Believe it or not, but finding low MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) clothing manufacturers in Asia is harder than it actually seems. Take the Bangladesh clothing manufacturing industry for example. It is well known for producing readymade garments, the immediate thought is to equate reliable manufacturers with larger clothing factories. For the most part, that tends to be the case.
Larger manufacturers have higher MOQs because they simply cannot afford to use production space to produce apparel in lower quantities. The opportunity cost for producing an order below their MOQ is the production space that can be occupied for larger orders. At the end of the day, a business can only give back more value to their shareholders only through higher revenue and profit.
You may have heard that low MOQ clothing manufacturers have a reputation for not being ethical. For the most part, this information is not right. But you do have the one off that isn’t completely ethical. They may have poor working conditions, may employ child labor, may not pay wages properly, etc. In order to avoid these situations and not end up working with one of the “bad apples”, here are some of the best methods to find a reliable low MOQ clothing manufacturer.
Where Can I Find Low MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) Clothing Manufacturers in Asia:
In the following ways anyone can find MOQ clothing manufacturers in Asia or other countries.
1. Trade fairs:
Visiting trade fairs is a great way to find the ideal custom clothing manufacturer for getting your product off the ground. Any country which heavily imports clothing from overseas manufacturers, will have its fair share of conventions and apparel trade fairs, and you will find manufacturers from a diverse range of countries. Bangladesh clothing factories for one tend to have a large presence in these fairs. Premiere Vision Paris for example is a very popular global fashion convention. New York City, and Los Angeles are two other hubs where you will be able to meet a lot of reliable low MOQ Asian clothing manufacturers.
Even though these fairs will have a lot of suppliers, the crowds and the sheer number of possible opportunities can be overwhelming. The trick is to initially take a look at all of the vendors that will be coming and making the meeting in advance with the ones that you like and will be right for you. Having a proper plan will ensure that you will have a successful trade fair.
If you know which country you’ll be sourcing from, we also recommend going to trade fairs over there. Bangladesh for example, has a lot of trade fairs all year round where you’ll be able to easily find a low MOQ Bangladesh clothing factory. It will also give you an opportunity to survey the clothing manufacturing industry in that country.
2. Searching on Google:
Chances are, Google will probably be your first point of contact to find a low MOQ garment manufacturer. Before one link leads to another and then to another though, keep these points in mind:
- Don’t trust poorly made web 2.0 websites
- Always double check any manufacturing company against records online
- Browse through their online catalogs and customers
- Make sure they have certifications in their website
A quick search of the following title will probably lead you to forums, Reddit, or Quora. These boards are one of the best ways to find reliable, small MOQ, manufacturers because of the validation of the community. Just be sure to keep an eye out on the date those comments were posted.
The great thing about Quora is that the answers to questions will be specific and companies will generally mention their MOQ.
Along with that, look to apparel exporters and manufacturing associations. To find a Bangladesh clothing factory for example, the BGMEA is the place to look. You will find a whole list of factories in Bangladesh with their contact information. The job isn’t easy though as you will have to email and call them and ask them about their MOQ and other pertinent information. Not only that, it will involve a lot of aggressive follow up. On the plus side, this is a vetted list of reliable manufacturers, as is the case with most lists obtained from these associations.
3. Visiting the country:
This is by far the most expensive and time consuming method, but you will get the best results.
Here’s one secret about factories; if there is an opportunity for repeat orders and larger orders, factories will entertain an initial smaller run to build a relationship. In Asian countries nothing says commitment better than a face to face meeting, after having traveled thousands of miles. Expect to also nail down favorable prices. A first impression is everything!
The best way to get these contacts is of course through the above mentioned ways, and then connecting with them once you’re there. Factories tend to be either in busy commercial districts or on the outskirts of large cities of the country. So plan the factory visits accordingly. Don’t try to fit too many in one day, and have an agenda to all the meetings so that they are effective.
Before you go back, set clear terms about everything going forward and don’t make a clear commitment until you see a sample. Ask prudent questions and make sure you leave each meeting sure that the manufacturer is who they say they are.
4. Sourcing companies:
Here’s another secret for you. The easiest way to find low MOQ clothing manufacturers? Have the experts do it for you. Just take a look at what the entire process is like:
If you’re new to the business, opening up your first private label clothing brand, or want to be a wholesale clothing supplier, I cannot emphasize the importance of having a sourcing partner initially in the process.
The Bangladesh clothing manufacturing industry for example, has around 5000 buying houses. On top of that there are sourcing agencies and factory representative offices as well.
You want to partner with an agency that is truth worthy though. The best way to find one, apart from referrals, is of course the internet. The same rules apply when searching for a factory on Google. When talking to multiple vendors, a good rule of thumb is to see who is more customers friendly and helpful. If you’re new to the apparel industry, then a lot of these agencies are hesitant to work with you and the language barrier can also cause issues.
Finding a factory with a low MOQ is just the tip of the iceberg. You want to find a good balance in between quality and cost. If you’re product designs are not solidified, then you need to make them as crystal clear as possible for production. Most importantly, if and when any problems arise during production, you need to make arrangements to make sure that possible solutions are in place. Travelling back and forth just for this would not be wise. So to make life easier, it’s better to have an agency help you through the entire process.
Yusuf Ahmed is the chief supply chain strategist at New Thread. New Thread helps businesses establish an apparel supply chain here in Bangladesh by sourcing the right factory for the product from their network of certified factories, following up with inspection and shipment.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.