How Much Does It Cost To Start A Clothing Line?

So you want to take the first steps into building your own fashion line. Excellent! In this post we’re going to help you answer this question “how to start my own fashion line?”

When finally taking that major step of starting your own fashion design or clothing brand, you need a lot. Things like a brand identity, manpower, creativity, sourced fabric, and passion are some of the most important facets of starting a clothing line.

However, the monetary cost of designing and manufacturing clothing is easily a make or break for many emerging independent fashion designers following current fashion trends. But, not all prices are the same.

So, in short: How Much Does it Cost to Start a Clothing Line?

What’s The Clothing Line Business Overall Cost?

TEG designer explaining how much it costs to start a clothing line to an independent fashion designer

Well, it depends! There’s no definite answer to the question when it comes to the cost of starting a clothing line. A lot of cost depends on your unique fashion brand, business model, marketing strategy and each individual clothing item you plan on creating.

The best way to determine the cost of manufacturing clothes for a small business is to separate each manufacturing process step.

Materials: What Are You Made Of?

What materials will your clothing business use in the manufacturing process? Will you opt for sustainable fashion ?

Depending on the materials, you could run up a costly bill.

That’s why, along with starting a clothing line in general, you should take careful, analytical steps toward your goal. This means meticulously choosing which materials will bring your clothing design to life without breaking the bank. This includes expert creative services to help you determine what clothing designs will use what material for a successful clothing line.

While tending to cost more during the production process, sustainable fashion ends up having a much less negative environmental impact than traditional materials or wholesale clothing. We’re fortunate to have countless options and alternatives to fashion industry mainstays.

Things like organic cotton, Tencel fabric, and organic hemp can make your clothing line come to life without sacrificing the good of our environment.

At TEG, we regularly engage in ethical and sustainable clothing manufacturing for the fashion entrepreneur. We aim to promote better working conditions and lessen the clothing industry’s detrimental impact on the environment.

Are You Using A Low MOQ Clothing Manufacturer?

Jennifer Evans showing two seamstresses how much it will cost to start a clothing line

When shopping around for a high-end clothing manufacturer near you that shares your values, it’s essential to ask them about their minimum order quantities or MOQs for clothing businesses.

Low MOQ clothing manufacturers are vital assets to an emerging fashion business, as they don’t require you to order a massive amount of clothing samples which helps reduce startup costs. Large clothing orders limit you in other ways. For example, it’ll likely be more challenging to perform meaningful market analysis or brand recognition strategies with your product if you’ve spent a large portion of your money on ordering samples.

At TEG, there are no mandatory minimums. This means an independent fashion designer or up and coming clothing brands can launch their small fashion line for market testing or sale in speciality shops. Accessibility is key in this Los Angeles clothing manufacturing studio.

To ensure you meet all your prospective customer and business needs, cutting down on the samples (i.e., searching out low MOQs) is crucial.

The Human Element: Labor Costs

Pattern maker pointing to one of three fashion sketches on a table

Starting a clothing line doesn’t have to be a one-person affair. In fact, it’d be pretty difficult to accomplish the many responsibilities on your own.

To reach your goals and stay within your budget, you need the skills of pattern makers and design experts. For example, Los Angeles pattern makers take your initial designs and translate them to the fabric. Using a fashion tech pack or a fashion sketch, the pattern maker uses their expertise to measure, cut, fit, and revise garment designs.

Likewise, you’ll need a team of tailors and seamstresses to help your style and clothing company come to life. Using these experts often isn’t cheap, and for good reason. These unique experts take your blueprints and translate them into tangible, attractive clothing.

Finding The Right Audience: The Marketing Budget

Who is the target market for your clothing line?

This question should help you make critical decisions around your marketing plan and throughout  the manufacturing process.

Finding your target audience is crucial to establishing a look and feel for your clothing. As such, a lot of time, effort, and resources need to go into your marketing efforts for brand awareness and building a successful brand with your own unique brand story.

Could you opt for marketing for free on social platforms? Sure, businesses and companies use Instagram and Facebook to sell their products all the time.

However, merely using free social media accounts won’t cut it in the long term to build a strong brand or brand name. In short, you probably need to allocate funds for your marketing budget. This is ideal for cooking up marketing strategies to ensure the eyes of your target audience fall on your product and get to your online store.

Take Patagonia’s famous ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ marketing push in 2011. Because of its dedication to the environment, the iconic brand ended up going viral. Patagonia pleaded with Black Friday shoppers not to buy a particular jacket. This dedication towards environmental safety spoke to its target audience.

You can probably guess what happened next. Sales skyrocketed. People saw Patagonia as not only a trustworthy brand for environmental sustainability but as desirable. Although Patagonia denies this was a concerted marketing push for sales, the results speak for themselves. It was a master marketing move that achieved remarkable results.

To sum up, marketing is a fantastic way of getting your name out there. Maybe you’ll go viral like Patagonia did over a decade ago.

Bottom Line: So, How Much Does It Cost To Start A Clothing Line?

Depending on whom you choose to work alongside, starting a clothing line could cost anywhere between $500 to $10,000. If you’re an established designer , it will probably cost you upwards of $25,000 to $50,000.

Again, it depends on so many factors within your own business plan. Are you an individual looking to blaze a path in the fashion industry with a small line of clothing? Then your costs will unquestionably be lower.

However, if you’re an eager startup with ambition on the brain, it could cost substantially more for a successful clothing brand. Either way, it’s an aspect that you need to work out before jumping into the fashion fray.

Get in touch with the TEG team to discuss potential plans you have for your future clothing line!


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