Exploring Fabric Sourcing for Fitness Apparel: Unlocking the Secrets of Perfect Performance
Creating an activewear line involves a meticulous fabric sourcing process, which can be challenging for small businesses transitioning from custom designs to mass production. Ayana Ife, an experienced professional, embarked on this journey and learned valuable lessons along the way. Let’s explore the intricacies of fabric sourcing and the factors that must be considered.
Custom Design vs. Mass Production:
In the early stages, Ife catered to individual clients, giving her a certain freedom when it came to fabrics and patterns. Transitioning to mass production required a different approach. To achieve target retail prices without compromising on quality or style, materials must be chosen carefully.
The Sensitivity of Sourcing:Fabric sourcing can be a sensitive process, especially for small businesses. Some manufacturers may not entertain inquiries from start-ups. Ife quickly realized the significance of determining the Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ) and whether the brand’s production quantities met the manufacturers' requirements.Lead Times and Custom Colors: Patience and efficient follow-up becomes essential while dealing with lead times for sample fabrics and custom colors. Each color variation requires customization and often adds an extra cost.. It is best to navigate these challenges by conducting research in advance and asking many questions at trade shows.
Balancing Sustainability and Cost:
Ayana Active has a commitment to creating sustainable, eco-friendly clothing. This has proven to be a challenge as a small business, as many sustainable fabric producers have high MOQs and exorbitant prices. This is another reason why it is important to conduct thorough research on potential vendors before attending trade shows. Ensuring that vendors align with your brand’s values will save you time and effort while selecting your most suitable partners.
Fabric sourcing for an activewear line demands careful consideration of various factors, such as MOQs, lead times, cost, and sustainability. Ife’s experiences taught her the importance of preparedness, patience, and follow-up while attending trade shows. By continuing to absorb new information and continue learning from her experiences, Ife and Ayana Active intend on sourcing fabrics that meet both their customers’ unique needs and their own sustainability goals. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Ayana Active as we continue to redefine the boundaries of fashion, sustainability, and empowerment. Follow us on Instagram @ayanaactive.