We are going to show you an unorthodox method of sourcing a factory if you don’t have the budget to hire an agency (which we recommend if you’re new to the rag-trade game).

There are many sourcing websites online, but we don’t think they’re great. Alibaba is good as it acts like a marketplace for factories – but ALL factories can be found here, which can make searching for the right one very overwhelming.

So, before spending endless hours searching through Alibaba, we recommend this approach:

  • Look at brands that you want to develop products like, especially those that are small in size, and scour through who’s following them. Most of the time, the factory that makes for them follows them and likes their posts. You can then direct message the potential factory to get their email or WhatsApp details to start the conversation.

  • Research on LinkedIn by searching for the keywords you are after. For example, search “seamless activewear factory” or anything you’re looking to find. Nine times out of ten, you will find people who work there. Contact them directly through LinkedIn – as they’re always looking for business, it’s guaranteed they will reply.

  • Lastly, you can go on Alibaba, but ensure you use the filters. Ensure the supplier is verified and has positive reviews – make sure to read them! Check that they can meet the MOQ you need and that they can customize products (not just offer ready-made).

Across all three of these research methods, once you find a few factories that meet your requirements, it’s crucial to send them a factory questionnaire, where you ask many things including their audit certifications.

Contact us for a free factory questionnaire!