It’s no secret that the sustainable fashion and clothing market has grown exponentially in recent years.
As per The Business Research Company‘s report, the global ethical fashion market has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% since 2015.
More consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impacts of fast fashion.
They are looking for brands that share their values when it comes to sustainability.
Are you interested in starting your own sustainable clothing line?
Read on for some helpful tips to get you started!
- Steps to starting your own sustainable clothing line
- Step 1 – Define your clothing line business plan
- Step 2 – How much money does it take to start your own sustainable clothing line
- Step 3 – Find your ideal customer.
- Step 4 – Define your eco-friendly ethics.
- Step 5 – Register a Legal Entity for your sustainable clothing line business
- Step 6 – Open a Business bank account.
- Step 7 – Get a business license.
- Step 8 – Eco-Conscious Materials
- Step 9 – Make your brand.
- Step 10 – Launch your sustainable products.
- Step 11 – Market your sustainable clothing line.
- Is sustainable clothing line business profitable?
- Benefits of starting a sustainable clothing business
- The sustainable clothing market is growing quickly.
Steps to starting your own sustainable clothing line
Step 1 – Define your clothing line business plan
Defining your clothing line business plan is a key step in starting your sustainable clothing line.
This includes –
- Your business goals
- Services or products you offer
- Sales & Marketing strategies
- Competitor analysis
- Manufacturing plan
- Cost & financial planning
& much more…
Your business plan is the one deciding document that keeps you in check with your ultimate goals.
So, it is definitely not a one-time.
Every time you achieve a goal or feel stuck, you must return to the business plan document.
Check it. Revise it. Update it. And strategize based on this.
Step 2 – How much money does it take to start your own sustainable clothing line
The next important thing is to be aware of the financial resources necessary.
Sustainable fashion brands typically require a significant initial investment.
The startup costs may range from $100,000 to $250,000.
The cost per unit depends on various factors, including –
- Products you sell
- Quality of fabrics used
- Manufacturing space / Office space
- Employee count & pay
- Type of website
- Physical store expenses (if any)
- Inventory expense
- Marketing & advertising strategies
So, it would help if you first planned on these things to understand how much money you need initially.
However, initially, without a lot of income, it is better to carry less.
Make sure to test the viability of your sustainable business before going full swing with a lot of investment.
Step 3 – Find your ideal customer.
It would be best if you did ample research first about what people want in sustainable clothing lines.
So, it is crucial to understand who your target customers are.
This helps in making your market research & business plans more targeted.
The most common criteria for determining a target customer is the following:
- Age range
- Income level
- Their sustainable preferences
You must make sure these factors align with your sustainable business idea.
Defining your ideal customer persona can help you identify customer behavior.
This way, your business decisions, product designs & marketing plans can be more focused.
Step 4 – Define your eco-friendly ethics.
The root of your sustainable clothing line lies in the ethics of your company.
The ethics and culture you develop will directly impact the efficiency & effectiveness of your business.
It also affects how customers perceive it.
So, it’s important to define your eco-friendly ethics.
Make it clear about how your sustainable business will impact your customers, community & environment.
Also, make sure your business process & system align with these ethics.
Step 5 – Register a Legal Entity for your sustainable clothing line business
You will need a legal entity to operate your sustainable clothing line business.
You can register this as either a limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), or S corporation.
Registering your company and getting the necessary licenses & permits is essential.
This ensures you don’t get fined for running without proper documentation in place.
Here are a few articles that could help you through this process.
Step 6 – Open a Business bank account.
Opening an exclusive business bank account is essential. Make sure not to mix it with your personal account.
This way, you make the business transactions separate.
Also, there are a few things to consider when deciding on what bank will suit your needs:
- Type of accounts they offer
- Location of the branches
- Cost per month or year
- Online banking facilities
It’s possible that some banks may not allow certain types of businesses.
So, choose one bank that is best for your business needs & values.
Step 7 – Get a business license.
The state often requires business licenses to conduct any business in a particular region.
They identify your company as legitimate. You may need one before applying for permits or opening an account with certain banks.
The licensing & legal registering process may differ from state to state.
You must contact your local government agency to find out what is needed.
This will save you time & effort down the road to sound legal practices for your sustainable clothing line company.
Step 8 – Eco-Conscious Materials
The one most important thing that makes your clothing line business sustainable is the materials & processes you use.
They need to be eco-friendly & sustainable.
Some are as follows –
- Sustainable warehouse –
The warehouse is an essential aspect of any sustainable clothing company.
- The building needs to be a good size – if you’re starting, keep it small.
- You want the design to place as little stress on natural resources as possible.
- Use recycled materials whenever possible.
- Make sure your heating/air conditioning system has no negative impact on the environment.
- The most important thing? Make sure your sustainable fashion line business stays eco-friendly by only using renewable energy in its operations!
2.Sustainable Manufacturing –
In a sustainable clothing line business, you produce environmentally friendly clothes.
There are many ways to produce sustainable fashion, and a few of them include:
- using eco-friendly fabrics. (organic cotton, bamboo)
- Using less water in production processes. (wash denim instead of dry clean etc.)
- You are minimizing waste when creating your line.
Some people think that sustainable clothing means “eco.” It’s more than eco-consciousness.
It’s also about reducing, reusing, or recycling resources! Sustainable manufacturing avoids unnecessary consumption & disposal.
3. Sustainable packaging –
A sustainable business needs to be eco-friendly.
Hence, it also means that the packaging must be too.
Package your products with less paper and more cardboard.
This can help keep waste down & recycling up! Some materials for sustainable packaging include:
- organic cotton fabrics
- recycled plastics (plastic bottles)
- biodegradable wooden pallets or fiberboard boxes.
4. Be wise with water –
Water is one of the essential resources for any sustainable business.
It may seem simple to conserve water in your business.
But, this is one of the complex steps in a sustainable business.
But, here are a few ways to be proactive with water usage
- Install a water recycling system.
- Treat used water & reuse it for specific purposes.
- Use rainwater to fill your toilet tank or plants.
Step 9 – Make your brand.
In this digitized era, branding is essential for your sustainable clothing line.
Make sure you have a logo that’s simple, memorable, and recognizable.
Get creative. But try to make it reflect all three aspects of sustainability: social, environmental & economical!
Check out these examples below from real-life businesses: Eco-Warrior Apparel; Transcend Clothing; Just Quality Goods Co.; Walnut Wearables LLC.
Branded designs –
Create branded designs that are consistent throughout your business operations.
From website, social media pages to your packages, make it consistent.
Be it the same set of colors, patterns, or any design element; it makes your brand memorable.
Step 10 – Launch your sustainable products.
First off: choose where you are launching your products for sale. Online store, physical store, or both?
Physical store for your sustainable clothing line:
Find the right location for your store where your ideal customers are. Choose one with better visibility and accessibility.
You will need to buy some inventory at first. But do not invest too much of your funds because this may not always work out.
Set up the interior that aligns with your branding colors & designs.
Online store for sustainable clothing lines:
Set up your e-commerce website –
- Choose a domain name. It is better to have the same domain name as your business name.
You can buy domains from various registrars. Some of them are – namecheap.com, bluehost.com, domain.com.
- Choose the right hosting provider. Being a sustainable business, try choosing among the popular green hosting providers like – GreenGeeks, DreamHost, iPage, A2 Hosting, HostPapa
- Set up a shopping page platform – There are a lot to choose from. Woocommerce, Shopify, Wix, Magento, and so on. Research well & choose what suits your business.
- Select the best theme for your site.
- Set up your store. Upload product images & describe them.
- Optimize your content & product pages for Search Engine visibility
Set up Social media pages –
Choose 2 or 3 social media platforms where most of your target audience is.
Facebook & Instagram can be the top platforms for sustainable clothing brands.
But, being a professional space, LinkedIn will not suit your business. So choose based on your audience.
Start sharing your product images & get people’s eyes on your brand.
You can also sell your products on social media.
Facebook has marketplace & store options. Also, Instagram has a store facility for specific locations.
Establish proper price
Sustainable fashion is expensive.
Because it’s made of sustainable materials.
If the market allows, you can price your products higher to justify the quality & effort.
But if you want mass appeal, keep prices at a reasonable level.
You can also offer some discounts for bulk purchases.
Make sure to calculate your expenditures correctly before setting a price.
For your sustainable clothing line, having a business card will be essential for networking.
Business cards are the perfect way to get new customers and maintain old ones too.
The cost of printing is nominal when you know where to buy from.
Compare prices and make sure not to overpay on per unit pricing or go with lousy quality.
That’ll ruin all your hard work!
Step 11 – Market your sustainable clothing line.
Want your sustainable clothing line business to grow and reach more people? Marketing is the only thing that can help you.
There are various ways to promote your sustainable clothing line. Here are a few-
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Google Ads
- Media Ads
- Email Marketing
and so on.
You can also partner with other eco-friendly businesses.
This way you can widen your reach and let people know of your sustainable values.
Is sustainable clothing line business profitable?
Yes, The sustainable clothing line business is profitable.
It’s not as simple as it may seem. It depends on how you price your products & the quality you provide.
The more sustainable and durable your products are more people will love to buy them.
Marketing is essential too.
If done right then, sustainable fashion can become lucrative!
And the best part about it is that you’re contributing towards
Benefits of starting a sustainable clothing business
A few of the benefits of starting a sustainable clothing business are as follows –
- You’re making such an impact on the environment. You save so many resources with your production and sourcing methods!
- It’s empowering and self-fulfilling. You get the chance to grow your own business with minimal outside investment!
- Sustainable fashion is sustainable both economically & environmentally!
- You encourage fair labor practices.
- You produce high-quality & safe products.
The sustainable clothing market is growing quickly.
Many people want to purchase clothes that are more ethical and environmentally friendly.
If you have a passion for fashion, design, or sustainability, starting your sustainable clothing line may be the perfect way to impact the world while doing something you love!