Speaking with the best clothing manufacturers in China: How to wholesale your private label clothes.


If you are a business owner or interested in starting a business in the clothing industry, it makes sense if you want your private label pieces to have the same quality as world-class brands.  It is possible but difficult.

You need two things to make this happen:

  1. Find the best world-class clothing manufacturers;
  2. Convince them to make clothes for you.


China is the undisputed leader of clothing manufacturing in the world.  Manufacturers provide OEM and ODM services to some of the same world-class brands you see in top retails locations.  For a small to medium-sized seller, the supply chain of world-class clothing brands is as mysterious as the black box of an airplane.  In other words, it is all but impossible.


Sourcing Nova has access to those foundries of world-class brands.  Our goal in this article is two-fold:

  • Explain how to access these world-class foundries;
  • Get the same foundries to make your private label clothing.


Are you looking how to find a clothing manufacturer of world-class brands but have struggled to find them?  Struggle no longer.


Note: We begin with an old-fashioned interview with salespeople associated with the best clothing manufacturing industry. These are the same manufacturers who provide OEM and ODM for some of the biggest brands in the world. Brands like: Fila, Adidas, Sketchers, Guess, Armani, Calvin Klein, O’Neill, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Givenchy, Bugatchi and Arnold Palmer.


Read on to see how Sourcing Nova reaches and works with these manufacturers on a regular basis.


How to find the best clothing manufacturers?

Sourcing Nova has previously discussed how we access manufacturers through traditional means: reading industry reports, participating in various exhibitions and working directly with them with guanxi.


Note: In other words, unless you live and work in China and are fluent in Chinese, you will never find these manufacturers sitting at a computer with a mouse and Internet connection.


Note: It is important to note we cannot share the specific details of these manufacturers because of tight trade secrets.  Instead, we will substitute supplier codenames for the supplier name.


Why not use Alibaba?


The short answer – you can.


The long answer is you can find a manufacturer of almost any product made in China on Alibaba.  What you will not find are the one percent manufacturers, those who make these world-class ODM and OEM brands.  Many of these brands have exceptionally tight NDA, non-disclosure agreements, with the manufacturer.  The manufacturers cannot share which brands they OEM for.


Note: It is important to remember a large number of Chinese sourcing agents, Sourcing Nova proudly is part of this number, do not use Alibaba as a sourcing platform.


Purchasing agencies have their own databases and categorize supplier resources for quick and simple access.  We have a supplier list on hand.  You will need to determine how best to communicate with the manufacturer.


How best to contact clothing manufacturers?

Sourcing Nova provides specific operating procedures for buyers.  These procedures improve work efficiency as part of a custom clothing process.


First of all, choosing the right supplier is the most important thing

The sheer number of China clothing manufacturers mean a good number of them specialize in a specific category of clothing.  For example, some factories may make only T-shirts, and another factory may make only denim jeans.

Warning: Asking a manufacturer to make hoodies at a factory that specializes in leather jackets will not be effective.


Second, you need to present your requirements

Tip: We recommend that our customers prepare a product requirement document at the outset.  The PRD should include specifics for the fabric choice, product sizes, quantity and customization in full details.


Let’s look at specifics of each.

    • Clothing fabric – Today’s apparel fabric industry is complex.  It is common for buyers not to know how to describe a particular fabric they want.  Sourcing Nova has a reference book that is almost as thick as the Oxford or Longman Dictionaries.
      clothing fabric book
      clothing fabric book


      Many professional fashion designers will have similar references on hand.  Accurate description of fabric has obvious benefits.  This means you can work with the manufacturer to manufacture your clothing line to your precise specifications.


      However, if you are not a professional clothing designer, chances are your clothing fabric knowledge is like our own.  Sourcing Nova recommends buying a variety of garments with the fabrics you like and order samples from the manufacturer.


    • Product size chart – The importance of clothing size cannot be overlooked.  Too large or small fits will not be comfortable.  You must have an explicitly defined product size chart for your manufacturer.  If you are not sure what to do for a product size chart, you can use a preferred brand.  The following form provides an example:

      size chart example
      Image Source: farfetch.com


    • Product quantity – Most MOQ for custom clothing is 100 pieces, but this is not an absolute requirement.  We will detail this in later in the blog.


    • Customized requirements – Buyers must describe clothing customization requirements in full detail.  The more defined the description, the better the manufacturer will understand what you want in your clothing.


Expect to do homework – lots of homework.  This is highly essential.  If you cannot describe your customization needs, a reference picture is recommended.


Note: Sourcing Nova has learned the buyers who provide better customization requirements to manufacturers are more likely to get quality assistance. The details and requirements show to the manufacturers you are a more serious buyer and potential customer.


Warning: Recognize the other side as well.  If you are not sure what you want or need, do not think the China clothing manufacturers Sourcing Nova partners with will be willing to work you as a buyer and potential customer.


How to wholesale custom clothing from top manufacturers

In theory, any garment manufacturer can make custom garments for buyers with varied requirements.  Sourcing Nova met with a number of the best clothing manufacturing leaders about their specific requirements for apparel purchase orders.


Here are the details for specific pieces of clothing.


How to Customize Polo Shirts and T-Shirts?

The print on demand shirt industry is a huge business that many retailers use as a primary source of income.  Many startup businesses find the draw of making profits using only a mockup is highly attractive.


Another set of buyers interested in quality will look more to production materials and processes of Polo style and standard T-shirts.


Note: No matter which choice you make, a clothing piece that has a high-end look and feel is what customers seek and purchase.


Getting customers interested and to purchase high-end products of any sort is the core business of Sourcing Nova.


We have two specific partners: sns4 and sns5 (sns is short for Sourcing Nova supplier) and a few other suppliers as well.  These suppliers are low MOQ clothing manufacturers – a bonus when looking to start sourcing products like clothing from China.


sns4 is a leading China manufacturer of high-end clothing, specifically knitted clothing like T-shirts, polos and hoodies.

Note: This is the same manufacturer for OEM and ODM for world-renowned brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste.  Other brands manufactured here are Kappa, Champion and the Chicago Bulls basketball team.  They also produce polo and T-shirts for children’s clothing companies Hello Kitty and Disney.


The polo shirts manufactured here are ideal for sports.  The polos have good breathability.  If you want OEM for your garments, this manufacturer will produce the same quality garments with the same quality fabrics as the brands above.


The foundry has more than 500 employees and can make more than 10,000 garment pieces a day.  A simple custom product has an MOQ of 20 pieces.


sns5 is another manufacturer of luxury-grade premium T-shirts and polo shirts.  They have fine and impressive fabric choices.

Note: Their clients include brands like Bobby Jones, Givenchy, Arnold Palmer, Louis Vuitton and Bugatchi.


sns5 has made polo shirts for high-end clothier Ralph Lauren and uniforms for the Chinese Public Security Police force.


They produce about 4,000 garments a day and have an MOQ of 100 pieces.  Sourcing Nova’s limited understanding cannot adequately explain the fabrics sns5 uses.  All we can tell you is the fabric is exceptionally comfortable and is of a premium quality.


The supplier will provide fabric samples on request – a big help given the limited understanding.


sns4 and sns5 are excellent T-shirt and polo shirt manufacturers, but each has a different focus on clothing.


How to source top knitted sportswear?

Those who enjoy fitness and an active lifestyle often have several sets of fitness clothing.  Brands such as Adidas are popular choices.


Note: If sportswear is your business goal, Sourcing Nova has the manufacturer you need.  Our manufacturer, sns6, makes the highest quality sportswear in the world.  sns6 is the manufacturer for Adidas, Fila, Sketchers, Calvin Klein and Guess.


Several styles are available for custom brands of fitness clothing.  The only thing necessary is to change the logo and meet the 50 piece MOQ.


How to source top-quality sweaters?

Are you interested in how to find a clothing manufacturer for high-quality Cashmere sweaters, knit dresses, skirts, men’s’ sweaters and Cashmere pants?


Sourcing Nova is the professional sourcing company you need.


Note: Our manufacturing partner sns7 is OEM and ODM for several world-class brands.  The largest and most well-known is Emporio Armani.


As a buyer, you need to be very specific in the yarn, sizes and detailed size charts.  Our manufacturing partner can make samples based on your specific needs.  We will forward samples to you to check the product quality.  When it comes to knitwear, the touch and feel is necessary to determine product quality.


The sweaters made in sns7 factory are high-end luxury but no high requirements for customization of garments.  The MOQ for ordinary fabric, pure cotton or mercerized cotton, is 100 pieces for knitwear in the same size and color.


The MOQ for high-end fabric options, cashmere and cashmere/wool blends, is lower.  MOQ is 60 pieces of the same size and color.


How to Wholesale Top Swimsuits and Wetsuits

Summer is the peak season for swimwear and wetsuits.


Is wholesale high-quality swimwear and wetsuits something you want to source from China?


Sourcing Nova has a leader in the industry in Dongguan, sns8.


Note: This manufacturer produces swimsuits and wetsuits in a variety of styles for both men, women and children.

This foundry is the OEM and ODM for big brands in the industry, but the most famous are O’Neill, Roxy and Kingswim.


Customizing and wholesaling swimwear from this manufacturer is very simple and easy.  You can print and put your own brand on your choice of garment for 100 pieces of the same style.  Different styles and colors are available for you to select from.


If you don’t need a custom logo, you can select a variety of styles.  There is no MOQ for white label products.


Final Thoughts

Sourcing Nova have had a strong commitment to finding the best clothing manufacturers of internationally renowned brands of clothing.


The brands coming from these manufacturers place strict requirements for quality products.  This translates into high standards of production.


Do you have a favorite clothing brand?  Are you interested in finding their foundry?


Leave us a comment below.  Perhaps we can find them for you, or perhaps we already know them.