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. Today you’re in for a treat, for we’re going to help you make your business idea come to life. Hint: you won’t need inventory at all thanks to little something called print-on-demand. You’re welcome, by the way. So, how to start a clothing line with no money?

Related Article: Make Your Own Shirt 

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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, you might still be clueless about which products to sell.

Regardless of which of these two you are, it’s essential to carefully consider all clothing and apparel options before deciding to move forward.

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, you might still be clueless about which products to sell.

Regardless of which of these two you are, it’s essential to carefully consider all clothing and apparel options before deciding to move forward.

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. It doesn’t matter what product you wish to add to your clothing line; you need to pick the first piece to build your business around.

How to start a clothing line with 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. And even though the market is overflowing with custom tees, there always seems to be room for more. T-shirt isn’t just a staple of casual wear, but articles of clothing that often reflect our personalities, interests, and identities. 

You should also pay attention to athleisure wear, like leggings and bomber jackets. According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., athleisure wear will reach $231.7 billion worldwide by 2024. It’s a massive trend in the eCommerce space, 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 (and let’s be honest–the only) way to start a clothing line with no money is to use the print on demand drop shipping 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 dropshipping, you have lots of options to choose from, and if you’re ready to dig in and do proper research, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your store. This is where we Printify comes in.

If you’re still not that familiar with dropshipping, in short, it means that sellers print to what the customer demands. A print-on-demand approach for your clothing line means that you take much of the burden off your shoulders; you can choose a number of basic clothing items from our catalog and add them to your clothing line, and it will cost you nothing. With print-on-demand, the production costs are low, the manufacturing process is easy, and you can start earning quickly; when you get an order, the printing process automatically kicks in, and you don’t even have to lift a finger. We even take care of shipping and handling. 

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 and Europe; 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 out there, so you won’t get a better quality & price ratio anywhere else. 

What are the cons of dropshipping, if you are starting a clothing line?

You have no control over the order fulfillment process – because you are not handling the goods yourself, you have to completely trust the supplier to do their job responsibly and maintain high standards at all times. This applies to the order fulfillment and product quality. We always suggest ordering product samples before selling them to customers, so you know what your clients are getting. But other than that, dropshipping is your best bet for starting a clothing line with no money. 

What's in it for you?

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. And 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 got it for you.

No inventory

Forget about storing 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, and, thankfully, we here at Printify, have built a smooth integration with each of these marketplaces. If you’re tech-savvy, you can also use Printify API. But if you’re new here, I’d really suggest Shopify; it’s a really well-made, easy-to-use platform with which launching your website without any experience is a piece of cake. I know that starting an online business can be scary due to the lack of tech knowledge; however Shopify was built in such a way a user needs none to launch an eCommerce store, and is being used by more than a whopping one million businesses worldwide. 

How to start a clothing line and design clothes?

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

Now that we’re done with the nitty-gritty let’s get back to the actual clothes. When it comes to design, you want to connect with your target audience. Because if it fails to appeal to your target audience, you will be doing it all for nothing. 

The process of starting a clothing line starts with picking a unique niche. When you’ve chosen the garment type you’d like to offer your clients, it’s time to start designing. If you’re a designer yourself, congrats, you can let your imagination run wild; coming up with nice, 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 for your new brand, but remember that this is not a free service. The designers’ fees vary hugely, and you often get what you pay for; also – in a negative sense. When looking for a designer, it is important that you can have an open dialogue with them, because it’s incredibly frustrating to work with a designer that does not understand what you want and need. 

However, if paying for design is not an option, you can turn to friends that could help you out, or try to learn the basics yourself – it’s not rocket science; creating simple slogans is not that hard if you are creative and know the tools. 

If you’re someone who feels skilled enough to create your own designs, there’s nothing easier than creating cool designs for AOP (all-over-print) or DTG (direct-to-garment) printing process. Some key things to consider between these printing techniques are the fabric types used and the overall design you’re looking to achieve. AOP products use a mix of polyester and cotton, but the garments are mostly polyester based. In contrast, DTG products use mostly cotton based fabrics for their prints.

Related Article: Make Your Own Shirt 

How to effectively market with no money?

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

The old saying “you have to spend money to make money” isn’t always true; if you have a product that people need, you don’t need a humongous marketing budget to acquire customers. And here are few tips on how to start a clothing line with no money and any marketing experience.

1. 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. 

2. Social media

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat. 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. And with tiny, I mean literally two dollars to get your foot in the door. 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.

3. 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.

Focus on one to two keywords that match the intent of your target reader. Include your 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post. You also have to remember to optimize your meta description and use all the space. Don’t use too many similar topic tags, and finally, use URL structures that help your visitors.

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


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.

For example, if you include garments with funny slogans or, you would be targeting a broad market that is already a developed market; However, if you narrow it down, you’ll be able to target more precisely—for example, Christian slogans, slogans for athletes, slogans for a specific cause, etc. 


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. 


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.


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.

I think now you have a pretty good idea about how to start a clothing line with no money, so go ahead, start designing and bringing in some serious money!

Create your own clothing line for free!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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]!

  8. Els
    January 29

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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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