Starting a new clothing company: what to consider?

LABELLING
•    Composition label (or ‘content label’) …
………. what are the official fibre names to use?
………. in what language should it be written and does it vary per export country?
………. how to determine the composition?
………. what deviation is allowed for the composition?
………. what about the term ‘other fibres’? (maximum percentage?)
………. is my current label 100% correct?
•    Origin labelling (‘made in’)
•    Something else to mention on the label? (depending on country of export)

QUALITY OF THE FABRICS AND TRIMS/ CONSUMER AND ENVIRONMENT
•    Which materials can I use best?
•    How do I communicate material requirements accurately and well-arranged?
•    Is the new EU legislation concerning chemicals, REACH, relevant for me?
•    Do my products have to comply with certain ‘eco requirements’?
•    How do I get my suppliers to comply with my demands?
•    How (frequent) do I inspect the materials?

ECO-LABELLING
•    Is an eco-label effective for my/my company?
•    Is an eco-label relevant for my products?
•    Which eco-labels exist?
•    How comprehensive is it to apply for an eco-label and to retain it?
•    Is Öko-Tex Standard 100 an environmental standard?
•    Can I take advantage of an eco-label to comply with REACH?

CODE OF CONDUCT
•    Should I have a code of conduct?
•    Should my suppliers be certified?
•    Which organisations can support me and how do I choose between them?

PRODUCTSPECIFICATIONS/ PRODUCTION MANUAL / QUALITY MANUAL
•    How do I manage to have instructions that are short, but complete and clear?
•    Can I do without a quality manual?
•    Which agreements would belong in a quality manual?

CONDITIONS OF PURCHASE/ BUYING CONDITIONS/ PROCUREMENT TERMS
•    Is there an example or template of purchase conditions available?
•    How strict should I present myself and what , what is the most effective attitude?
•    What do I lay down in writing and what not (yet)?

SUPPLIERS/ CONTRACTORS
•    Am I buying/manufacturing in the right country?
•    Do I have the right supplier(s) or should I already be looking further?
•    Where do I find other suppliers?

PRODUCT CHECK
•    Is it technically well possible to produce my article, or are there risks?
•    How good is the fit?
•    Is the target group clear?
•    Does the fit match well with the target group?
•    Do the various items in the collection have an unambiguous, constant fit?
•    Is the margin (sales price – cost of goods) sufficient?

PACKAGING/ LOGISTIC MATTERS
•    What is the best way to pack?
•    What documents do I require from the producer?
•    Do I need a(n external) warehouse?
•    Will reconditioning be necessary for my articles and where should that be done?
•    Will I keep stock, produce a small extra number of pieces, or exactly what is sold?
•    What packaging materials to use?
•    Instructions for addressing, stickers, barcodes, hangtags (swing tags), attachment of it, etc.?

COSTING
•    What should I count in the cost price and what not?
•    What are direct and what are indirect costs?
•    How do I determine the margin percentage (mark up) and which company costs should it cover?
•    Should I vary the margin per supplier/manufacturer?

SOFTWARE FOR ERP-PDM-PLM-CAD/CAM ETC.
•    Which software is indispensable and which software is convenient?
•    Can I do with one package only or should I have various ones, e.g. for: creative processes, patterns, product data, bill of material, cost of goods, purchase orders and stock accounts of materials and ready goods, following suppliers and production, customer relation management, sales, communication with suppliers and customers, bookkeeping.
•    Which suppliers of software are there for the clothing industry?

AND MORE…

And enough other matters to consider, like finding/ convincing customers, points of sales, marketing, financing, office, employees, chamber of commerce, conditions from and for your customers, …

With the majority of above points I have quite some experience. If you would like some help with anything, you can contact me informally and non-committal, so we can check together what I can do for you: Chris Koeleman (c.koeleman@quality-assistance.nl / 0644398216).

 

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