Bringing manufacturing back onshore?

Australian Clothing Manufacturing

Much has changed in the world over the last 18 months. We seem to lurch from one version of the ‘new normal’ to the next with limited warning. Nobody really knows where we will end up or when.

One thing is clear though, there is a groundswell at the consumer level towards locally produced. We think that is a fabulous thing, but not just because of the obvious reasons.

It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that the world is producing too many clothes. That there are any number of items out there that are of such poor quality / fit that they really shouldn’t have been made in the first place. Those of you who have worked with us will know only too well our vision is to rid the world of poorly fitting clothing.

This brings us to the topic of offshore and the increasing desire by brands to bring their production back onshore.

But to do so is not as easy as you might think. That factory in <insert country here> is desperate to hang on to your business.

Offshore vs onshore

The way that development / production works offshore is quite different to how it works here. It is rare to find a manufacturer here that can develop and it is rare to find a developer who can manufacture. There are exceptions, but they are few – Sample Room is one of these rarities.

But offshore they tend to wrap all this up together. It does mean that you get locked into larger minimum order quantities (MOQs), because that is how they make their money. But this is where things get tricky.

If you want to change factories, or bring your manufacturing back onshore, you need all the technical information (patterns, grading, markers, detailed spec / tech pack) from your current factory. They often do not want to give you this. That is the only thing that they have to hold onto your business.

We also often get told “it’s cheaper offshore”, but the reality is, it isn’t. Watch for our blog which explains exactly why that cheap headline number is really only the tip of the cost iceberg. 


So where does this leave you? Well, you have some product, but no technical information? You are now back at square one – therein lies another risk of offshore.

A manufacturer here will need from you:

  • Patterns / markers
  • Detailed spec / tech pack
  • Sample
  • Fabrics
  • Trims
  • Labels

If you are missing any one of these elements, you will most likely not get very far. If you are lucky, the manufacture might refer you to Sample Room, but otherwise you might get told –

– “we’re booked out until 2023”
– “someone will give you a call back”
– “email us a picture to”

Its frustrating, we know. But without these things a manufacturer simply can’t move forward. This is where we come in. We can produce all the technical information for you, but it does involve going back to the start to create patterns, samples, detailed specs, etc. Yes, your sample can help with that process, but it is isn’t enough all on its own.

Oh, almost forgot, we also manufacture! 

Want to know more? Give us a call or join in on our Manufacturer Discovery Masterclass.