Finding the Right Manufacturer: Avoiding the Consequences of Overreaching

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I have recently returned from a trade show in Europe called ITMA which was quite the experience. The biggest takeaway is that manufacturing in Australia is vastly different from the overseas market, with one of the most significant differences being quantity. The large machines and factories overseas can handle much larger quantities, often creating a challenge for designers, who may have limited resources. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of finding a manufacturer that is a good fit for your needs and avoiding the consequences of overreaching.

The Importance of Quantity in Manufacturing

When it comes to manufacturing, one of the biggest differences between Australia and overseas is quantity. As I mentioned in my previous videos, the machines and factories are much larger overseas and they can handle much larger quantities. Contacting these companies for smaller MOQ might feel like you are being ignored or that they don’t care, and that is because they don’t, because your smaller quantities don’t fit in with the way they do business.

For many designers, this can be a challenge. Overseas manufacturers may require a minimum order quantity that is much higher than what they were anticipating. For example, I spoke to a factory from Turkey where their minimum order quantity for contract dyeing was a ton of fabric, which equates to 50 rolls. This may seem like an enormous amount, but for them, it was just their starting point. 

This can be a daunting prospect for many designers, especially if they’re just starting out or working with limited resources. It’s essential, therefore, to align yourself with companies that share your values and work with quantities that are suitable for you.



The Consequences of Overreaching

One of the dangers of collaborating with a manufacturer that is not a good fit is the pressure to increase your order quantities over a short period of time. This is something that I have heard from many designers who have worked with larger manufacturers.

For example, if you place an initial order for a smaller quantity, the manufacturer may be happy to oblige, but they may then expect you to increase your order significantly in future seasons. This can be a challenge for many designers, especially if they don’t have the budget or resources to scale up quickly.

The Importance of Finding a Good Fit

Starting with a tech pack is tricky at the best of times but even harder if you do not have the knowledge to communicate the changes with the factory. One of the big faults with starting with a tech pack is that it will be your responsibility to fit the garment, understand what the issues are and communicate them to a pattern maker in a way that solves the problem and does not create new issues. This takes a trained pattern maker to do this.

I spoke to so many big labels and the manufacturers who made the clothes and they all were frustrated with tech packs that did not work. They wanted patterns that fit. 

The solution to this is easy. Have a pattern maker develop your patterns and samples locally ready for manufacturing, then you can send this to a manufacturer. They will love you for it and be happy they can do their job well to return a well made garment ready for a quick approval. I have over 500 people who met with us at ITMA who agree and are looking for a solution to this problem.

Follow our Instagram @sampleroom as I post more videos that I took during my time at ITMA. Come and see what is the latest and greatest in manufacturing on the world stage.


Have you downloaded the 7 Myths of offshore v onshore Manufacturing yet?

Are you looking at local manufacturing, but it just seems a bit too hard. Get your FREE Guide: The 7 Myths of Getting Your Fashion Label Made Locally.

This guide will help you understand why your journey to get your product made has been made more difficult.

This Guide is for you if…

  • You have been calling manufacturers but no one seems to be calling you back.
  • You have a great idea-but you don’t know what to do next
  • You have tried overseas but it seemed like a waste of time and you want an easier way to communicate to get the right samples
  • You are feeling overwhelmed by the process of starting your label and all the work involved
  • You had a tech pack made but need help with the rest of the process
  • You have knowledge on how to start a business but as to how to make the clothes, you are lost.’
  • You are confused about where to even begin.
  • You tried overseas but communication and timing are so hard, and they are struggling to get things right.

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