5 Questions to Ask a Garment Factory

Sourcing a reliable manufacturer is a large hurdle you’ll inevitably have to jump sooner or later. So with Tech Packs in hand and you’re ready to gather quotes to ensure you’re on top of your price calculations and business model. But apart from the obvious “How much is this all going to cost?” what other questions should you be putting towards a factory? It’s integral to scope out their process, communication, quality and delivery.

What are your MOQs?
MOQs stands for Minimum Order Quantities. As a start-up often seeking lower unit production the MOQ may make or break your decision to proceed. What is the minimum amount of products they are willing to make and are these per style, colour or size? If they don’t have a MOQ, do they have a surcharge and what is it?

Sample pricing?
Getting your pre-production samples produced with your chosen manufacturer is incredibly important to ensure quality control and consistency throughout your pieces. It’s quite common for samples to cost two to three times more than the production cost for the prototype, especially if you are new.

Can you visit?
Having the access to view your potential factory first hand is important for the assurance of working standards, ethics and expectations of quality. Although you may not feel it possible to take a flight should your factory be based abroad, it is a journey I encourage you to take should you feel you’ve chosen the right company after liaising.

Do they outsource any part of the process?
Having the full production under one roof not only minimises costs but reduces any third party interference to lead times or communication. It is not uncommon for factories to outsource parts of the process so just make sure you know what areas these are and if you can, who they work with.

Can I see examples of similar work?
Although many factories will promise capabilities across your full range, the truth is different places specialise in different things. You may end up getting the jeans produced separately to your t-shirts to ensure the best quality and outcome. Always ask to see relevant examples so you can check the quality prior to committing.

If you’d like to learn more about working with manufacturers, launching your brand or find out further questions to ask then sign up to my newsletter for weekly insights and insider tips.

Alexandra Wall