When starting out in the fashion business as a new label, one of the most important initial decisions you’ll be making is your manufacturing requirements. Many emerging designers don’t realise that not all factories will complete your clothing line from start to finish and, more importantly, you might not want them to. There are aspects during the process that you may want to retain control of; we will look closer at these later.
There are several routes when it comes to selecting the type of manufacturer you need collaborate with. Sewport, which connects brands with garment factories, allows a simple filter system to connect you with professionals based on your production needs. So, firstly, you’re going to have to consider what these are.
There are two main avenues when it comes to clothing manufacturing and this is CMT (Cut, Make, Trim) and FPP (Full Production Package). Both methods hold clear benefits, which we discuss below, but your choice depends on your individual business’s needs, the stage in which you are currently producing product and, of course, budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits for each production method.
CMT manufacturers require you to deliver specs, tech packs, fabrics, patterns, stitching requirements and more. From Here, they will literallycut, make and trim your designs into fully produced product.
This can be a great choice for designers, who are already producing on a small scale and need to outsource to increase their production quantities. Using a CMT process allows you to retain control over fabric selection, as well as aspects such swing tags, labels and any extra packaging. Using this production method can also give you an advantage in terms of tightening lead times for demanding retailers.
Some designers decide to use a CMT method at the beginning of their production and once a strong working relationship has been developed, build it into a FPP agreement, depending on the capabilities of the factory in question.
As the name suggests, this method means a full package from the manufacturer. You provide style designs and they create patterns, source fabrics and trims, make samples, all the way through to garment completion. This is obviously a more expensive route, however, for designers with little to no making skills, you are able to fully off-load operational responsibility and concentrate completely on the brand itself.
An argument in favour of FPP is the potential of benefitting from the manufacturers economies of scale, when it comes to fabric and trim sourcing. For commodity goods, such as denim or simple t-shirts, their prices can often beat individual brand sourcing quotes. This does mean you are then directly competing in the market with the exact fabric as the other labels producing with them.
FPP can also mean a loss of control when it comes to the selection of trims, labels and hang tags, which can be sourced by your FPP manufacturer according to your technical specifications, but ultimately without your approval, end up off-brand.
There are benefits for using both CMT and FPP and they require some research to ensure you select the best method for your business. Considerations of branding, quality, consistency and cost, amongst many more, highlight getting this decision right for your label. By using the Sewport platform, you can filter the aspects of production you individually require and connect with the perfect manufacturer for your brand.