Private labelling clothing manufacturer is different to custom order clothing manufacturer. Which one is more suitable for private label apparel?

Differences Between Private Labelling and Custom Order Clothing Manufacturer

When you are looking for the manufacturer for your own clothing brand, you have the options of choosing between private labelling companies and custom order clothing manufacturers. What’s the difference between them?


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Private Label Clothing Manufacturers

Private labelling is a business model where a clothing manufacturer develops styles of blank garments and lets customers purchase and customize them with their own branding. In practice, the same basic styles can be used by many clothing labels, albeit with different alterations to the designs and the logos attached to the clothes.

The term “private labelling” is sometimes confused with “white label clothing”. In principles they are the same with just some minor differences.

“Private label clothing no minimum order” is a good option for start up labels; especially those with minimum experience and knowledge in the fashion industry. With this business model, a start-up label does not have to start from scratch as the basic designs are pre-made. Instead, the start-up label can spend more effort on developing better clothing line marketing plan.

However, different clothing manufacturers require different Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) for private labelling orders. Some clothing manufacturers might require MOQ that is still too large for a startup. In that case, to avoid the risk of having too much dead stock, it’d be better if the startup label look for a low MOQ clothing manufacturer instead.

Custom Order Clothing Manufacturers

A custom order clothing manufacturer produces custom designs exclusively for specific clothing labels. All aspects of the productions; from sketch designs to final products; are exclusively owned by a certain clothing label and cannot be used by others (unlike Private labelling clothing manufacturer where the same designs can be used by multiple clothing labels).

This business model is more suited for the established brands, especially those with genuine designs. A custom order clothing manufacturer normally provides Full Package Production so that the clothing label (or designer) only need to provide design sketches (or better yet the Tech Packs).

Is Private Labelling Clothing Manufacturer Right for You?

Both business models mentioned above have their own advantage. However, there are some things you need to consider:

Is Private Label Clothing Right For You?

  1. Experience: if you have nearly zero experience in the industry, private labelling companies might be your best option. This is because the private labelling companies take full responsibility for the manufacturing process from start to finish. However, later when you’ve gained more experience and knowledge about design; when you are confident in your own designs; custom order clothing manufacturer might be the better option
  2. Exclusivity: a private labelling clothing manufacturer retains the rights over the basic designs. Any of its customers, even your competitors, can use the same designs you are using. So, since the designs you are using not exclusive, you need to rely on other things in building your brands. For example, if you are a celebrity of some sorts, your images can help in building clothing brands using designs which are not exclusive at all.
  3. Capital: hiring a custom order clothing manufacturer allows you to have greater control over your designs and their production process. This is important in protecting the exclusivity of your designs because exclusivity can drive prices up. However, this greater control costs you more money. On the contrary, hiring a private labelling clothing manufacturer is more suitable for you if your operational budget is very limited. Even if your designs are not exclusive, as long as the garments have decent quality, you can rely on other means or aspects to market your clothing label.
  4. Speed: hiring a private labelling is more suitable for startups who want to launch their brands quickly; especially when they have spotted a market opportunity that might soon be gone. On the other hand, hiring a custom order clothing manufacturer is more suitable for brand owners who have time to develop the products to match their designs and intended target market
  5. Adaptability: if you want to be able to quickly change between styles and designs to stay relevant in the market, then private labelling clothing manufacturer could be your better option. You could ask the private labelling clothing manufacturer to inform you which styles and designs of the private labels are currently on demand. Then you could ask the clothing manufacturer to make just some slight alterations to the styles, and your “new” designs are good to go. On the other hand, even if the custom order clothing manufacturer is willing to give some suggestions to help you, you still have to come up with the main ideas for the designs. The custom order clothing manufacturer then starts with making a tech pack and so on; the process takes longer than what private labelling clothing manufacturer is using.
How do I Start a Private Label Clothing Line?

If you have enough time and money, it’d best to try the services of both Private labelling clothing manufacturer and Custom order clothing manufacturer and see which one is more profitable for you. It doesn’t have to be at the same time. Just when you feel the time is right, sometime during your early career as a clothing brand owner.

Even if you have big and new ideas about clothing designs, sometimes you need to produce something quick just so that you can capitalize on a market opportunity that will contribute positively to your sales turnover. This is where hiring a private labelling clothing manufacturer comes in really handy. There is no shame in it. Even world class designers do this; they are always searching for best private label clothing manufacturers.

You can consider to hire a custom order clothing manufacturer for for your higher end designs; where you pour all of your creativity and ideas. Obviously this line will not be cheap.

As for the more affordable line, where the revenues keep your business going, you can choose to hire a private labelling clothing manufacturer.