How to Start a Simple T-shirt Brand

Whilst you may think starting any kind of fashion-related clothing brand may be difficult, it isn’t! With the right guidance and well-conducted research, you can start your own simple T-shirt brand in no time.

Selling T-shirts online has become a popular business choice, especially if you are looking for inexpensive ways to start up a new clothing brand. That said, you’re likely to face a lot of competition. Therefore, building your clothing brand with a specific target audience and creating unique print designs that your customers want will bring you success.

Another consideration that needs to be made is the potential threats. Consumers have become more and more aware of the environmental aspects of clothing, including the production and labour of it. Therefore, it is likely that you will also compete with brands that can produce ‘eco-friendly’ clothing on a larger scale. Choosing a manufacturer that can help assist some of these key pointers is essential for building a successful T-shirt brand. Investing in a manufacturer that is friendly to the environment and eco-friendly within their production process is important, as well as finding a manufacturer that can produce small quantities of orders.

1. Finding a Garment Manufacturer:

Once you have mastered your T-shirt designs (remember that customisations and originality is key), the next thing you will want to do is find the perfect manufacturer that will suit you needs. This means working within your time scale, a good rate, being able to produce good quality prints and finding a garment manufacturer that can produce small orders for you. It is ideal that you start of your brand small so that you can test the waters a little bit. This means having a small quantity of orders to start with. The advantage this gives to you, is that you’re not spending a ridiculous amount on thousands of T-shirts before you’ve even sold any, and you can see how successful your T-shirt designs sell.

There are many T-shirt suppliers around the UK and overseas that can create a variety of styles and designs tailored to your brand. Chanodil can help find you the right garment manufacturer for you. With easy communication via our website and 24/7 support from Chanodil’s customer service team, you’ll be able to start turning your T-shirt designs into real life products instantly. All you simply need to do, is sign up (for free) to our website. Once you have done this, you will have your own profile where you can make you enquiries and get quotes from specified manufacturers catered to you. Alongside this, you’ll be able to place orders instantly and make simple payments through our online portal. This is a fantastic way to get on-board quickly for building your T-shirt brand as well as getting great support. In addition, Chanodil have a ton of garment manufacturers who can produce a small amount of orders if you are a start-up business, these can be as small as 25 orders per design.

2. Sourcing the fabric:

A great advantage of T-shirt manufacturing is that it is overall pretty simple as there are no tricky patterns or styles to produce, which also means your rates will be better. However, as mentioned earlier, it is now more likely you will need to be eco-conscious and have a more sustainable approach. As a result, it may be harder to source the correct fabric for you and the selection process may take slightly longer, the good thing is, once you’ve found the right manufacturer for you, you can stick with them to further-develop your brand. Consider looking at fabrics such as Bamboo, Jute and Tencel- each have a variety of different qualities and they are eco-friendly and biodegradable.

It is also ideal to stay aware of the fact that when selecting materials, it often is not as easy as requesting a typical cotton T-shirt with a screen print image, as different fabrics work better with different types or print or embroidery compared to other fabrics.

Make sure you order a prototype before you fully commit to ordering in bulk. This is because on CAD (or from your sketches), the design can look different to the real product. The material may drape differently, the print or the logo may not be as strong as visualised and you may decide you’d prefer an embroidery logo instead. Therefore, sampling is an important part of the whole production process.

3. The Process:

If you’re new to the fashion business, you will soon find out that you can either choose to design your T-shirts from scratch with a manufacturer or invest in a supplier that has a bulk of standard T-shirt designs that you can directly print on.

If you decide to design your own T-shirt from scratch, you are provided to create a Tech Pack- if you don’t know what this is, check out our article ‘What is a Tech Pack’. It is a pretty detailed process, but most garment manufacturers can work with your requests regarding styles, cut and fabric. Ensuring you are as detailed as possible in your Tech Pack will avoid any potential costly errors.

4. Considering Printing Techniques

Now days, there are a ton of ways to print onto a fashion garment. It is important to choose a factory that can supply the printing technique your require for your T-shirt. Some cost-effective printing methods are stated below:

  1. Screen Printing- great for designs that don’t need highly detailed and colourful prints, and best of all it is fairly cheap, especially if you are ordering in bulk.

  2. Digital Printing- This is more suitable for detailed designs. This process means it is printed directly onto the garment. With that noted, be careful if you are printing a dark ink design onto a dark fabric as the printing only does one layer of ink, so it may not show as well as you’d like! There are a variation of printing methods, including Dye Sublimation and Vinyl Printing.

5. Additional Notes

When starting any form of clothing line, it is important to have a detail tech pack and a clear idea of who your target audience is. Also ensure you have covered the financial side of things. Depending on how many orders you make, you’re more likely to be able to negotiate a better deal the bigger the order- but this does not mean you have to order in bulk straight away. As mentioned earlier, order in a smaller quantity and then work your way up once you discovered your best-sellers.


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