Minimum Order Quantities In The Fashion Industry – An Insight
Whether you’re just starting out, launching a brand-new product line or are already a long-established designer, MOQs (minimum order quantities) are a feature of life for suppliers and fashion designers. This is because production factories have to ensure that every job which they agree to take on has sufficient scale to allow them to make a profit.
Why Do Production Factories Have An MOQ Requirement?
Different factories all have different minimum order quantities, and while one may offer a minimum of just 50 units, another may have set their MOQ requirement in the 1000s. However, the higher the number of units you adhere to, you’ll usually find your price will be lower.
The Main Reasons For MOQs
There are two primary reasons why factories have MOQs:
· Factories have their own order minimums when purchasing fabrics, trims and other items from suppliers.
· Factories have to stop working on other orders so they can complete your order. This means they need to create and grade your patterns, change the machinery and produce the order involving their staff throughout the process. As most factories will be very busy and have many repeat clients, having an MOQ in place ensures the process will always be worth their while.
What Can Affect The Factory’s MOQ?
There are a number of factors to bear in mind which will affect the MOQ given by the factory:
· Design complexity – a garment’s design will usually impact the MOQ given by the factory. If your garments are simple, for example, regular t-shirts, the MOQ will usually be lower than if you are requesting a detailed and complex garment that has added embellishments and trims. Some manufacturers specialise in specific garment types and partnering up with a manufacturer that specialises in your field could reduce the MOQ you are given.
· Fabric and trim choices – if you choose one of your manufacturer’s stock fabrics, you will often find the MOQ will be lower since there’ll be no need to buy in fabric just for your order. If you’re choosing a printed fabric, the MOQ will be higher and, depending on the consistency and print requirements, if you choose a printed fabric it could affect the lay planning and fabric consumption.
· Fabric consumption – sizing – The lay on your chosen fabric of the pattern will dictate how much fabric is wasted with larger sizes consuming fabric less economically.
Minimum order quantities come down to the economy of scale. There is a company now called Sewport, that serves fashion brands and clothing manufactures by connecting them online. It is a smart platform that has just about any type of garment production company from clothing factories to sampling studios to ateliers and design services so you can filter and find the right company with the right minimum order quantity for your garment production run. Ordering more units will generally ensure you are quoted a lower price, and conversely, smaller units will cost more – not just for you, but for the manufacturer too. This means that manufacturers have to determine the number of units at which it will become financially and economically unviable for them to produce fewer garments. Although there is often some leeway for negotiation in minimum quantities, you will often find that a smaller factory will be more capable of producing in a smaller scale, and therefore if you need a smaller number of units, this is something to keep in mind when you select a partner factory.