One sector that is flourishing in the fashion market is childrenswear. As consumers grow conscious of their garment choices, this is also making waves in how they dress children and babies. Research conducted by Euromonitor explained that the children clothing industry is booming. One of the reasons - celebrity tots such as Harper Beckham, Prince George and North West are boosting the status of fashionable kids garments across the globe.
The increase of teenagers and the Gen Z age group taking style into their own hands is also a prime niche for aspiring brands. Social media especially Instagram is creating an influential platform that children look up to, to buy the latest trends. So what does this mean for fashion companies?
The childrenswear niche is becoming a lucrative avenue for both large and small business. However, entering this market does have a slightly different approach. There are some extra considerations to make during the planning and production phases. Plus, looking at the target market is a significant factor in how well you could perform in this sector.
To help you start a clothing business in the childrenswear and baby clothing niche. Check out this handy guide to get your ideas in front of the right people.
Determine the target audience
This is by far one of the most critical aspects when starting a children’s clothing line. Although you are designing for small kids and babies, these are not the people handing over their hard-earned cash.
To determine the type of people you want to buy your clothing, you will need to drill down into the niche. Looking at aspects such as:
- cheap baby clothing
- designer children's clothing
- trend-led designs
Considering these things will help break them down further.
Each of the consumers in these niches has a very different attitude to buying clothing. Parents looking for affordable clothing aren’t too fussed about style. They want durable clothing that will last until the child grows out of it. However, people looking for designer clothing want the latest fashion and don’t worry too much about price.
It’s also not just about price either, as kids are becoming more fashion aware. Not only do you have to satisfy what mum or dad want to put them in. You have to consider whether the child will want to wear it too.
By looking at the detail behind each target audience, you can determine your place in the market. Many people that start children's clothing lines have real passion and experience in this sector. However, this experience doesn’t always come from a professional fashion industry background.
Several childrenswear entrepreneurs discovered a gap in the market, as their own needs were not met. This intuition has led to some of the best kiddies clothing lines in the market. So honing in on your own experiences is a great place to start.
Create a business plan
image: creating childrens wear business plan
A business plan is the backbone of your brand creation. This essential strategy will help you get started with your ideas and guide you through the entire process. You don’t have to have grand plans at this stage either, as smaller ideas can be less overwhelming to get off the ground.
There are many things to include in your business plan including:
- Initial ideas and how your products meet customer needs
- Identify the target market
- Competitor analysis
- Budget guidelines
- Marketing strategy
- Production and operations
- Forecasted financials
Although the above information sounds a lot to think about before you start your clothing line. You will probably have a pretty good idea of what you want to achieve and how to get there. This document will just help detail these ideas and give you a realistic outlook on how to accomplish them.
Create your brand and designs
Ultimately, your brand and the products you create will be your selling points. At this stage, it is essential to get your branding right to appeal to your potential customers. This step will also be heavily influenced by your target audience.
You will need to capture the right message that ensures consumers remember who you are and what’s makes you different from the rest. Much like the big clothing brands you see on the high street, you need to make an impact in a positive way.
Designs for your clothing are another vital aspect, as this is the basis of your product line. As mentioned above, this will feed straight from your target audience information. You will need to draw up sketches and digitised designs for production.
You can use CAD (computer-aided design) software such as Adobe Illustrator to assist the process. From this, you will need to get down to specifics with the creation of a tech pack.
A tech pack is an essential tool that fashion manufacturers use to produce your designs. It displays the specifications and provides accurate guidelines for your products. Everything from accurate measurements to fabric and seams is included here, to take your idea to the first fit stage.
If you don’t have experience in creating a tech pack. Check out our article - How To Make a Tech Pack for more information. You can also sign up to Sewport to use our free resources to make the process really easy.
Child-friendly fabric is vital when producing children’s and baby clothing. There isn’t a magic formula for this niche. However, it is essential to make clothing comfortable and durable for the age group.
Cotton is often used for children’s clothing due to its breathability and comfort levels. Other popular choices include cotton and polyester blends and fleece material for warmth.
Sourcing fabric for little ones should include the following considerations:
- Comfort and feel against the skin
- Ease of wear - i.e. stretchy fabrics
- Durability for age group
Colour is also a significant factor. In current trends, separating boys and girls with pink and blue clothing is outdated. Ensuring you adapt your children’s line to fulfil an open-minded and creative product for consumers will help define your niche.
Choosing a clothing manufacturer
After you’ve completed the initial steps, taking your products to production is the next stage. Selecting a suitable clothing factory can be overwhelming. However, Sewport has made it super simple with our platform of reputable clothing manufacturers. If you’re stuck on where to look, we provide a helpful filter to hone in on the services you require.
The platform has many specialist factories and experts that provide both Full Package Production (FPP) and Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) manufacturing. For new brands just starting out, FPP is a great option. This type of production enables you to partner with a factory that helps with the whole process from start to finish. It’s great for those that have little experience of the full process. However, it can be more expensive than CMT manufacturing, which just involves the end production aspect.
To find out more about which option is best for your children’s clothing line. Take a look at Cut and sew manufacturers (CMT or full package (FPP) manufacturing - Choosing what’s right for you.
Working with a clothing manufacturer
Communicating with your clothing manufacturer is an important element for getting the desired result. One area of this will come from the information displayed in your tech pack. The other comes down to understanding terminology and potential compromises in the process. A clothing factory will do its best to accommodate your requirements. However, you will need to do a little research to ensure you have some knowledge of the entire process.
Some key points to consider when talking to children’s clothing manufacturers is:
- Understanding minimums
- Getting samples to check the quality
- Discussing production timeframes
- Understanding basic terminology
For more information on the manufacturing process. Take a look at our article: A Guide To Working With Clothing Manufacturers.
Start selling your clothing line
Once you have your finished product, it’s now time to start selling. As part of your business plan, you will have some idea of the type of sales funnel you want to use. Setting up an online store with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify is a great way to reach people. With the right platform and marketing strategy, this could see your brand grow quickly.
Other options include targeting local sectors with a bricks and mortar shop. This is an excellent outlet if your target market are people that like to peruse what they are buying. Having an e-commerce shop will also complement this avenue. The costs involved in selling your products should also have formed part of the business plan. It is also good to bear in mind that showcasing your line at specialised trade shows can also help boost your identity in the market.
The next steps…
When you have everything up and running, it’s vital to look ahead to forecast business productivity and potential hurdles. You could also start planning further marketing efforts to expand. Or perhaps search for more competitive suppliers for future lines.
Take a look at some of the main areas to plan for the months and years ahead:
- Re-evaluating pricing
- Marketing strategies - what’s working and what’s not!
- Create deals and promotions
- Look at internal operations such as customer service and logistics to strengthen your brand
- Plan new children’s clothing lines for upcoming seasons
The childrenswear niche is an exciting and diverse niche in the fashion sector. By taking the above steps into consideration, you could start your dream business in this lucrative area.