How to avoid tacky clothing from clothing manufacturers and wholesalers
As a clothing retailer, you are hoping to make a good profit with the sale of your wholesale clothing merchandise and nurture customer loyalty by providing great value and high quality clothing. But how can you be savvy in product sourcing and avoid subpar, sometimes even tacky, wholesale clothes?
The first step is to find reputable clothing manufacturers and wholesalers to supply your apparel. First, research potential suppliers online, find out their standing with the Tradegood online supplier directory, and read their reviews. Ask suppliers to provide references and talk to their customers. Ideally, visit the supplier’s facility to observe their business practices and see their products first-hand. If you are sourcing from a foreign country, you can opt to hire a local agent to check out the facility and products for you. At the bare minimum, you should request samples of your potential supplier’s fabrics and garments in order to check if they are of good quality.
Check the policies and practices of your suppliers for warning signs: do they refuse to provide samples? This may indicate that they are a bogus supplier or could be running a scam of some sort. As an extra layer of protection, use your credit card for purchases to take advantage of the fraud protection offered by most credit companies. Do prices seem incredibly low? Many reputable suppliers have strict guidelines about their markup price margins and, if prices seem too low, the chances are the quality has suffered. Are you being offered a large quantity of designer clothing? The designer market is exclusive and therefore the production quantity of a particular item is limited to prevent saturation of their specialty products. So beware if the supplier says he can offer large quantities of designer items.
Note the fabric content and quality. In general, natural fibers like cotton, silk, linen, and wool are more likely to look good, maintain their shape, and hold up over time than synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, acetate, or spandex. Also pay attention to the aesthetic feel of a garment. Just because it is 100% wool, there is no guarantee it feels like top quality. Manufacturers sometimes skimp on fiber content to save money and they produce thin and cheap-feeling garments. So, this is why it is crucial to get sample garments and judge for yourself if they are high quality fabric and can maintain durability and shape over time.
Check the stitching. Give the seams a gentle tug to see if the fabric pulls away and any light shows between the thread of the seam and the cloth. If either occurs, this is a sign of poor quality. Good quality and durable garments would have close stitches that show no light and which take longer and require more thread to manufacture. . Also pay attention to the seams, it should be straight, and the hem (the part that’s folded over the garment’s edges) should be level all the way around. Inspect the stitching for any unraveling, missed or loose stitches, snags, or other defects.
Check the patterns and pockets. Patterned fabric should match up where the pieces connect, especially on large print patterns. This means that polka dots, stripes, and other fabric designs should match up and not be offset or misaligned. Notice this especially at the sleeves, collars, pockets, and side seams. Also, pockets should ideally be made of the same fabric as the rest of the garment, unless it’s a deliberate design element. Check that the pocket is well attached and that the fabric goes in the same direction as the rest of the apparel. Pants pockets in poor quality clothing are often made of overly thin material and are puckered or poorly attached.
The wholesale clothing market is huge and there are many reputable sources for high quality clothing. Your due diligence with research, scouting, and testing garments up front will pay off handsomely with a pleased and repeat customer base.