What are the Essentials to Start a Custom Apparel Startup?

Attiq Muzaffar

Do you have a desire to start your own apparel business? There are some steps that you need to follow to give your business a chance for success. Although it is not easy to start a business, it is not impossible either. The main thing to understand is that each startup has its requirements that will need to be met. It is vital to know these essentials depending on your apparel choice you are interested in working on. We will highlight what you’ll need to begin your venture.

Identify your Niche

The first step to starting any business begins with deciding on whom you want your product to target. This step is crucial because it helps you narrow down to what you intend to achieve from your startup. It also guides what materials, machine, design, etc., which you will use to achieve great results. For example, if you are creating sports apparel, you will choose light, breathable, and quick-drying materials. This way, once a potential customer sees your product, they can immediately identify what you are selling and its purpose.

Choose your Design

A design is what makes your product stand out in the market. It would be best if you were extra attentive when working on this because it is one of the things that will sell your apparel. Startups will indeed require a considerable amount of money from you. Designing is part of what will need to be included in the budget. If you are a creative designer, that is a plus, but seek these services from cost-effective designers if you are not. It is paramount because the first design you release to the market will speak volumes about your work. After going through this process, go out and put your design to the test. Get feedback from your identified audience on your design and how much it would go for.

Create a Business Plan

when you start a business, a business plan goes a long way to keep things afloat and organized. It helps to keep your mind focused on the task and the budget without going overboard. Let’s say you are starting a t-shirts printing business; your plan will revolve around this. The machinery and tools that are used for printing will need to be purchased. It does not have to be a five-year plan; you can create one that guides you starting first. You will need to begin by stating your budget, goals, whether you have a partner, etc. This will guide you to make sound decisions for your business.

Custom Apparel Printing

There are different methods to print your designs. One of the factors that determine the manner you use is your budget.  We shall look at three ways of printing you would choose from;

Screen Printing

The famous method most people consider using is screen printing. It is best when you buy in bulk as it labor-invested.  It is also a technique that can be applied to different types of clothing like hoodies and t-shirts printing. The most cost-effective way is to print in bulk as you will get the wholesale price.

DTG Printing

DTG is another way you can print on your apparel due to its ability to handle any design type in different colors. It also produces high-quality and precise results.

Vinyl Heat Press

Vinyl heat transfer is a unique way that designers use to create graphics on clothing. The machine cuts the design, shapes it, and then the design is heat-pressed on the material.  This technique is appreciated because it can be done in multiple textures and colors e.g., glow in the dark and glitter. 


You have your design, gotten feedback, and your business plan to guide you. Now it's time to start sewing. Finding a manufacturer would be a good choice since you intend to produce in bulk. It will take a lot of time to cut, sew and do all required with a limited time frame. Do your research and find someone who does good quality embroidery work in your range of budget. As much as you are not manufacturing the product, try and be involved to avoid possible disappointments. Make your design-intent clear and definite, so the manufacturer will know what exactly you expect. 

Create your Business Name and Logo

Anyone can start selling products online, but you need to follow through if you intend to turn this startup into a big business.  Your business needs to have an identity and a logo that speaks for it. This will be the name your customers will use to easily find you and recommend your merchandise to other people that spot your work. Your name and logo should tell your customer what to expect, but it should not hinder your aim to expand. For various options, you can decide to find a couple of graphic designers to create something that speaks to you as an owner.

Explore the Legalities

Business owners need to learn and understand the laws and legalities they should observe before establishing their business. This step helps you eliminate any potential problems you may have with the regulations set in your local area of operation. You cannot afford to be blindsided after you have invested so much in our startup.

The Bottom Line

The steps of pricing and marketing come after you have done all the heavy lifting. When pricing your apparel, make sure there is a balance between affordability and profit generation. During marketing, there are different means you can use to market your brand. You can use word of mouth, social media; create ads, photographs, etc.

Startups require dedication, time, and patience to create and grow. You need to have an open mind and be flexible because the world of fashion is very unpredictable. But with the proper steps to guide you, you can watch your startup grow into a successful business.