Long gone are the days of traditional one-piece swimsuits and conservative design. Swimwear is a trend in its own right and is now available in a host of different styles. It’s not just the big retailers showcasing fashion designs either. Independent designers are also paving the way in on-trend swim collections.
That said, there is a lot of competition out there. So if you’re considering starting a swimwear line, creating something unique will offer a foot in the door of this exciting sector of the fashion industry.
There are several aspects to think about before you begin working with a swimwear manufacturer. Take a look at some of the basics to help you create a profitable range.
Trend-led vs trend relevant designs
It can be easy to get caught up in the latest trends. However, to build a sustainable business model, relevancy is a crucial aspect. Swimwear is an excellent example of an all-rounder in fashion. There are styles for summer holidays and everyday leisure options. When creating a new range considering each area is vital for maintaining sales throughout the year.
By harnessing trend relevancy rather than following trend-led looks, you can diversify products for the market. This also enables you to put your own spin on fashionable pieces without imitating current looks.
Design a swimwear range
Swimwear designers often stick to a limited collection when creating new styles. However, thinking about the ‘upsell’ after your customer has brought an item is critical for establishing a regular sales stream. Incorporating other options such as tankini swimsuits, plus size collections and bikini swimwear are just some of the lines to consider.
Crafting a swimwear range helps to develop your brand identity. Plus, it helps to establish your company in this niche.
Sourcing fabric for swimwear
The fabric used in your collection is a key factor of production. Swimwear materials are slightly more complex in construction than ordinary clothing. In this niche, technical fabrics are often used to give the best results.
Take a look at some of the most popular fabric choices for swimwear:
Polyester is a popular fabric in the athleticwear industry due to its technical capabilities. The main benefits if using this in swimwear includes:
- Durable and strong fibres
- Quick drying
- UV protection
- Maintains its shape
- Chlorine resistant
- 4-way stretch
- Suitable for standard wash cycles
Nylon is a common fabric is swimsuits and has long been used in sports clothing for its technical attributes. However, it is not as durable as polyester, and it doesn’t have chlorine resistant properties. There are some distinct advantages for swim collections including:
- Soft and comfortable fabric
- Good elasticity
- Washes well
Polybutylene Terephthalate (Polyester PBT)
PBT is often blended with polyester to give additional technical characteristics to swimwear. The added benefits include:
- Lightweight fabric
- Matte finish
- Repels water
- Snag resistant
Finding sustainable fabrics for swimwear can be challenging, as creating technical fabric from natural sources is often expensive and limited. However, some swimsuit manufacturers will be able to help source suitable alternatives depending on your requirements.
Further information: A Guide To Sourcing Fabric and Trims For Your Clothing Brand
The production process
Once you’ve designed your range and sourced suitable fabrics, choosing a manufacturing partner is the next step. There is a host of options including UK fashion factories and overseas producers. As swimwear has become a larger niche in the fashion market, you’ll have a choice of manufacturers offering both Full Package Production (FPP) and Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) production options.
Full package production is a great way for new designers to start a swimwear brand. Factories can help with every element from design to production to bring your ideas to life. This process is often more expensive. However, it can be a worthwhile investment for brands with little experience in the industry.
Cut, Make, Trim production is perfect for designers that have mastered the detail and just need a manufacturing partner to produce the final products. This option is favoured by established companies, as it can save time and money during the process.
If you need a little more information on the best option for your brand. Check out our article - Cut and Sew Manufacturers (CMT) or Full Package Manufacturing: Choosing what’s right for you - for more information.
Specialist swimwear manufacturers
Selecting a specialist manufacturer for your new brand is a great idea. There is a host of producers that have first-hand experience in the swimwear and sports niche. They can offer invaluable support and guide you through the process. Working with an expert in the industry will also give you peace of mind that a factory will understand your requirements. Plus the technical aspects of your designs.
Historically, clothing manufacturers could only offer high minimum order quantities (MOQs) to accommodate lower costs. However, there is a selection of suppliers that specialise in low order quantities and work with small businesses to achieve great results.
By joining Sewport, you can find a range of suitable swimwear manufacturers. Plus, utilise a variety of online resources such as our tech pack creator, fabric consumption tools and order tracking.
Further information: The Benefits of Specialist Clothing Manufacturers For Small Businesses
Working with swimwear manufacturers
Teaming with a suitable supplier will ensure you get your brand off to the right start. The manufacturing process has several stages from initial designs through to final fit samples. However, building a strong relationship with your chosen factory will make this process straightforward and hassle-free.
Some areas of the production process may seem daunting, but with precise planning and execution, you can achieve the desired result. For a better understanding of the clothing manufacturing process, check out our comprehensive guide on working with clothing manufacturers.
If you’re thinking about taking your swimwear line to the next level. Join Sewport today and discover a host of tools and contacts to make your designs a reality.