January 29, 2021
Relabelling Services: Everything You Need To Know
By: Peter Gregory
Want to put your own label on garments that you bought wholesale? The apparel industry has a name for that: relabelling!
Relabelling (also known as private labelling) is a great way to streamline your business, save yourself some time and offer a higher standard of product to your consumers.
If you’re in merchandising or if you’re starting up your own online fashion business, then private labelling is something you should at least consider.
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what relabelling actually is, how best to use it to grow your business and the pitfalls you need to avoid.
Relabelling is a ‘trade finishing’ procedure where the label of one fashion business is stitched onto a garment that was actually made by another company.
Many garment manufacturers are talented ‘makers’, but they lack the skills and contacts to sell their goods directly to retailers and consumers. Most fashion startups have the exact opposite problem: they might have a great eye for design and strong commercial instincts, but they don’t have the commercial tailoring expertise and machinery necessary to produce their garments in high volumes. Relabelling is all about bridging that gap, so that factories and fashion houses can both make a living focusing on what they do best.
Relabelling (private labelling) is very common in the apparel and workwear industries, where the garment itself is fairly standard but the finished design that is applied to that garment is something bespoke and valuable.
For example, if you run a t-shirt design business, you might buy blank shirts from a wholesaler or manufacturer, then screen-print your designs onto those blank garments before selling the finished item on to your customer. You want the t-shirts you sell to have your own brand’s label on the neck, so you’ll need to replace the manufacturer’s label with your own. You can either hire a relabelling company to attach those labels, or you can sometimes ask the factory making your goods to do the relabelling work at source.
You’d be surprised at how affordable the relabelling process is. It’s very good value, given the manual work involved in stitching each label to each item, and it gives your stock a premium finish and a style all of its own.
The costs you are quoted by a relabelling service will go up and down slightly depending on three main factors:
Pricing will also change depending on the number of steps you’re asking a relabelling company to carry out for you. It’s much simpler and faster, for instance, to stitch a branded border label directly on top of a manufacturer’s label, because there’s no work involved in snipping and unpicking seam-stitched labels. The same goes for any ‘extra bagging’ work, like buttoning up trouser buttons, folding shirts over card inserts and so on.
Quality Control (QC) is another job that a relabeller can do for you (for a fee). When you buy a Quality Control service from your relabeller, you both agree up-front what counts as a ‘quality’ item and what counts as a ‘reject’ (fraying seams, dirty sleeves etc). The relabeller will carry out a quick inspection of each garment as they work on it, and goods that don’t meet your standards can be kept back. It’s a great way to minimise your customer returns and keep your standards high.
There are a few mistakes that new apparel startups need to watch out for when working with a relabeller. Relabellers aren’t legal experts, nor are they customer service specialists — it’s always the job of the business owner, i.e. you, to stay compliant with the law and deliver the very best experience you can for your buyers.
Here at GB Labels we’re label makers — not label attachers — but we can still help you find a good relabelling service that suits your needs.
Our customers have hired relabelling companies and freelance stitchers all over the world, so we’ve heard a lot of good and bad stories about how people were treated and the experience they had when private labelling.
We’ll be happy to tell you which companies our clients tend to use — just get in touch.
Thanks for reading!