If you are looking to set up a sustainable clothing line, this article will outline all the important tips on how to start a sustainable fashion brand.
How to Start a Sustainable Fashion Brand
Here are the 10 steps that outline how to start a sustainable fashion brand:
1. Identify the Need
Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is created in an
environmentally and socially responsible manner. The garments are designed, manufactured, distributed, and used by consumers by being mindful of the fashion industry's environmental impact.
Nowadays, the concept of sustainability is gaining a lot of importance in the fashion industry and consumers are caring more than ever about shopping sustainably. Thus, to start a sustainable fashion brand, the first step is to understand that you are creating an opportunity for your customers to buy clothing according to their values.
So, the first step is to identify the need. Determine what sustainability means to you, what issues are you trying to solve with your sustainable fashion brand, how you can fulfill the requirements of eco-conscious consumers, and how your fashion label can stand out.
2. Create a Sustainable Product Idea
Think of a garment that is currently not offered by top clothing companies or determine what you can do differently with existing clothing items. Check out the latest trends that people are searching for.
Check the demand and see how you can fulfill the gap in the current fashion market. For instance, if you plan to sell t-shirts, you can create organic cotton t-shirts. In this step, you will also need to perform market research and survey potential customers for your brand.
3. Start Designing
This is one of the most crucial steps in starting a sustainable fashion brand. In this step, you will need to create designs that make your brand stand out while also being cost-effective.
Use unique patterns in your designs that are less wasteful and distinguish your brand from the other sustainable brands. For design purposes, you can use professional software programs, explore beginner-friendly tools, or hire a designer.
4. Source Sustainable Materials
It is important to pay attention to the sourcing processes as the fabrics that you will use in your clothing items will showcase your brand value.
While sourcing fabrics for your sustainable fashion brand you will need to focus on two things – one is ‘what’ fabrics you will use so that you have a minimal environmental impact and the second is ‘from where’ will you source the fabric.
You can partner with those suppliers who provide sustainable fabrics that are made using organic farming methods and do not encourage the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and harmful chemicals. You can choose from a variety of sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton and recycled polyester for turning your designs into garments.
Once you have decided on the sustainable fabrics that you will use, you can move your focus to ‘from where’. It is better to source the fabrics from the right suppliers with a secured supply chain and transparent communication.
As a sustainable fashion brand, it is not only your product that you want to be sustainable. You must also focus on the packaging of your product to attract and inspire potential customers who are tired of creating more waste through packaging.
Here are some points that you must consider while sourcing sustainable materials for your clothing label:
5. Garment Manufacturing
If you don’t want to source, cut, and sew your fabrics on your own, you can find a clothing manufacturer to turn your designs into apparel. Decide whether you want domestic manufacturers in the country you reside in or an overseas manufacturer.
Before finalizing on a clothing manufacturer, you will have to take into account various factors, including quality, price, experience, shipping time, and ethical practices. You can look for manufacturers who produce garments while being considerate of the local communities and who also focus on minimizing their environmental impacts while conserving natural resources.
Want to know more about finding the right manufacturers?
Here’s all you need to know while choosing a custom
clothing manufacturer for your clothing business.
6. Create Your Brand Name
A brand name can play a crucial role in outshining the competition, attracting customers, and building customer loyalty. Thus, you must come up with the perfect brand name that effectively communicates what your brand is about. You can also pick a logo for your brand and design a website to sell your clothing.
Having a brand story also helps in building trust and increasing customer loyalty. You can create your brand guidelines that define what you do, how you do it, and what sustainability means to you.
7. Establish a Price
After deciding whether to go for an in-house cut and sew set up or partner with a manufacturer, you will have an idea of the production costs and overhead costs. So, now is the time to choose a price at which you will sell your products to the customers.
Keep in mind that there’s a lot more that goes into setting the price for sustainable fashion brands. Some other important crucial cost drivers involved in the pricing of sustainable fashion include ethical sourcing, fair wages, and small batch production.
Typically, organic fabrics, like organic cotton come at a higher
cost compared to conventional ones because of the cost of growing organic crops. These crops grow without harsh chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers and follow strict guidelines to be certified organic.
As an apparel label, you will first have to know where your brand sits in the market. Depending on that, you can choose from a variety of pricing strategies, such as budget pricing, luxury pricing, or value pricing to differentiate your brand. You can also research how your competitors are pricing and marketing their garments.
8. Market Your Brand
Now that you have your garments, brand name, and logo ready, you can begin letting people know about your brand and increase your brand exposure. Depending on your business strategy, target market, and desired outcome, you can choose from multiple ways to advertise your brand.
You can share your brand story and your sustainable values to help your target consumers connect on a deeper level. Here are some effective marketing tactics to boost your brand awareness:
While marketing your brand, ensure that you back your sustainability practices with certifications and facts. Be transparent with your customers and refrain from greenwashing practices.
9. Set Realistic Sales Targets
While setting targets for sale and distribution, ensure that you have all business costs in mind and plan for growth. Setting realistic targets will help you keep your sustainable fashion brand on the right path. It will also help you to measure your sales performance and scale your brand.
10. Launch Your Brand
Now that everything is put in place, it's time to launch your sustainable clothing brand. You can plan a soft launch aimed at a distinct eco-conscious audience segment in advance of a large-scale launch. You can also look for more investment and partnerships to grow your business further.
If you have been thinking of owning your clothing line, this guide
will help you understand how to start a clothing line and make
it stand out.
Many consumers today, expect fashion brands to be more focused on sustainability. They want brands to make a difference by being more considerate of the environment and humanity. As consumers become more eco-conscious than ever, fashion brands need to lead the way in sustainability.
We hope this article helped you understand how to start a sustainable fashion brand. If you already own a clothing line and are looking for ways to expand, this article will help you grow your clothing brand in one year.
Looking for solutions to simplify sourcing and manufacturing for
your sustainable fashion brand? Send us your RFQ for yarn,
fabric, or apparel, and our team of experts will get back to you with the best quotes from a trusted network of suppliers.