Simply put, a garment manufacturer is a company that produces clothing items. This can mean designing, creating, and selling the items or it may refer to a business that specializes in and mass produces the designs of various fashion retailers or independent designers. There are hundreds of types of garments that can be manufactured and a wide range of price levels. For example, a garment manufacturer may specialize in high-priced items to be sold in boutiques or lower-priced clothing for the working middle class.
The main job of a garment manufacturer is to create clothing to sell either to retailers or directly to the public. Some smaller companies are owned and operated by clothing designers who outsource sewing obligations to seamstresses or businesses who specialize in sewing and creating large orders of clothing. Many larger companies operate in this manner as well, although most outsource to countries who provide cheap labor in order to increase profits.
The first step in creating new clothes is to determine the type of clothing to be sold and to design it. The garment manufacturer has to determine if he or she wants to develop women’s clothes, men’s clothes, clothes for infants or toddlers, or specialized items like workout gear or plus-sized items. Once this is done, the products will need to be designed so that seamstresses will know what the product will look like. Sketches of the items are drawn up and sometimes patterns are created to make sewing easier.
In most cases the garment manufacturer must hire most of the sewing work out to subcontractors who specialize in this area. He or she must consider various companies to get the best price. Smaller companies may also have to shop around to find companies that will handle smaller orders. Fabric must be ordered as well, along with any accessories needed such as zippers or buttons.
Once the clothing is produced, the clothing manufacturer must find a way to let others know about their products. A marketing plan is generally developed either by the company owner or with the help of an outside advertising agency or consultant. The fashion industry is highly competitive, so developing a good strategy is essential to success.
Sometimes a garment manufacturer will consist of a company owner and a team of sewing professionals who mass produce garments for outside designers and retailers. Other times designers will manufacture clothing that is then sold to a third party to sell under the designer's name. In any event, the steps of manufacturing and creating clothing are generally the same, with various professionals taking part in the process.