A2A: “What is the best way to produce low-volume custom t-shirts?”
It really depends on what you mean by ‘low volume’. It’s all relative to your budget and is entirely subjective.
For example, our company currently works with 53 ethical-verified manufacturers across Southeast Asia. The smallest of these manufacturers begin their MOQs (minimum order quantities) anywhere from 30 to 50 pieces per style, per colour, per artwork. According to industry averages, this is quite low.
It’s also important to note that MOQ calculations are comprised of 3 parts. MOQs are expressed as “X-number of pieces per style of garment, per colour of fabric, per artwork/design”.
- Style: Manufacturers expect you to produce their MOQ for each different style of garment. What’s a style? A crew-neck t-shirt is a different style than a v-neck t-shirt. A bikini is a different style than a dress. Also, each different artwork even on the same style of garment, is considered a different style. If you 2 prints you want to make, let’s say a smiley face and coconut, each of these prints means a different style.
- Colour: Manufacturers expect you to produce their MOQ for each different colour of fabric you choose. So if your MOQ is 50 pieces per style, per colour, per artwork, and you have 3 different colours for your t-shirts, then you need to produce 50 x Colour 1 + 50 x Colour 2 + 50 x Colour 3.
- Artwork: Manufactruers expect you to produce their MOQ for each different artwork you have, whether it’s printed or embroidered or sequined etc.
- Additionally: There are certain factors that can impact your MOQ calculations. If you choose a fabric colour that isn’t available in stock colours, and it needs to be dyed, then your MOQ is likely to go up. For example, with Cotton, if we need to dye it a specific colour, your MOQ goes from 50m of fabric to 100m of fabric. 100m produced more t-shirts than 50m; hence your MOQ just went up. Same can be said about different printing methods such as screen printing vs digital.
**This is true of our network of manufacturers but other manufacturers may not have this type of policy.
In an effort to save myself from repeating what is already there, have a look at this link from our website. It describes how MOQs are calculated.
Link to how MOQs are calculated and how to learn about MOQs.
If you feel what I’ve written is within your expectations, then feel free to have a look at our company.
We ethically produce for 1,700+ client brands per year across our entire network of manufacturers. We may be a good fit for you, no pun intended.
Maybe start by having a look around our website and our very comprehensive FAQs page. Then browse our production activity via our Instagram page. I’ll leave the links for you at the bottom. If you have more questions, my name is Luh.
Good luck with your production! 🙂
Clothing Manufacturers Asia
CMA’s Instagram page