arises is how you can reduce the cost and start a clothing line with minimal investment.
You can start a clothing line with minimal investment if you know the tips and tricks. Let’s have a look at factors to reduce the overall cost.
The most important thing is finding a manufacturer that offers low MOQ. It is even possible to find a manufacturer with no MOQ restriction.
MOQ determines the cost of starting a clothing line. It is the major factor because the larger the quantity, the more investment you need. If you can reduce the MOQ, you reduce the overall cost to a great extent.
At MMS Clothing, there is no MOQ. Buyers can order one piece per color per size. Therefore, clients can save a lot and start a clothing line with minimal investment.
Moreover, when you have low MOQ, you don’t need to worry about storage. You can store a few pieces in your house as well.
The country of manufacturing plays a vital role. Mostly, brands prefer China because they can easily source material and the labor cost is low. It is a cost-effective solution that can reduce the cost of starting a clothing line.
Some buyers think that Chinese-made products are not premium quality, but this is completely wrong. The more you invest in your product, the better it will be. In China, you will get low to high quality, depending on the amount you invest. Many popular brands get their clothing manufactured in China. Contact a reliable manufacturer and forget about the quality.
The most cost-effective and low-budget solution is selecting a Chinese manufacturer for your clothing line.
E-commerce is the perfect choice to save money. The cost of a physical place is much more than a website, and the liabilities increase the risks.
You can start selling your clothes through your own website. Your website will be ready in a few days, and it will hardly require $500-1000. Once it is ready, you only need a few people for maintenance and SEO.
There is no vast investment needed to start a website. It will be ready in a month or less. You can also try social media, such as Instagram and Facebook.
In addition, digital marketing is much more cost-effective. An ads campaign can be run without any hassle and as low as $1.
Start a Clothing Line with Minimal Budget with MMS Clothing
MMS Clothing helps you start your brand and clothing line with minimal investment. We are based in China and can help our customers in every step from designing to packaging.
We do not restrict our customers with MOQ. They can order as many pieces as they like. There is no need to worry about huge inventory and warehouses.
We also have our Incubator Project for those who need their clothing brand on autopilot. They only need to invest, and we will do the rest, including designing, sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales, and shipment.
We do everything, so you only have to wait for your 20% return. Read more about our Incubator Project.
For more information and details, feel free to contact us anytime. You can also schedule a free consultation with our experts.