How to start your Clothing Brand in UK USA (Business Plan)

Clothing Brand

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Clothing Brand?
  • How much does it cost to start a Clothing Brand?
  • How to find the best location to open a Clothing Brand?
  • How can I make my Clothing Brand a profitable business?


In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is a Clothing Brand?

The Global market value of around USD 1.9 Trillion in 2020 and growing at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period. The Clothing Brand is undoubtedly an industry you need to start.


A Clothing Brand designs, produces, and markets clothing items under a specific name or label.


They specialize in a particular type of apparel, such as sportswear, casual wear, or high fashion, and may offer a range of clothing items across different categories.


Successful clothing brands are known for their high-quality products, innovative designs, and strong brand identity. They often have a loyal following of customers who identify with the brand’s values and style, and are willing to pay a premium for their products.


Whether you’re a fashion designer, an entrepreneur, or someone with a passion for fashion, this guide will provide valuable insights and practical tips to help you start your clothing brand.

Market Insight: In the UK clothing and textile industry was valued at £9 billion in 2020. While in the US, apparel and footwear market was valued at over $390 billion in 2020

Clothing Brand

Step-by-step guide for starting a Clothing Brand

As you start your own clothing brand, there are some ways you can better structure your business. 


1. Identify your niche in the market:

When starting your business, think about a niche in the market that isn’t currently filled. Then, identify a product that best suits you and should exist. Any other major clothing company isn’t now offering that.


2. Develop a business plan:

As a clothing brand, develop a business plan that helps grow your business in the long run. Identify your goal and keep it fixed as you build your brand.


3. Identify the target audience:

Your objective as a business is not to identify a clothing item already existing but also the target market of consumers for that product. So, whether it’s teens or grandparents, source your clothing in a way that resonates with a particular target audience for your business. 


4. Designing:

The first collection you release as a designer should be something you’d be happy to use as your calling card going forward. Design cost-effectively and consistently try to blend between the ideal and the attainable.


5. Find a clothing manufacturer:

On a small scale, seek the help of colleagues who can help you make clothing in a home studio. On a larger scale, look for a fully working factory producing a limited supply of your goods alongside mass-produced items from an established brand. 


6. Choose a brand name, logo, and market profile:

Picking a business name, a logo, and a slogan is necessary for your business. Next, design a website with an eCommerce platform like Shopify or Etsy. This work should be completed by the time the manufacturing process runs. 


7. Choose a price point for your items:

Choose a price point that will cover your production cost, and don’t alienate the customers when you are launching your fashion business.


8. Begin the marketing process:

Bring your business some brand awareness, and Instagram can be the perfect platform for this. Many Instagram influencers are happy to promote new fashion brands in exchange for products.


9. Set realistic sales and distribution goals:

Have a realistic sale and distribution and try to hit that goal as soon as possible. If you can hit that sales goals, you can continue to grow as per your business plan.


10. Start a soft launch, and then look for more investment and partnerships:

Start with a soft launch of your brand, and then look for more investment and partnerships. Taking on a business partner who can provide that capital in exchange for a cut of future proceeds is a traditional yet efficient way to do this.

Clothing Brand

Types of Clothing Brand Business models

There are plenty of different business models you can choose from when starting your clothing line. Let’s take a look at some of the most common business models used:

1. Cut and sew private label clothing line:

This is your business model if you want to design and create your unique clothing line and manufacture it to your specifications. 

2. Custom wholesale:

It lets businesses purchase premade wholesale clothing and then customize each garment by hand. 

3. Custom clothing lines:

A custom clothing line may be an excellent choice if you want to offer made-to-order items. For example, you can specialize in event clothing, tuxedos, custom-made suits for prom, wedding dresses, or red carpet gowns, and create bespoke pieces to fit each client. 

4. Dropshipping:

Dropshipping can be a good option if you want to curate products from sellers that align with your brand instead of manufacturing them yourself.

5. Print on demand:

It’s another low-investment option that lets you customize clothing from companies like Printful of Printify’s robust catalogs.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Clothing Brand

Pros and Cons of a Clothing Brand

Pros of a Clothing Brand in the USA and UK include:

  • Flexibility
  • Ability to start your own business at home
  • Little start-up costs
  • Traffic to your website
  • Unlimited income potential

Cons of a Clothing brand in the USA and UK include:

  • Crowded people
  • Finding the right supplier
  • Isolation
  • Difficult to build trust with your customer
  • Minimal physical activities

Investment required for your Clothing Brand

The investment required to start a Clothing Brand in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of equipment and supplies needed, and the labor cost.


The average cost to open a small-scale Clothing Brand in the US can range from $1K-$20K. While in the UK, the average price ranges from £1K to £10K.


Some Common Expenses in running a Clothing Brand include:


  • Rent or mortgage payments for the building or space
  • Raw Materials
  • Printing and manufacturing equipment
  • Employee wages and benefits
  • Insurance
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Maintenance and repairs for equipment and the building
  • Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet
  • Point of sale systems and software
  • Professional services such as accounting and legal fees.

TIP: In the fashion world, there are two seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Spring/Summer begins in January and ends in June. Fall/Winter picks up in July and runs through December.

Seasonal clothing is different from fashion’s calendar pattern. You might walk into a store during the Summer and notice that some stores are already set up with scarves, and sweaters. And when it’s mid-season of Spring/Summer you should be finalizing and close to receiving your Fall/Winter collection.

Clothing Brand

How much will you earn from your Clothing Brand?

It is easier to estimate earnings in the Clothing Brand with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining earnings.

The average small-scale US Clothing Brand revenue is around $100K annuallywhile in the UK it’s around £50K per year, with a profit margin of about 5%- 20% every year.


Market Insight: In the year 2022, one of the biggest clothing brand in the world, Nike, had an annual revenue of around $49.107B.

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Clothing Brand

Pick your Niche!

It’s essential to identify your niche and stick to it. This will help you to create a product line that resonates with your target market and build a solid brand. 


Remember that as appealing as it may be to try to be everything to everyone, the best brands have a much-defined niche and stay in that niche.


Here are a few examples of highly successful clothing brands that operate in different niches:

  • Wrangler (casual)
  • Adidas (athletic)
  • H&M (trendy)
  • Ralph Lauren (classic)

Here are some niches to consider when starting a clothing line:

  • Sportswear
  • Women’s Dress Clothes
  • Men’s Dress Clothes
  • Women’s Casualwear
  • Men’s Casualwear
  • Swimwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Lingerie

And even within those niches, you’ll pick a variety of clothing and apparel products, including:

  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Pants
  • Leggings
  • Hoodies
  • Dresses
  • Lingerie
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Ties
  • Belts

Note: Whatever niche you choose, make sure you’re passionate about it. That passion will come through in your designs, and your audience will appreciate and embrace the authenticity of your clothing brand.

TIP: Have the right target market for your business. It’s important to figure out your ideal customer. When you’re working towards establishing your business, fashion makes things both easier and harder at the same time.

Clothing Brand

Marketing Strategies to grow your Clothing Brand!

As a clothing brand, you must set up marketing strategies to grow your business. Some of those ways are: 


Focus On Your Best Sellers:

Follow trends and styles consistent with your brand image Your most popular items are popular for a reason, so take your time with everything new and stick to what has already been proven successful!


Regularly Instill ‘FOMO’ (Fear of missing out) through Promotions:

FOMO is commonly practiced among fashion brands to instill fear in customers that they are missing out by not purchasing certain items. Convince consumers that they will miss out on a fantastic deal! 


Create Style Guides:

On your website, dedicate a section for creating a style guide or a “lookbook” to showcase your products paired together in numerous ways to showcase their versatility. This will instill some confidence many consumers need to purchase.


TikTok and Instagram Reels for Fashion Inspiration:

Inspire your target audience through social media to give them ideas to style their clothing. Instagram Reels and TikTok are massive platforms for creating trends such as “Outfit of the Day” or “GRWM.”


Partner With Fashion Bloggers and Influencers:

Partner with the influencer(s) that fit your brand’s style and demographic. Choose the right influencer for your brand, you want to ask them for their influencer kit, to better understand their audience – age, gender, demographic, and more.


Highlight Your Ethical Approaches:

Suppose your brand is connected to a specific cause, charity, or organization that positively impacts society. In that case, it is also worth highlighting your brand’s ethical approaches to convince and attract many consumers to choose your brand over a more prominent, controversial brand.

Trends and Challenges in the Clothing Brand Business

Trends in a Clothing Brand Business

1. Sustainable and ethical fashion
2. Personalization and customization
3. Athleisure
4. Streetwear
5. Gender-neutral clothing
6. Vintage and second-hand
7. Online shopping

Challenges in Clothing Brand Business

1. Sustainability and ethical fashion
2. Online sales and digital marketing
3. Inventory management
4. Supply Chain Complexity
5. Adapting to changing consumer preferences

Clothing Brand

Employees to hire for your Clothing Brand

Depending on the size and scope of your clothing brand, you may need to hire various employees to manage different aspects of the business. 


Here are some of the critical roles you may need to fill:


1. Designers: 

These individuals will be responsible for creating the designs and styles for your clothing line. They may have a background in fashion design, textiles, or a related field.


2. Product Development: 

These individuals will work with designers to bring designs to life, ensuring that the final product meets the required standards of quality, price, and delivery.


3. Sales and Marketing: 

These individuals will promote and sell your clothing line to retailers, buyers, and direct customers.


4. Production and Manufacturing: 

These individuals will oversee the production and manufacturing process, ensuring that clothes are made to the correct specifications and delivered on time.


5. Distribution and Logistics: 

These individuals will be responsible for getting the clothes from the factory to the retailers and the customers.


6. Finance and Accounting: 

These individuals will handle the financial aspects of the business, including budgeting, forecasting, and managing expenses.


7. Customer Service: 

These individuals will be responsible for responding to customer inquiries and handling any issues that may arise.


8. Human Resources: 

These individuals will handle the recruitment, training, and management of employees.


Note: These are just some of the critical roles that may be needed for a clothing brand, and the specific employees you’ll need to hire will depend on the size and scope of your business.

TIP: People like coming to clean & hygienic places, keep premises neat & clean. If you are operating from home or at store, make the area clean & safe. Unhygienic products can make your customers fall ill. It will again make you lose your customers.

Clothing Brand

Licences needed for a Clothing Brand

While essential licenses such as Business Licence, Health and Safety regulations, and Sales Tax Permits apply to almost all businesses (To read more about the licenses, ‘Click Here to read our Mini Guide’). 


Some specific licenses and permits might be needed to open a Clothing Brand in the UK and the US. Those licenses are as follows :


1. Manufacturing or production permits: 

Depending on the location of your manufacturing facility and the materials you use, you may need to obtain specific permits to produce clothing legally.


2. Retail sales permit: 

If you plan to sell your clothing in a physical store, you may need a retail sales license to operate a retail business legally.


3. Import/Export license: 

If your clothing brand imports or exports goods, you may need to obtain an import/export license.


4. Textile labeling and fiber content labeling: 

Depending on the location, the clothing you produce may be subject to textile labeling and fiber content labeling regulations.


5. Clothing Safety Standards Compliance Certification: 

Clothing brands may be required to meet safety standards for their products to ensure the safety of the end-users.

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Find a good location for your Clothing Brand

Tips on finding a good location for your Clothing Brand:


  • Look for areas with a high concentration of your target market. 
  • Look for places that are easily accessible and have a high volume of people passing by. 
  • Look for areas with few direct competitors or where your brand can differentiate.
  • Look for locations with reasonable rent and other expenses, such as utilities and taxes.
  • Look for places that align with your brand’s image and will help to attract your target market.
  • It’s essential to consider the online presence of the location. 
  • Look for locations that are easily accessible by car, public transportation, and foot. 
  • Look for places that are being developed or are likely to be developed in the future. 


A good location will determine whether your business will succeed in the future. A perfect place with your trendy clothing line will always bring profits to your business in the future. 

Clothing Brand

Shall I go for a Clothing Brand Franchise?

Buying an existing Clothing Brand Franchise of a recognized brand is a good idea; however, it is expensive also.

On the other hand, the franchisor will benefit you will all the existing brand image, customer loyalty, advertising, market research & strategies.

In addition, you will get guidance from the franchisor about training the workforce & ambiance of the premises. 

Some of the top Clothing Brand Franchises in the UK and USA:


  • The Original Factory Shop 
  • Fat Face
  • Jack Wills
  • Superdry
  • French Connection

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • The Gap
  • Hollister Co.
  • Express


In conclusion, starting a Clothing Brand business in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding is crucial. 

It is crucial to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 

Following these steps, you can set your Clothing Brand up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

Réalisation Par: The Online Clothing Brand With Celebrity Status | Forbes – YT Channel ‘Forbes’

How I Started The UK’s Fastest Growing Company: My Gymshark Story | Ben Francis -YT Channel ‘Ben Francis’

How To Start A Clothing Line With $0 Dollars | Legit Step by Step Tutorial – YT Channel ‘John Santos’

A. When starting any successful businesses, it’s important to have an idea of how far you want to take this brand. As your journey starts, dive in on your niche idea and your audience, while also spending time in the brand-building phase of business, before taking your next step. 

A. To legitimately start your clothing brand, based on your location jurisdiction, standard licenses such as a permit to sell and collect tax and an apparel registration certification may be needed. Also, consider filing to become an LLC or S corp, business insurance, and adding any licenses for brick-and-mortar.

A. Expenses when starting a clothing brand includes, fabric, labor, shipping, heating, rent, equipment, and various other production costs. You should expect, ongoing costs for things like payment processing, your website, and marketing and advertising. And an additional few thousand dollars upfront, depending on your business model.

A. Name your clothing brand that really reflects your brand identity and resonate with your target market. You can even use your own name when name the brand.

A. Here are a few well-known Clothing Brands in the UK:

  • Levi’s
  • Nike
  • Timberland
  • North Face
  • Gym Shark

A. Here are a few well-known Clothing Brands in the US:

  • Ralph Lauren
  • Micheal Kors
  • Adidas
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Zara
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