Ultimate Guide: How to Start a Clothing Line With No Money

Ultimate Guide: How to Start a Clothing Line With No Money

While starting a clothing line with no money can be challenging, thanks to eCommerce and online marketing, it’s possible to turn a small online store into a household name. It can be a genuinely gratifying experience if you play your cards right and have a creative vision. And today you’re in for a treat, for we’re going to show you how to start a clothing line step by step. Hint: you won’t need inventory at all thanks to little something called print-on-demand. So, let’s find out how to start a clothing line with no money.

Related Article: Make Your Own Shirt 

Custom Sportswear, a Market With an Explosive Growth

How To Start A Clothing Line First Step
How To Start A Clothing Line First Step

If it’s been forever since you’ve been googling ‘how to start a clothing line,’ most likely, you already have a pretty solid idea regarding the items you want to design and sell. If, however, it’s a fresh idea, starting a clothing line may render a unique and exciting opportunity to create a product that represents your style.

Regardless of which of these two you are, it’s essential to carefully consider all clothing and apparel options before deciding to move forward. And remember starting a clothing line with no money isn’t as difficult as it may sound.

Some clothing and apparel products you may want to consider for your brand are:

The good thing about running an online clothing business is that you can work with several different manufacturers to create a wide range of products. However, if you’re thinking about reaching out to a very specific niche, you can focus on one exclusive thing.

How to start a clothing line by just selling t-shirts? EASY! Do you know which is the single most popular piece of garment in the world? Yes, it’s a custom t-shirt, of course. T-shirt isn’t just a staple of casual wear, but articles of clothing that often reflect our personalities, interests, and identities.  

So, before we go on and learn how to start a clothing brand, we should also look at athleisure wear, like leggings and custom hoodies. According to Grand View Research, the market size of athleisure wear is anticipated to reach $549.41 billion worldwide by 2028. It’s a massive trend, so it’s worth considering and exploring further.

Which Business Model Is Best for Starting a Clothing Line?

How To Start A Clothing Line Business Model
How To Start A Clothing Line Business Model

Now that you have a product in mind, you need a business model. The best way to start a clothing line with no money is to use the print-on-demand dropshipping method. With this model, you pay for products only when a customer orders something, you don’t need any inventory, and you’re not risking much if the product doesn’t sell. With POD, you have lots of options, and if you’re ready to dig in and do proper research, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your store. So, how to start a clothing line with no experience? It’s easy – use Printify!

Create Your Own Clothing Line for Free!

How to Start a Clothing Line With Print on Demand Dropshipping? 

How To Start A Clothing Line Print On Demand
How To Start A Clothing Line Print On Demand

Printify’s dropshipping service gives you access to a wide network of suppliers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe, and China; the products you sell online are stored in your supplier’s warehouse. This means we can produce close to your customers, thus shortening delivery times and reducing shipping costs, which means a higher profit margin for you. Furthermore, we work with the highest-rated print providers, so you won’t get a better quality & price ratio anywhere else. 

What Are the Benefits of Dropshipping, if You Are Starting a Clothing Line?

Focus on building your brand leave printing, storing, and shipping to us! Creating a clothing line with Printify gives you these wonderful perks:

Worldwide Shipping

Ship your orders to your customers no matter where they are. No hassle with postage or handling.

Minimize Costs

Don't break the bank on inventory, only pay for products to fulfill your orders.

Save Time

You don't have to lift a finger or waste your time to ship out your products, we do it for you.

No Inventory

Create a clothing line without having to store piles and piles of expensive inventory.

Where to Sell Your Merchandise? 

The next step is to choose the platform you’re going to use to sell your products. The easiest approach is selling on Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, or eBay. Printify has built a smooth integration tool with each of these eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.

If you’re tech-savvy, you can make a website on WordPress and use the Printify API tool. With a custom-built website, you can enjoy limitless customization. By building a website from scratch, you can construct it according to your vision and needs.

For beginners, we suggest Shopify. It’s a really well-made, easy-to-use platform, where launching your website without any experience is a piece of cake.

We know that starting an online business can be scary due to a lack of tech knowledge. Shopify was built in such a way that a user doesn’t need special tech skills to launch an eCommerce store. It is used by more than one million businesses worldwide.

How to Start a Clothing Line?

How To Start A Clothing Line How To Design
How To Start A Clothing Line How To Design

If you’ve ever wondered how to start a clothing line, we’ve got just the information you need! The simple truth is that technology has enabled just about anyone to achieve their life-long dreams of starting a clothing line. Why should you be an exception? Let’s dream big together and learn how to create a clothing line from scratch.

As scary as it may sound, the task is not as daunting as one might think. Along with all the complexities, the rewards are truly enormous. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide that’ll show you exactly how to start a clothing business. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into details.

1. Understand your market. The key to success lies in understanding the industry and the market. This means analyzing competition, potential customer base, and opportunities for growth. Ask yourself: Is there a particular need in the market? What can I create that people will love to wear? Find your passion and make IT your business.

2. Write a business plan. Your business plan is the cornerstone of your company. A good business plan helps you through each stage of starting and managing a business. Things you should consider: How much does it cost to start a clothing brand? Will I need investors? Who will manufacture my products? Set goals, identify problems, and find solutions.

3. Know your audience. One of the essential steps before you start a clothing business is to understand your customer. Identify and organize your potential customers into different groups based on things they have in common – age, marital status, whether they shop online or in stores, etc. This knowledge can make or break your product’s launch.

4. Create a unique design. If you’re a designer, congrats, you can let your imagination run wild – coming up with a high-quality .png or .jpg is a piece of cake for you. If, however, you consider yourself more an entrepreneur rather than a designer, you can resort to multiple design platforms to get designs created by freelancers.

5. Choose a brand name. The right brand name, along with a logo, slogans, and taglines, can have a huge impact on your business. What kind of first impression would you like to make? Customers enjoy brands that are unique and tell a story. Always use clear, descriptive, and easy-to-remember words.

6. Find a clothing manufacturer. If you want to start a clothing brand, the importance of finding a trustworthy clothing manufacturer can’t be overstated, it’s vital to your success. Thankfully, the internet allows you to find a clothing manufacturer easily by going through online manufacturer directories, forums, social media, etc. Depending on your requirements, you can hire freelancers, outsource to a local factory, produce the product overseas or use print-on-demand services. Understand your clothing manufacturer’s capabilities – quality, production time, specialty, and minimum order requirements. To choose the right manufacturer, make sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each.

7. Check the quality of your product. Always order samples and check whether the product is durable, aesthetically pleasing, withstands multiple washes, and meets your brand’s quality standards in general. Remember, the quality of your product determines your reputation, you’ll be better off paying a slightly higher price for a high-quality product than risking your reputation to save a few dollars.

8. Design a website. To start a clothing business, you need a well-designed, eye-catching, and responsive website. Your website is one of the most representative aspects of your business. It’s way easier than it sounds – most eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Wix, provide great ready-made templates. Put your products in the spotlight by creating an appealing website that inspires trust, shares your vision, and entices customers to browse around.

9. Price your products right. The secret to success lies in pricing your products properly. You should choose a price point that will cover your production costs without alienating your customers – it’s a balancing act. Create a clothing line that’s fair to everyone – make sure to strike a happy medium.

10. Begin marketing and start selling. First, create a strong brand awareness – advertise on social media, launch campaigns, tell YOUR story. Whatever your marketing strategy is, make it easy for your audience to share the content. Second, set sales and distribution goals. It may be beneficial to consult industry professionals. Third, once you hit your sales goals, look for growth opportunities and attract investment. A business partner who can provide capital in exchange for a share of future profits is a traditional way to go about this.

As you can see, starting a clothing line is no simple task. Printify, however, makes the whole process much easier and enables anyone to start a clothing line with no money – read on, and we’ll show you how!

How to Effectively Market With No Money?

How To Start A Clothing Line Effectively Market
How To Start A Clothing Line Effectively Market

Before we learn how to start a clothing line with no money, we must also learn how to market without it. If you have a product that people need, you don’t need a humongous marketing budget to acquire customers. And here are a few tips on how to start a clothing line with no money and without any marketing experience.

Reach Out to Your Existing Network

If you ask nicely, your friends, family, colleagues can help you share your business in their social media circles, or maybe even purchase your garments and be your walking billboards.

Social Media

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. If you do your research, these channels won’t cost you a dime. Social media is the biggest free ad platform out there. If you feel like you need a little jump-start, you can always throw in a tiny ad budget. But like I said — if you do your research and be smart about it, you can start a clothing line AND market it with absolutely no money

Start Blogging

It may sound simple, but blogging about a subject involves a certain level of mastery of the field. But with proper research and know-how, it’s one of the best ways of spreading the word about your new clothing line. You have to keep in mind there three words ‘Search engine optimization,’ or SEO — adding the right keywords in the right places is incredibly important for your post to index well on Google. When you optimize your blog posts and web pages, you’re making your website more visible to your desired audience.

Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Clothing Line With No Money

How To Start A Clothing Line Step By Step
How To Start A Clothing Line Step By Step

1. FIND YOUR NICHE

Almost every successful and innovative idea comes from someone identifying a need in the market. It may seem like almost everything has already been thought of, so you have to get creative. So step one when starting a clothing line is finding your niche. By focusing on a specific target audience, you will be able to easily market your brand, and make it more affordable; it means less competition, higher brand value, and customer loyalty.

2. CREATE A UNIQUE DESIGN

If you want to make sales, you need to connect with your target audience. No matter what technique you choose — DTG or AOP — it needs to look great, especially in the eyes of your target audience. Bring something unique to the table that the customer may find new and exciting. The simplest (but also very challenging) way is to come up with your own design. If you come up with your own graphics that are smart and witty, or simply beautiful, you can set yourself apart in this already saturated market.  

3. GET SAMPLES

Before you start selling, you need to get a batch of samples from the print providers of your choice to decide on the improvements it needs as well as to identify any underlying issues. Even though our Mockup Generator gives pretty accurate product details and previews, it’s always a good idea to inspect the goods yourself – if you have to make any adjustments to the design, make it smaller or larger, what’s the print quality, etc. 

4. PUT ON A PRICE TAG

The prices you see in the Printify catalog are wholesale prices. In addition to shipping charges, they make up the total cost merchants pay for a product. With Printify, you control the retail price of your brand new clothing line. We recommend a minimum profit margin of 30% for your business to grow. 

Here are some things to consider when setting up prices for your products:

  • Who are your customers, and how much are they willing to pay for your products?
  • What is the price of similar products on the market?
  • Do you offer free shipping? This could be a good sales trigger, and adding a little extra to the profit margin could cover that.

As eCommerce continues to grow, the global apparel market provides fantastic opportunities to anyone willing to seize them. Additionally, personalization is a great way for a clothing line to appeal to customers. By reading this article, you now have a pretty good idea about how to start a clothing line with no money, so go ahead, start designing, and bring in some serious cash!

Create Your Own Clothing Line for Free!

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29 comments

  1. Corrie
    December 21

    Hi
    What if I want to design a different style of clothing then what printify has? A unique style shirt that isnt on the market?

    1. Martha Simmons
      December 22

      Hi Corrie,
      You may add any type of design you want to any of the products available on Printify catalog. If, however, you are looking for a product that is not on the catalog, you may always reach out to our merchant support team and suggest it. Our team will look into it and possibly add it in the future.

  2. Angelo
    November 29

    Hello, would like to start merchandise for an existing business? Same model explained above would apply?

    1. Florence Kingsley
      November 30

      Hi! Sure, this may help you to reach more customers 🙂

  3. Tiffany Cox
    November 5

    I have an idea on what to design and sell. But I have no way to pay for designers, manufacturers, samples. I want to design the perfect pair of jeans for petite women. Since the petite jeans out there now, are still too long for someone like me who is only 5′ tall. I would need impeccable designers and seamstresses to get the fit just right. Where do I start? Do you have an idea?

    1. Martha Simmons
      November 5

      Hi Tiffany,
      You can easily create apparel on Printify by choosing items from our product catalog and then adding your designs in the Mockup Generator. We will take care of the fulfillment and shipping for you. However, unfortunately, we currently don’t offer jeans. Nonetheless, we will add that to the list of products to consider adding in the future.
      If you need help with setting up your store and Printify account, feel free to reach out to our support team via [email protected].

  4. Sodopetg
    May 26

    I would like to start an online clothing boutique graphics tees etc however i dont know where to beginning seeking advice thank you

    1. Martha Simmons
      May 26

      Hi there,
      You can start by registering for Printify (it’s for free) and checking out our product catalog. You can try adding your design to different products and get an idea how they would look. Once you have created some of your first products, you can connect your Printify account to your store, like, Etsy, Shopify, eBay, Wix or other. Make sure that your store is properly set up – you will find a lot of useful information in our Help Center, that will guide you through shipping and payment settings. When everything is ready, publish your products and start selling.
      You can always reach out to our merchant support team for more detailed instructions and assistance.

  5. Lovelyne Wilson
    May 26

    I like to have my own clothing line. But I really don’t know how to start I need help please.

    1. Naomi
      May 26

      Hey there!

      In beginning the whole process might seem difficult, but once you try it out, it’s easier than it seems.
      Register and think of the name for your store/clothing line. Once your profile information is set, choose which sales channel you want to work with and create a storefront with one of the stores from this article. Check the products you like from our product catalog, and click on Start Designing. You can use your own designs or choose ones that we offer with our Shutterstock integration (directly on Mock Up generator) and once design is adjusted, publish your product to your sales channel, so customers can purchase it.
      Once your customer buys your product, they pay the retail price, then you cover only the base costs on Printify, and then the order can enter production. From that point on our print providers take care of production and shipping, so you can work on developing your business.

  6. Christopher
    May 4

    I’m I able to use debit card

    1. Martha Simmons
      May 6

      Hi Christopher, hope you’re doing well!
      Yes, you can use debit card as a payment method on Printify.

  7. Brenda Rose
    April 13

    Hi, do I need a US bank account to start a drop Shipping online business? If so how can I get a US bank account?

    1. Naomi
      April 14

      Hello Brenda!

      You can be located anywhere in the world to start your online business. We support the majority of credit cards, or, if it’s more convenient for you, PayPal can be used as well! The payment method does not have to be location specific.

  8. Godson mussa
    March 19

    Sorry do you have the videos to sho designing of t shirt

    1. Martha Simmons
      March 19

      Hi there!
      You can check out this video tutorial here.

  9. Nitin
    March 5

    Which is the best way for payment transaction?

    1. Naomi
      March 10

      Hi there!

      You can add credit card or add funds via PayPal. Both methods are equally good, but if you wish to add funds manually, you can choose topping up balance via PayPal.

  10. Shanti
    February 8

    Hi Pat,

    Can you guarantee that the designs won’t be used elsewhere or ripped off?

    1. Naomi
      February 10

      Hi Shanti!

      We value your Intellectual Property, and share your design with the print provider only for production purposes of your order. On our side your design privacy is safe. On your sales channel, however, people can access mock up pictures, and if you notice your design on someone else’s store, let them or the sales channel support know, so it would get removed.

      If you have any questions, please let us know via [email protected]!

  11. Els
    January 29

    Hi,
    For a while I’ve been thinking I want to open up a clothing boutique. I have no idea how to start. I thought, the easiest thing would be to start building up audience by opening an account on Instagram and share different things. I have no followers, don’t have friends and 0 connections. I also thought about selling my own used clothes and opened up an account on Poshmark but that hasn’t work either. Now, I think I should have someone design for me and find a clothing manufacturer that can make the clothes. I need someone to build a website for me. Overall, My idea is to have something- Fancy, confortable and affordable line for tall people. Usually fancy is neither confortable or affordable. It is very complicated to want to have something.

  12. Sonia
    January 14

    I want to start a clothing boutique online but I am at stand still because I don’t know where to get the merchandise from need help

    1. Naomi
      January 15

      Hi there! Take a look at our Product Catalog, and choose the items you’d like to design. Once you place an order, our print providers will take care of production and shipping.

  13. Abirami
    December 23

    I want to start an online clothing store but I don’t know where to start and how to…..how to even approach to manufacturer’s…..please help me

    1. Naomi
      January 20

      Hi there!
      You can start by choosing products that you’d like to design, then select the print provider which suits you the best and add design. Next step is connecting a sales channel of your choice (Etsy, Shopify, eBay etc.). Your customer will pay the retail price, while you cover the base costs on our side and keep the profit. We will take care of production and shipping.

  14. Ayomide gold
    November 22

    Do you guys have a WhatsApp contact or something

    1. Naomi
      January 20

      Hello there!

      You can contact our merchant support via Facebook or Twitter DM’s or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. Unfortunately we don’t have WhatsApp channel, but that’s a good suggestion!

  15. Pat
    August 14

    I’m actually confused. If I have no money at all can I still start a print on demand drop shipping business. If I start, won’t the money for the printing and shipping be deducted from the customer’s pay before giving me my final pay. I don’t understand.
    Can you please really explain that part to me. And if I indeed have to pay how much do you think I’ll have to have in the bank, I’m just 19.

    1. Naomi
      January 20

      Hi Pat!

      We advise to have a small budget set aside, nevertheless you can start your business without it as well.
      To make this work, you will need to set slightly longer production time as it can take a few days to receive your customers payment from the sales channel. The payments aren’t connected, because Printify and your sales channel are two separate platforms, so you will need to set up payment methods on both.
      First orders might take little longer to process as you can send order to production only after the payment has been processed, but you will be able to grow your business and use profits from first orders to fulfill next ones.

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