You Might Want Your Clothes Company To Go Overseas, But Here’s Why You Should Keep Sourcing Close To Home
Running a successful clothes company is about developing fashions which appeal to as many people as possible. Far from sticking to local tastes, you want to develop items which help you break into the world and attract customers from all over. That’s undoubtedly the best shot you have at reaching giddy heights of success.
But, that doesn’t mean you should discard your local community. When it comes to sourcing materials, this overseas model won’t serve you well. In fact, if you outsource from far off countries, you could do damage in a few ways. What’s more, many companies like yours are realizing this and altering their habits. So, failure to catch up could leave you behind the trend. And, that’s not a position any fashion business wants to find themselves in.
Admittedly, sourcing from local factories can seem more expensive from the outset. Labor close to home often costs more. Plus, smaller scale factories have to charge higher rates to break even. But, outsourcing from afar actually stands to cost you more than you might think. And, here’s why.
Most obviously, sourcing overseas involves paying shipping costs. Even if you’re saving on the materials themselves, shipping will shoot that price right up. And, when you’re buying a lot of materials, the cost will only get worse. As such, it’s worth thinking twice before discarding local sourcing as more expensive. Even if the upfront cost is more, you may find that this option brings savings compared to the expense of shipping. At the very least, there’s a chance the two options cancel each other out. So, don’t think local materials are out of reach without giving them a fair trial.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that sourcing materials from abroad can cost from an environmental standpoint. As can be seen from this post about a fashion companies carbon footprint, shipping materials can cause damage to our planet in many ways. For instance, oil leaks from commercial tankers are a severe problem in our oceans. And, that’s before you even consider the fuel burnt to make the journey. If you’re producing a lot of clothes, you’ll be causing a lot of damage. Even if you don’t care about that, this can cost you in a literal sense, too. In an age where consumers care more than ever about a company’s carbon footprint, not improving here could soon start to lose you custom.
Along the same veins, shipping from unethical overseas factories could lose you the trust of your customers. Whenever a company is exposed as benefiting from terrible working conditions, their business suffers for it. While large-scale retailers like Zara can handle the fallout, your small clothes company will struggle to emerge unscathed. When it comes to small business, trust is everything. If you break that trust with unethical stocking, you may struggle ever to come back from it. Instead, put a transparency policy in place, and make it work by only shipping from local, ethical factories.