9 May 2011

The Search for a Sewing Contractor - The Start

So I wrote e-mail after e-mail to sewing contractors I googled on the net. I made the deliberate decision to have my designs manufactured locally. I read in that incredible book 'The Fashion Designer Survival Guide' by Mary Gehlhar, that local manufacturing is the way forward for new designers such as myself. The costs incurred from dealing with a faraway manufacturer is just too high. Think costs of posting samples back and forth, international calls, waiting time for delivery of samples, let's not go into the headaches of shipment and all that it entails. What of quality control through the distance? The thought of it already makes my head ache.

Photo taken from Amazon.com

I am lucky that I am in Asia, the hub of garment manufacturers. No ,Thailand may not be China, but this country has pretty strong advantages. They possess, in my opinion, an edge as they have are able to produce good quality garments with fine work. They are also producing more original and fashion forward clothes. The days of copying styles is now evolving to days of creating original styles.

Yes, rumour has it that Asian garment manufacturers maintain a high minimum order requirement. I am finding out that the rumours might be true, especially if you are sourcing for one through the internet. I was told quite bluntly by my sewing teacher that I am wrong in that assumption. There are many small garment manufacturers around the city, I just don't know of them because I don't speak the language.

That's where I am a tad misfortunate. I can only speak rudimentary Thai.

You see, Thailand is a country that is still lagging behind in terms of its business lingua franca. If you can't speak Thai, you're pretty much dead meat. Or at least you will feel like one. Many small Thai entrepreneurs (read small garment producers) do not publicise their services online i English because they just don't have the language capability. Even if they did manage to put an English website up, they just would not be able to deal with queries or orders made in English.

For now I am pursuing two avenues in my search for a garment manufacturer. I will continue with my online e-mailing and next week I will literally hit the pavements of Bangkok and search my garment frog myself.

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