How can you bring a collection to life? This is a topic I knew nothing about before I started this course, and I’m way toooo excited to know every single detail about the brain of the fashion industry; ” The Production & Sales of Clothing and Accessories”. In order to get hands on experience with this knowledge, I decided to apply everything I learn from this course into starting a small fashion line of my own.
As most of you know, if you’re following my blog, I want to apply to a fashion school to study fashion within the next two years and all sorts of experiences related to fashion would be of great value on my resume and later towards my career in starting my own fashion label. Since I’m already creating illustrations for my Etsy store, I thought printing my illustrations on T-shirts and Sweatshirts would be an awesome introduction for me to the production process in the fashion world. Let’s go through this experience together and see what challenges will occur on the way 😉
Since we already talked about the business, financial and marketing plans in the previous post, I’ll focus on the actual production aspects in this one. First, I created a mood board that had the following: (a) a few of my illustrations, (b) fabric swatches, (c) T-shirt/sweatshirt designs, and (d) images of different T-shirt colors. I filtered all of these and finalized a list that contains the illustrations I want to print, the final T-shirt and sweatshirt designs, the fabric used to be cotton, and the colors I want to offer are: white, beige, and pink.
The second step is creating a sample. Generally, in mass market were hundreds and thousands of pieces are produced, the factory has a “perfect finished sample” of each design piece to work from in order to avoid costly mistakes. Big fashion houses usually create these samples in-house, while small brands tend to send the design to the factories they work with to create a sample before production. In my case, I can’t print the illustration myself on the T-shirts so I had to look for a garment supplier to do that for me. Luckily, finding local garment suppliers was one of my assignments.. LOL!! I created a list of the best local garment suppliers in Toronto, ON to contact. I also created this digital mock up of one of my illustrations printed on a sweatshirt to act as a medium for us to discuss and build on.
The benefits of having a local garment supplier for me are huge. First, it builds on my brand identity of #madeinCanada which resonates with a lot of my clients who shop at local craft shows to support goods made locally. Second, it allows me to be environmentally conscious about topics such as labor issues and the environmental cost of shipping since I don’t currently have the capacity to dig deep into the conditions of suppliers abroad. Third, it allows for faster shipping times and lower minimum quantity demanded by the supplier(s). Now, I’m in the process of contacting these suppliers and I’m sooooo excited 🙂
Generally, after agreeing on the sample garment you create a Tech Pack. These are the detailed instructions on how they should produce the samples in bulk. In my case, I’m looking to get the T-shirts and sweatshirts ready made from cotton fabric and just print the illustrations on them (not sure if this is gonna be how it actually works though hahahaha)!!! Once your sample(s) are perfectly made, you create line sheets. A line sheet is like an excel version of your garment details on paper that are used to make the sale to buyer(s) at a department store or at trade shows. They have images of your garment followed by details such as sizing, pricing, available colors and quantity.
I’ll keep you posted of what happens with my line 😉