If you do not want to manufacture your products yourself, you have several options.
- You can hire another firm to make them
- You can enter into a joint manufacturing venture with another firm
- You can license the design for your product or the right to manufacture the product to another business to make and sell
- You can do a combination of contracting types and in-house production.
Contractors can be individual sewer-contractors, who might work independently or as part of production cooperatives. They are self-employed individuals using their own equipment. You send materials to them and they assemble the product and often get paid by the piece. Both you and the independent contractor must register with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Contract firms are independent firms that own their own machinery and employ their own operators. They may manufacture only for others, or they may be brand name manufacturers who work for others when orders are low or in the off-season. Contractors often specialize in particular types of merchandise, such as tops, jeans, underwear or in production at a certain quality level such as moderate or designer.
- A specialty contractor might perform only one operation, such as pattern size grading, embroidery, or application of a specialty finish.
- A CMT contractor is a firm that cuts, makes, and trims your garment. You source the fabric and findings and supply a cutting marker.
- A full package contractor takes care of the entire production process from fabric purchase to cutting, sewing, trimming, and packaging. You supply designs and specifications. Some full package contractors offer additional services, sometimes including design, patternmaking, grading, and marker making, as well as distribution and marketing.