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. 

How to start a clothing line. First step: find a winning product

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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.

News from Printify

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.

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Do you know which is the single most popular piece of garment in the world? 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. 

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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?

print on demand dropshipping printify

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. 

Why choose print on demand dropshipping? 

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By choosing a dropshipping strategy for your clothing line, you can focus on your market and your design, while we take care of order fulfillment with print-on-demand garment dropshipping. Also, print-on-demand drop shipping lets you expand your product line and save time with our effortless setup and our new and improved Mockup Generator. Choose from our wide variety of Custom T-shirts and other apparel for your Etsy, Shopify, or WooCommerce Store.

print on demand print provider network

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? 

print on demand drop shipping marketplaces
Printify integrations

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 design clothes?

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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 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. 

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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: Make Your Own Shirt 

How to effectively market with no money

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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. 

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.

And now, one more time with feeling or — step by step guide for starting a clothing line with no money

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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 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 which 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. 

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.

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!

Make it happen right now.


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