How Much would it cost you to start a Clothing Brand?

Clothing Brand

Business is a tricky scene to deal with. But with the right ideas, the right mindset, and with enough resources, people who venture this rocky terrain can do away with good paybacks, so long as you’re attentive with all the factors that come into consideration with such projects. Nowadays, the most common way that business-minded people opt to try their hand in the field is by way of creating clothing lines. How so? It’s an everyday necessity! And people tend to buy and collect clothing articles mindlessly. So it’s definitely an area with a lot of potentials, despite the abundance of competitors.

So let’s assume you’re convinced about starting your own line. Great! But it’s good to always be aware of the possible costs that you may incur throughout the process, lest you end up with more loans than profit. How much does it cost to start up your own clothing business?

Choosing a Business Model

Before you make a trip to the bank for a loan, or before you plan out how you’re going to segregate your capital for all the costs, it would be smart to first conceptualize the clothing brand that you want to establish. There are many types of business models, but the most common are the Print-On-Demand, Private Label, or the Custom Cut and Sew Line. The first one is the easiest and cheapest option, as this only involves digital printing or applying your design on a blank apparel. Less than $1,000 is needed for an almost fully automated business, but the downside to this is that you can’t really diverge much from standard clothing designs and there is less profit for this.

The second one, Private label, involves the buying of bulk blank materials which may incur cheaper costs. You can have a freer reign in the outcome and details of the products. You may need a larger amount of money, around $2,500, and it’s much more hands-on than the first one, but there is more potential for sales from consumers for this model. The last one involves absolute customization by your company. From designs, patterns, fabrics, and production, you are the chief overseer of the clothing line. This is an intensive process that may take some time and money, around $10,000, due to the manufacturing costs, the design creation, the human resources you need to manage everything and other needs. Customers would see how unique your products are, and higher profit margins are observed.

Factors to Be Considered For Cost Analysis


What is the theme of your brand? Perhaps you’d like to cater to the working class, to the fresh vibe of young adults, or maybe to parents shopping for kids apparel. Whatever you aim for, it’s important to consider your niche and your target consumers.

Logo creation is also important. Perhaps you already have an idea for this, but if not, you may want to hire a graphic designer and inform this person of your brand’s essence. Your logo is, after all, the face of the company, and people would remember your line through this. Hiring a logo designer may cost you around $30-300, depending on the hiree’s expertise.

If you find it tiring to continuously design and conceptualize your pieces, it may also be advised to hire a designer. Costs range at around $30-40 per hour for professional freelance workers.

Material Sourcing

Quality should be one of your top concerns if you want to be known to the public in the long term. This, of course, involves the sourcing of affordable and quality materials to be used in production. A rule of thumb is to canvas first around different places and from different sellers in order for you to get a bang for your buck. Ideally, you’d want quality for the most reasonable price. You should also make sure that you don’t spend too much on materials, as this may further heighten your price, making customers think more about buying your product.


The business plans mentioned beforehand may be applied further for this part. You have three main concerns for manufacturing, which are quantity, quality, and delivery. Always keep in mind that manufacturing companies charge less for higher wholesale purchases. What can help you decide upon quantity is sticking to which business model you are aiming for?

Also, keep in mind that quality control should be a priority. And a good agreement from your manufacturer may help with that. Be aware as well that the location source of your production can also play a part. Outsourcing from other countries that offer cheaper materials and production costs can help in increasing profit per product, as compared to western sources that charge more. An example would be t-shirt prices from China, which are around $1-3 per piece, as compared to American sources, which average at around $5-10 or more.

Again, canvas and inquire about all the available retailers you can find. It’s easier now more than ever for aspiring businesspeople to research and compare with the advent of the internet. You can check out a lot of different websites and platforms which provide all the options for you, such as sewport. These platforms work in helping you contact different manufacturers.

Overhead Cost

Other costs for your office such as electricity, space, internet, employee wages, product storage, and transportation should not go over your head as these are vital to running the business. Prices for these ranges depending on your requirement and usage. Transportation service agreements may also be arranged, which could perhaps provide discounts once your company proves loyal to a certain transportation group.


Registering your business and obtaining the proper license is required by law. You have to follow the protocols and ensure that your business is not shut down in the middle of everything. Depending on your business entity, name, etc., make sure you file the proper papers for formality. A seller’s permit could also benefit you, as you may purchase raw goods without paying sales tax as well as collect tax from your sold products, which would then be given back to the state.

Website and Online Domain

This is now an essential requirement of business as transactions, marketing, and the whole process of selling could already be done here. Website maintenance and design may cost you in the start, and you may employ the services of freelancers specializing in web design. You could also distribute coupons and create great promo deals for introducing your brand. Good photos are needed as well to showcase your clothing line, so models and photographers should be hired to advertise your products well online.


So you now have everything set! A product launch may now help jumpstart your company’s popularity and introduce you to the world. Event management would eat a chunk from your capital, but with the right strategy it could work well for you. Invite influencers to spread noise about your brand. Sponsor and show off your products by providing samples from your line to someone with a viable audience such as a celebrity, a YouTuber, or a blogger. It’s a cheap and easy way to gain audience traction.


Cost estimates vary depending on your goal and preference. Therefore, pay good attention to your expenses and take note of everything so you have an idea whether business is running smoothly. A lot is factored into the total cost of your clothing brand, so do your research and always try to research for the best possible options available for you. Word of advice is to tread slowly before plunging headfirst into the world of apparel business.

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