Clothes are no doubt an essential part of the human life, one which humans have become exceedingly creative and innovative in. From making fabrics with flax seeds in Egypt to high fashion and camp on the runways; the clothing industry is no doubt one of the most productive and highly coveted industries there is today. It’s a saturated industry anywhere in the world but of course, it’s a multibillion-dollar venture, one where people take courses to learn the ropes, the tricks of the trade and everything else needed to be successful in it.
Nigeria is no different. Everywhere you go, every corner you turn— you see bespoke tailors, fashion designers, small to large scale clothing and apparel producers and dealers; all participating actively in this multibillion-dollar industry.
The mass production of clothes (locally called ready-to-wear) in Nigeria and even all over the world includes uniform manufacturing, garment and apparel and much more. Here are 5 tips on starting a ready-to-wear business:
- What is your niche
Is it loungewear, sports gear or is it dresses or street wear? Are you targeting men, women, kids or all of the above? Before you even begin to budget, or even produce you must identify your target market or your niche. This will help you develop your value and value proposition which will also give customers a reason to pick you over other businesses offering the same products.
Looking for inspiration on your product design? Visit our store and see various products from different producers on African Things.
- Produce in-house or Outsource?
You may choose to produce your garments in house, or you could outsource to an apparel production company. You can come to this decision by taking into consideration your niche and the availability of resources needed to create those garments. You may also consider your current capabilities, constraints and how expensive in-house production would be in comparison to outsourcing.
If you do choose to outsource and partner with an apparel company or clothes manufacturer, African Things will take the burden of finding your manufacturer off your hands. Now you can add quotes on products you see in our store or Post a request with us. Simply select your desired category which in this case would be under cloth manufacturing. Similarly, you may be looking for school uniform manufacturers in Lagos.
Have tailoring companies in Nigeria come to you instead; it’s only a click away: https://africanthings.org/community/post-a-request/.
- Construct a budget
Creating your budgets will require knowledge on all you need to produce your apparel and garments, and the price points attached to those needs. You may have to do some sourcing and compare prices in order for you to construct an accurate enough budget for your business.
Consider the current stage of your business, think of your current production capacity, think of a model in which you want to operate with. Other factors that can be included in your budget (depending on how you choose to operate) are: rents, salaries, transport costs, delivery costs, packaging and so on.
- Quality Control
This step is quite crucial when outsourcing production to clothing producers and apparel companies. You want to make sure that the designs, the finishing and the overall quality is satisfactory. Minimising production errors and imperfections should be of uttermost importance whether you are producing your ready-made clothes yourself or working with a producer.
- Where do I sell?
After all is said and done, you’re left with one major question of where to sell your new ready to wear clothes. We can help with that. African Things also provides a marketplace platform for made in Africa goods. Here, you can create a store and sell your products.
We have a wide range of demographics and buyers who visit the website, making it the best bet for exposing your business. Learn more about our vendor program and how to register;
Take advantage of this opportunity by becoming an African Things vendor and begin selling on our site!