Activewear is one of the hottest buzzwords in the fashion and retail industry right now and when it comes to maternity clothing, activewear could be seen as an important gap in the market. Increasingly, mothers-to-be are becoming more pro-actively aware of the benefits of keeping fit whilst pregnant, and with fewer options available to them in gym clothing, it is an opportunity to create a new business.
Whilst you might have some fantastic ideas about the kinds of designs a maternity activewear line could include, creating a new clothing business from scratch often seems like a mountainous task. With the help of the internet and the ability to research in depth, plus the Sewport platform to find clothing manufacturers
, which can connect you with every supplier you will need along the journey, it’s certainly a potential opportunity.
Here, we take a look at the steps you need to take to start your own maternity activewear brand.
Research Your Competition
Research is key when it comes to launching a new clothing line business of any type. However, it is vital for certain spaces, such as maternity and active wear, due to the niche target customer.
Ensure you research into all of your soon-to-be competitors and fix them onto a line chart, defining where each brand sits in the market in terms of price and quality. This will give you a visual representation of where your new brand could fill an obvious gap in the market, giving you a USP (unique selling point).
When you have defined your central competitors, delve a little deeper into their business history, product range, strategy, marketing, service and logistics. This will give you a great overall picture of your competitor’s brands and allow you to learn from their triumphs and potential downfalls.
Decide – Who Is Your Customer? And What Is Your Price Point?
Although this might change as your brand grows and develops, you want to have a clear target customer (or multiple target customers) that your brand will strive to cater to. Create target customer personas to really get to know your client and understand her way of thinking and shopping. Although your target is pregnant women who are active, how can you define this still and make it even more specific? This will help you create a brand that really speaks to your unique customer.
What Is Your USP?
The activewear market and maternity market is fairly saturated. However, this does not mean that entering this market is impossible. Ensuring you have a strong USP that speaks directly to a problem your customer currently has, gives your brand a powerful upper hand.
Once you have created your business plan and have your design ideas at hand, you’re ready to get started. From sourcing suppliers and clothing factories to product marketing, this is where you’ll start to see your ideas come to life and get your products into the hands of your maternity target customers.
Sourcing Suppliers from Start to Finish
When it comes to sourcing your partners, from small batch factories to help with graphic design and fabric sourcing, each business will be different depending on your individual skills. If you have all the ideas and less of the manual skills, you might be looking to source help with every aspect of the production process.
, a platform which helps to connect designers with clothing manufacturers, can help. No matter which stage of the process you are at, from idea conception to production, find professional suppliers on the Sewport platform that work with you to achieve your business goals.
CMT vs FPP
When making your selection on your chosen clothing manufacturer, you will have to decide between a CMT and an FPP production process, which will affect this decision. Certain clothing line factories will complete your collection from start to finish, whereas some will only do certain sections of the central production process, so you will need to consider which of these choices is right for your business before you make this decision.
A cut, make, trim (CMT) process does exactly that. You provide the fabric, trims, designs, patterns and requirements, and the clothing factory makes your product and delivers. A full production process (FPP), takes the full package on, removing your responsibility and, from your designs, creates the patterns, sources the fabric, and makes the final product. There are pros and cons for both CMT and FPP
and you will have to decide which is the right process for your business.
Designing & Tech Packs
Whether you’ve designed the items in your maternity range yourself or received help from an outsourced designer, you’ll need to provide the fashion manufacturers you’ve selected with a detailed tech pack. A tech pack provides the factory with every piece of information and requirement regarding each and every product within your maternity activewear line to ensure they know exactly how to make each product. You can watch a video on tech packs here
and in general, they will need to include:
- Technical sketches
- A bill of materials
- Size grading specifications
- Colourway specifications
- Artwork/Logo specifications
- Labelling specifications
Fabrics & Finishes
When it comes to selecting the fabrics for your new activewear brand, research and technical knowledge will be key. In this market, intelligent or technical fabrics are essential and expected from the consumer. From sweat-wicking microfibers to fabrics with excellent stretch recovery, not choosing the right fabrics could kill a brand faster than a bad marketing campaign.
If you aren’t a professional in fabric sourcing, you can find someone who is on the Sewport platform, making this part of the process much easier. Alternatively, select a clothing manufacturer who specialises in FPP and the fabric sourcing will come as part of the production package.
Branding is a part of the process you will have to work on through the entire design progression. From your labels to your website, your brand is important to sell the story of your company to your target customer, giving them a reason to select your maternity activewear products over your competition.
By concentrating on your defined USP, you can build the culture of your brand into everything you do. Consistency is key and showing your customer who you are as a brand is the most important aspect of creating your business’s branding.
Once you have designed and created your products, you will need to bring them to market and promote, promote, promote. Marketing needs to be a considerable part of your overall budget; on average 10% of your total budget according to The Wall Street Journal
. There is no point in creating a great product and then expecting the world to discover you without the appropriate marketing techniques.
From launching your social media pages to deciding how to budget your paid search spending on Google, you need to fully prepare a marketing plan for your new company to give it the best possible chance of launching with success. Leaving marketing as an afterthought is a dangerous route to take. You can learn how to start to build a successful marketing plan with the help of Smart Insights
From the inception of your product ideas to the specific choices of fabrics and trims, allow Sewport to help you streamline your garment production and leave you with more time to plan and prepare for the launch of your new maternity activewear brand. With planning and preparation key to starting your own clothing line, there is no better time to begin.