Now that your specifications are ready, you can move on to the next step: finding a apparel manufacturer in Asia.
Search for a clothing factory using a specialized search engine
Several supplier-buyer relationship sites will make your job easier such as clothing-manufacturer-asia, alibaba, sourcetheglobe or globalsources.
Once registered, enter in the search engine the name of the product you are looking for, specifying as many criteria as possible. This will allow you to narrow the search and find faster suppliers that can do what you are looking for. Keep in mind that you can specify the region. If you prefer to produce in thailand, you have filters on the right that will allow you to find apparel manufacturing company in Thailand.
You will find mainly “Gold” suppliers on the front page (if you are on Alibaba). Privilege those even if this “certification” does not reflect the competence of the supplier. Nevertheless, the indication of the number of years accompanying the acronym “Gold” can give you an idea of the seniority of the supplier on the site and by pushing your research a little more, you will be able to know if the legitimacy of the company has been controlled by a third party as mentioned by Alibaba. Keep in mind that it does not mean that the comapny has a great quality control process.
Once you have gathered a sufficient number of suppliers, contact them by preparing if possible a typical message (this will save you from writing the same message 10 times) by presenting you and specifying your project. Once the supplier will contact you by email you can go into the details and give him the information he asks.
How to find the right clothing factory in Asia
It is at this time, that you will have to ask the right questions to your interlocutor in order to estimate at best the seriousness of the company:
- Is the company a real apparel factory in asia or is simply an intermediary (most of the time you will be able to realize it by going on his Internet site.) If a multitude of products are proposed, there is a good chance that it is act of a trading company and not of the factory.
- Can he send you photos (not photos of his website with the logo but pictures of the product in the factory or in stock) of products identical to what you are looking for?
- What is the minimum order quantity? From what quantity does it make a discount?
- What is its production time? If you want to produce clothes in China, think about taking into account the Chinese holidays in your planning.
- What is the cost of a sample (and time of production / delivery)? From a personalized sample?
- What is the HS product code (Taric code)?Note: do not forget to check by yourself the Taric code of the product and also to check with customs. This will allow you to have no surprise with respect to the customs duty you will pay on delivery.
- What is the price (prefer a FOB price to EXW or CIF, it will save you from having to deal with the procedures related to the customs clearance of products for export) FOB per unit and how long is the price valid (some are valid for a week, other a month, it depends mainly on the evolution of the cost of the material)?
- What are these payment terms? Forget the suppliers who ask you to pay 100% on the order or pay via Western Union. Take the time to talk with your contact to learn more about the factory, their know-how, their experience and also present your project, show your seriousness, your involvement and good knowledge of the product (a good supplier will quickly lose interest in you if he thinks your project has no viability).
Manufacturing Garments with a supplier in Asia is a matter of trust
A good relationship must always happen in both directions. This will greatly facilitate further operations.Once you have a sufficient number of answers, compare them to each other. It is important to understand why such a supplier is cheaper (often they will offer you products with a different quality level), or why its minimum order quantity is 3 times lower than the others.
Once you have targeted a few garment factories that seem competent, you can push your study by hiring a third party to do a factory inspection or even an audit.
For inspection, an intermediary based in China can do the trick, you will have to go through an approved organization if you want to do a full audit. Production management, infrastructure, working conditions are the main points that inspectors control.