How to create your clothes on a budget

May 08,2024

In this article were going to share some top tips on how to design a clothing collection, without breaking the bank

Starting a clothing brand is a significant investment. When starting out, it can be daunting to know where to put your money, and where you can cut costs.


Its easy to waste a lot of money when designing and making clothes. If youre feeling worried about the financials of building your clothing range, dont worry, we're here to help you design in a cheaper way.


Here are a few insider tips to help you design so that your sample and bulk manufacture pricing is as low as it can be while still retaining cool and interesting designs.


1. Keep your clothing designs simple

The number 1 factor that affects your garment costing is the amount of work that goes into making it.

The higher the complexity of construction = more work to make it = higher cost.

If your clothing design has lots of construction features like panelling, different types of pockets, zips and graphic applications, it will take longer to make and has to go through several processes, meaning it will cost more to manufacture.


2. Design your clothes by shape

Using interesting base shapes is a great way to add instant impact to your collection. Although the amount of fabric used for more oversized, drapey shapes will be higher, meaning more fabric cost, using simple to construct bold base shapes is a cheaper option rather than adding in complicated construction details and numerous graphic applications that will increase your manufacturing price.


3. Use pre-developed styles as your base shapes

This is an alternative to designing by shape, as instead of creating a bespoke clothing shape, you may choose to use a pre-developed style for your garment design.

This is a style that the pattern (the template for fabric cutting and construction) has already been created for. You might be thinking, 'wont that be the same as what other people use?'. The good news is that even when using pre-developed shapes, your designs can still look completely unique.


The pre-developed shapes are just used as a starting point. From there, things like fabric, graphics and details can all be changed and completely bespoke to you and your brand, giving your clothing designs a completely unique look.


4. Design with your fabrics in mind

Considering your choice of fabric for your clothing designs can save you a lot of money. Heavier fabrics often translate to a higher materials cost, alongside higher shipping costs. Heavier weight does not mean better quality, so be careful when considering fabric weights and your reasoning for choosing them.


You can also reduce costs by utilising fabric consumption cleverly. Fabrics have a minimum order quantity that need to be met, and the cost of this quantity is spread over your unit costs. Use the same fabric (in the same colour) across multiple designs to increase your fabric consumption and reduce cost.


In Conclusion: The Cheapest Way to Design Clothes

The more complicated your clothing designs, the higher the production costs will be. So, to keep costs low (whilst still maintaining interesting, unique designs), you can use the tips above to make cost-effective choices in your design process.


Remember, sometimes less is more. By not over-designing, you will be able to keep the focus on the quality of fabric and construction of the garment which will keep your customers happy and build brand faith for your future drops.