Today, we are diving into a topic that is crucial for all budding fashion designers out there – the relationship between quantity and efficiency in production. Coming off the heels of our Start Your Fashion Business Workshop, where we had some incredible discussions, we wanted to explore the impact of quantity on production efficiency and pricing. One key aspect in this realm is the concept of Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), which often poses challenges for new designers. In this blog, we will uncover the role of MOQ in production, explore the cutting process and its impact on timing, decode the equation between quantity and pricing, and ultimately understand the importance of efficiency for your fashion line.
Starting a new fashion label is thrilling but it’s not without its challenges. One of the key issues many newbie designers have faced over the years is finding manufacturers – and when they do, the initial quantities often proposed are way too much for a start-up to manage.
There’s a good reason for that and it’s linked with the concept of Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ). For instance, at Sample Room, we offer an MOQ of 20 pieces per style across four sizes to members of our Fashion Label Launchpad program. When it comes to smaller productions, the costs can actually become higher due to the relationships between cutting time, quantity, and cost-efficiency.
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A major reason behind the MOQ requirement is the cutting part of production, which tends to have a surprising impact on the overall process. The crux of it lies in the creation of ‘markers’, our industry’s jargon for the layout of pattern pieces on the fabric. Think of it as a sophisticated version of a jigsaw puzzle, with all pieces arranged to give us the most efficient cut for the requested quantity.
Believe it or not, the difference in time required to cut either 20 or 200 pieces isn’t substantial – perhaps differing by an hour or so. It’s the same cutter, the same puzzle; the only extra time would be required to lay up more fabric and perhaps a bit longer to cut around the pieces.
However, this intricate dance between cutting and time directly impacts your production price. The logic is simple – the smaller the production quantity, the higher attention to detail required, resulting in more time spent per garment.
This is why we usually recommend a minimum order quantity of 20 because that’s where production prices start to become more cost-effective. When you reduce the quantity below that, it begins to feel more like sampling – which requires more time as the garments are assembled meticulously by a high-level sample machinist.
The bottom line is that when you choose to decrease the quantity of pieces you want to produce, you can expect two things: an increase in the price per garment and lower efficiency in the overall process. That’s why MOQs exist – not simply to inconvenience you, but rather to assist you in creating a product that meets your expectations, without breaking your budget!
Remember, successful entrepreneurs aren’t just big dreamers, they’re also strategic thinkers!
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Are you looking to start and grow a successful fashion label from scratch? Register for my free workshop for fashion designers where I help you understand the steps to starting your own clothing label.
- The 5 Reasons why NOW is the BEST time to Create a Locally Made product.
- The 7 Different business models of product launch growth. We’ll show you how you can start ASAP on a low budget.
- The 6 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Manufacturing Locally
- The Essential 6 steps to developing and manufacturing your label from Scratch (missing even ONE of these can put you on your back foot)
- Discover YOUR Fashion Business Superpower
- How to Market Your Unique Label
- How to find the IDEAL Customers who will LOVE your design and Get Quick Feedback on Your Idea
- The Fashion Business Success Blueprint to Successful Fashion Label Development and Manufacturing (this is EVERYTHING you need to know)
- How We Can Help You Create Your Label
- Dozens of Examples of Labels that are Thriving (and what they did to succeed)
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