So, you’ve decided that you wanted to start your own clothing line in the UK, but aren’t sure where to get started? You are not alone. Getting started with creating your own clothing brand can appear to be quite a daunting task, especially in such a competitive industry. With this comprehensive guide our team has put together, you will have your clothing line off the ground in no time! Starting your own clothing brand is often considered one of the best ways to create an additional revenue stream alongside your full-time job in the UK, with many drawn to the allure of financial rewards you can achieve.
We will be taking you through the entire process of starting your own clothing line; from the very first stages of developing a business plan to the final stages of showcasing and marketing your business. By the time you have finished reading this guide, you will know everything you need to start your own successful clothing line in the UK market.
Creating a business plan for a clothing brand
So before you get stuck into what you want your clothing to look like, it’s essential to develop a thorough business plan to follow and adhere to when starting out with your clothing brand. There are several considerations you need to make when constructing a business plan, including the following:
- Brand vision – Consider what you aim to achieve with your clothing brand, your brand values, and how you would like to be received by your target audience.
- Market analysis – Conduct a detailed market analysis to best understand the target audience of your clothing brand, and also the competitive landscape for brands within your niche. This can also help you better understand how you want your clothing brand to be positioned against competitors, and identify differentiation opportunities.
- Product selection – A strong market analysis will let you best understand which clothing garments you want to initially come to market with. You can also consider which items you will use to expand your clothing line in the future.
- Marketing strategy – Have a basic idea of which channels – both online and offline – you will use to promote your clothing brand and reach your target audience. This is even more important in the UK where the market is highly competitive.
- Financial projections – How much revenue do you hope to generate in your first year, and how will you achieve this? These are both factors you must consider as part of your business plan. It is also important to consider your costs and how you will ensure that you remain profitable.
Once you have established your business plan, it makes it much easier to choose your business model and plan your budget.
Choosing your business model
So now you have a better idea of what your business strategy is going to look like, it’s important to choose a business model that will work for you. When it comes to business models for your clothing line, there are two main routes you can choose from:
- Buy customised clothing in wholesale: purchase clothing items in bulk which have already been customised.
- Use a UK-based print-on-demand clothing supplier: upload your own designs online and fulfil customer orders when you make a sale.
Both options have their pros and cons, depending on your budget and facilities. My Personalised Clothing has helped many independent UK clothing lines get off the ground; whether that be by providing print-on-demand services for our personalised hoodies range, or fulfilling large orders of custom polo shirts. We have supported countless clothing brands with our print-on-demand services, and also given hefty discounts for bulk orders of customised clothing. We can support your clothing line no matter which business model suits you best. Stuck between which option to choose? Get in touch with our friendly team to find out how our services can help get your clothing brand off the ground.
Setting your budgets
When starting a clothing brand, it is essential to consider your budget – even more so in the UK due to the rising cost of living. The following contains some important factors you must keep in mind when planning the budget for your startup clothing line:
- Manufacturing costs – It’s important to include both the cost of your garments and printing/embroidery costs when adding your own design. You also need to consider whether you will be batch-producing garments for your clothing line, or using a fulfilment service to produce clothing items as and when you need them.
- Design costs – If you haven’t got the required skill set to create your own clothing designs, then you will need to hire a graphic designer to help bring your vision to life.
- Shipping costs – Whilst some manufacturers can help you ship items straight to your customer, others will not. It’s important to consider shipping costs and factor this into your budgeting.
- Marketing costs – Again, unless you already have a dedicated marketing skill set, you will need to allocate funds to attract customers to your brand and build awareness. You must also consider the cost of setting up a website.
Establishing your clothing brand’s name & identity
Now things really start to get exciting! Creating a strong brand name and memorable identity is crucial for any clothing line in the UK market. Where the industry is so competitive in the UK in particular, it’s vital that you develop an identity that will resonate with your target audience.
Choosing a name can be difficult, but make sure it is unique and genuinely reflects your brand’s values which we identified earlier on. Create a strong and memorable logo using a tasteful colour palette and font, which can easily be distinguished from the competition. Many choose to create a story around their clothing brand to help create a more personal feel. You must always be consistent with your branding across all marketing materials and clothing items you produce. One thing is for sure, a strong brand identity will help build a loyal customer base which is imperative in the fierce UK market.
Create designs for your clothing line
Now you have a better idea of what your brand will look like, you now need to create designs for your garments. Many confuse creating clothing designs and creating a brand as being the same activity, when this isn’t the case. Even if your brand, logo and colour palette is what you would like to feature on your clothing garments, it’s important to differentiate between the two. You must consider how elements will be positioned on your chosen items, based on what will best resonate with your target audience. A small logo on the front of a printed t-shirt? A large full-surface logo on the back of a t-shirt? Or maybe even no major logo presence at all, and you want to show off an intricately designed graphic on the front of a t-shirt? There are many different tactics you can take with the design process of your garments, and it’s important to carefully consider your approach, taking into account your market research and brand positioning. Regardless of what you go for, great designs attract customers and build your clothing brand.
Source your clothing supplier
Once you have finalised your first set of designs, it is time to choose a supplier. As we mentioned earlier, My Personalised Clothing has supported 100s of independent clothing brands to get started with our UK-based printing service. Fill out our form to get a fast quote for wholesale orders, or check out our huge clothing range which is all offered on a print-on-demand basis.
Create a website & grow brand presence
Building a website and growing an online presence is crucial for any successful clothing brand in the UK. With the online shopping market projected to be worth a whopping £5.19 trillion in 2024, it has never been more important to make sure your brand has a strong digital presence.
As more and more users migrate their shopping experiences online, you need to think of your website as a digital storefront. Hence, it needs to look good and provide a positive experience for customers. Would you open a physical shop with a wonky sign and cracked window? Probably not. So, should you create an unprofessional-looking website which makes it difficult for users to explore your clothing range? Certainly not! Given the costs associated with leasing a physical location, your website will be the primary source of information about your brand and its products, as well as a key platform to generate revenue for your clothing brand. You may choose to build your website yourself or hire a professional web developer to create a website for your clothing brand. This decision is all budget dependent.
Growing digital presence for your clothing brand
Once you have a professional website created, you can then focus on growing your digital presence via a variety of different marketing channels. Some of the most popular include:
- Organic social media
- Paid advertising campaigns on social media
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Paid advertising campaigns on search engines
A combination of all the above activities will help ensure that you reach the correct target audience for your UK clothing brand.
We hope that this guide has helped give you a much clearer idea of what it takes to start your own clothing line in the UK. Keep in mind, starting your own clothing brand is not an easy task – if it was, everybody would be doing it! It takes time, dedication and a lot of hard work, but if you follow all steps laid out in this guide, you are on the right path to creating a successful clothing brand. If you need any further advice on creating your own UK clothing line, the My Personalised Clothing team are here to help.