Here's how to design a clothing line without breaking the bank...
It's easy to waste a lot of money when designing and making clothes. If you've found yourself terrified by the cost of starting a clothing line, don't worry, you can design in a cheaper way.
If you're starting a fashion brand, or want to start a clothing line, here are a few insider tips to help you design so that your samples and bulk manufacture pricing is as low as it can be while still retaining cool and interesting designs.
1. Keep it simple
Garments that have lots of different panels / graphics / zips / trims are always going to cost more than basic garments with less detailing. It might not be that clear in the quotes you get, but all pricing for clothing samples and bulk production are based on the amount of the work that goes into the garment.
It's a pretty simple equation: The more that needs to be done, the higher the price point.
Take a look at the example below:
Having lots of different types of panelling, zips, embroidery etc. will mean that your garments cost more to manufacture. So, keeping your designs simpler is one of the easiest way to make your designs more wallet-friendly.
But does that mean to design in a cost-effective way, your clothing is going to be boring? Absolutely not.
2. Design using interesting shapes
Hands down, this is the easiest and absolute best way to design your clothing in a 'cheaper' way.
Designing by shape saves you money because you're not investing in lots of costly manufacturing details that bump up your manufacturing price. Instead, the 'interesting' part of your design comes from the base shape of your garment, which doesn't have the same cost implications when it's time to get your clothes produced.
2. Design graphics that are big and bold and limited to one or two units
By using big, bold graphics, you can make your clothes designs interesting and unique, but without lots of details that will send your manufacturing bill through the roof.
Take a look at our example below:
By only using one or two big, bold graphics, your clothes will make a big impression without a big cost.
3. Use bold block colours
Designing with bold block colours is an easy way make your garments look individual without breaking the bank.
It's fairly self-explanatory, but is a trick that is so often missed. By bringing in large blocks of different colours, it's a sure-fire way to make your designs stand out, but doesn't cost a lot to make.
4. Design with your fabrics in mind.
Thinking carefully about your choice of fabric can save you a lot of money on your clothing line.
Heavier weight fabrics translate to higher shipping prices, both to you and then to your customer. Heavier weight DOES NOT mean better quality, so be careful when considering fabric weights.
There are lots of different fabrics to choose from - for helpful tips on choosing here's our guide to choosing the right fabric for your clothing line.
5. If you'd love branded hardware (like metal drawstring tips, toggles or zip pullers) then commit to using it for your first and future collections.
Whenever you purchase anything, the higher the minimum order quantity (MOQ) you can afford, the cheaper the unit cost is. If you can commit to ordering more of your bespoke hardware, the cost will go down.
But what if you can't use all of your hardware on one production run or on one collection? Don't worry, most manufacturers are happy to keep leftover hardware / trims at the factory to use for future collections.
If your designs are very complex, the manufacturer will cut costs for you by lowering the fabric and construction quality. By not over-designing, you will be able to keep the focus on the quality of fabric and construction of the garment which will keep your customers happy and build brand faith for your future drops.
Use the tips above to guide you to the cheapest way to design clothing and still keep you garments innovative and high quality.
In our tech pack and design sessions we help you utilise all of the tips above to build an interesting yet lower cost range. Click here to book a tech pack and design session with one of our experts.
Love Joss and the H&E team xx
P.s We're here for you of you have questions drop us a WhatsApp on +447939591255