Design Process Step 8. The Final Stretch


fabric cutting


Here we are, the final stretch of your long and trying journey. Before you pop open a bottle to celebrate, there’s still a few more things you need to see through.

First and foremost, you need to work with your manufacturer and suppliers to set an ex-factory date- the date when your bulk order will be shipped out from the factory. This date will determine the rest of your production timeline, including when the final sample will get sent to you for approval. Usually, factories like to work backwards from this date to finalise the rest of the production so it’s important to set a date that is realistic. During the time when you set the date and when the order actually gets sent out, there could be a number of other issues you need to handle. So, keep that in the back of your mind when you set the date to make sure you are fully prepared.

You might find that you need to rework your budget or your pricing strategy after compiling all the necessary costs. This is a weekly task that our team reviews and ensures that we are pricing our products fairly and that we are keeping an eye on the total cost. Sometimes you will find that there are hidden costs you never predicted, so make sure you have some buffer when it comes to budgeting.

The hidden costs can be anything ranging from garment accessories, like buttons or zippers to custom fabric dyes, so make sure you have a conversation with your manufacturer regarding their connections within the industry and that you are happy with what they can offer before you seal the deal with them.

As an example, our manufacturer predominately makes lingerie so they’ve already got a bank of networks they can tap into. However, we wanted bra straps with a custom red dye and the minimal order quantity with their supplier was too high for us so we had to go out on our own to find a supplier that could meet our needs. This was a task that we didn’t expect to have had to take on at the beginning and lord, was this a task for us to tackle! 

With the limited connections we had in the industry, we went searching online for a bra strap supplier. We looked on Alibaba and reached out to a few potentials that met our criteria. These being able to custom dye with minimal orders of below 300 and with relatively high quality and can be shipped to our manufacturer in a short span of time. Luckily after a few weeks of digging through Alibaba, we came across one supplier who could meet our needs and what a sigh of relief that was!

The main takeaway from this is to set an ex-factory date that is realistic and leave enough time to tie the final knots. With all this in mind, go on and finish the last few steps of this amazing journey you have taken to date and don’t forget to look back, enjoy and appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in!

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