6 Steps to Start Your Custom Clothing Business

clothing rule

Table of Contents

According to the data of the National Bureau statistics of China, in 2021, the online retail sales of wearing goods increased by 8.3% year-on-year, 2.5% higher than that in 2019, with an average growth of 7.0% in two years. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales in the United States reached $975billion in the past year. The clothing e-commerce industry grew moderately, rising to $126.2 billion in 2021, an increase of 8% over 2020. Although the growth rate has slowed down, clothing, a hot category, is still an indispensable part of the trade GDP of all countries. Today, we will focus on customized clothing and analyze the customization of foreign trade clothing one by one.

What is custom clothing?

garment customization

Customized clothing, for foreign trade clothing procurement, refers to finding a factory capable of making customized clothes based on the style, pattern, material, color, fabric and design which are required by customers. For today’s serious homogenization of products, customization enables enterprises to have their own brands, which can not only establish enterprise IP, but also strengthen consumers’ brand awareness.

Advantages and disadvantages of customized clothing


  • You have the freedom of creation to produce the clothes you want.
  • You can establish a brand image, create differentiation, and get more profits.
  • You have more control over marketing.


  • You must buy goods in bulk. Because customization requires a certain minimum order quantity, it is easy to cause overstock and occupy inventory at the same time.
  • Increased risk. The cost of independent development is relatively high. The development of a new clothes may take 1-2 months from market research about consumer preferences, market trends, design, testing to the listing of finished products. However, the trend of fashion changes quickly, and the listing may face problems such as being out of fashion, whether consumers buy, good or bad sales, how to deal with unsalable products, cost control, etc.
  • You need to make early investment. Everyone knows that there are risks in doing business, especially for start-ups, who require a lot of investment and time to test the market. The clothing industry belongs to the Red Sea market. Transparency and fierce market competition make us have to find the right product positioning in order to preserve profits.

If the clients likes the clothes you create, this is not a problem, but there is no guarantee.This is a problem that even the largest retailers face. If you are not ready to take these risks, Dropshipping is another way to open a clothing store. Follow us and we will talk about it in the future. Now, let’s have an in-depth understanding of the nature of cooperation with garment manufacturers.

What are the preparations for customizing clothes?

clothing machine

1. Understand market demand

One of the biggest reasons for the failure of new business owners is that no one actually wants what they are trying to sell.
There are two ways of market research: primary market research, which is the information you collect and analyse; Secondary market research is the data you get from other sources, such as Nielsen, NPD and MarketResearch.com.
Note: buying research reports is expensive.For startup, it is better to focus on primary research.

2. Background investigation

The most worrying thing about cross-border trade is integrity. After all, there are too many scams now. First, Google will investigate the background and whether there are other platforms. If necessary, it can spend money to ask professional institutions to investigate whether the company has a bad risk record or even take a visit to factory.

3. Have a general procurement plan

It’s best for your company to have design ability. So you can send the design draft to the factory. Be careful! You can sign a confidentiality agreement in advance to protect your intellectual property rights. Then you should have an idea about the basic specifications, materials, processes and quantities. I often meet some customers who just have a vague picture and without any specification and quantity, so I can’t give them an exact quote.

How to choose a company or factory for custom clothing?

  1. It is preferred to choose the custom clothing factory with the development and design ability. The disadvantage is that it is relatively passive.But the factory can provide support in development, and will also have a deeper and more professional understanding of materials and industry. At the same time, it can also reduce the burden in design.
  2. Professionalism. Those who make sweaters should be handed over to the custom clothing factory that specializes in making sweaters. Don’t throw all the categories to one custom clothing factory, which is easy but difficult to guarantee the quality control.
  3. High level of cooperation. God knows how happy a custom clothing factory with high cooperation will be! No matter in the early stage of order negotiation, custom clothing factories with high cooperation from production to delivery will make you get twice the result with half the effort and feel great!

Price of customized clothes

custom clothing machine

Clothing is a large category where there are many crafts. Let’s just take sweater as an example. To make a sweater, you need to select wool, dye and bleach, weave pieces by computer horizontal knitting machine, sew with sewing machine, sew buttonholes, press and set the shape, sew labels, quality inspection and other processes. Among them, material and workmanship are the main determinants. Common knitwear is generally composed of cotton, wool, mohair, acrylic fiber, etc. The advantage of wool is that it keeps warm. The more wool components, the more expensive it will be, but it is easier to shrink.

The cost of a sweater ranges from $4 to hundreds of dollars. Different materials are suitable for different markets. The price is not necessarily very cheap,so you can also get profit from some low end market. Therefore, before starting the business, the product, market and price are closely related, which also determines the product positioning of the company.

Custom clothing process

clothing lables

Customized clothing can be divided into two types: with drawings and without drawings.

If your company has design ability, then:

There are drawings → provide (material, process / effect requirements, quantity and other specifications) → inquiry → negotiate the contract → send samples → test samples → ship bulk goods

If your company has no design ability, then:

There are drawings → provide (material, process / effect requirements, quantity and other specifications) → inquiry → negotiate the contract → check the design draft for confirmation → issue the sample → test the sample → release the bulk goods

In conclusion,clothing customization is carried out with consumers as the center, and consumers play a decisive role in clothing customization. Therefore, it is of great significance for the development of garment customization market.


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