A crucial part in creating a collection for your business is finding quality materials at the best price possible. In here, we’re going to talk about the 5 material sourcing options, to know which ones fit your brand’s needs for your fashion business.
1. FABRIC MILLS – Sourcing directly from mills is the best option. As the producers of textiles and fabrics, they are usually more reliable and there are less outsiders involved. There’s longer lead time and extremely high minimum orders required when working with mills, but there are other opportunities to be able to create exclusive fabrics for your brand.
2. SALES AGENTS – I’ve worked with numerous sales agents who are connected directly to most mills. They have helped in supervising the process and help in controlling the quality. Look for independent sales agents as well as they work with multiple mills. They can help in lowering your minimum by combining your order with their other clients.
3. FABRIC SHOPS & CONTRACTORS – Both of these offer lower minimums and wider selections. CONTRACTORS and SUBCONTRACTORS buy the leftovers from mills, manufacturers and designers. They offer wholesale prices by buying from the mills on your behalf so you can get the minimum orders, then they proceed to selling the rest themselves to smaller buyers. Always check if they have enough quantities of the materials you need because even if with less budget on your end, their stocks are from leftovers. A special fabric reorder will most likely be near impossible to do so.
4. SOURCING THROUGH MANUFACTURERS – Raw materials can be sourced by some manufacturers. A larger amount of business for the mills and higher discount rates, not to mention reliable and quick delivery for customers are achieved here. Do note that there are limited fabric choices here.
5. ATTEND TEXTILE TRADE FAIRS – This is not possible right now due to the pandemic, but when feasible, attending textile and fabric trade shows usually happen around the world annually. Mills and manufacturers display new fabrics every season, thus a chance to find various types of fabrics, trims and pieces like buttons or zippers.
Tomorrow we talk about the common challenges and solutions to sourcing materials.
Question of the day: Do you know any fabric suppliers? Let’s share contacts!