Overview of the clothing industry

Overview of the clothing inustry

The clothing industry is part of different sectors. Apparel Manufacturers are part of the sector. Some manufacturers are vertically integrated with textile manufacturing while others buy open stocks from vendors.

The supply chain of the apparel manufacturing industry starts with the farming of cotton in the cotton fields to the manufacturing of textile and apparel and ends at the retail of apparel at the stores or most recently on Ecommerce websites.

The apparel supply chain consists of 2 main sectors, namely the apparel sector with the trim supplier and the textile industry. In the textile industry, the raw material suppliers supply to the yarn manufacturers and in turn, the yarn spinners supply to the fabric mill.

The textile industry is segmented into 3 main large groupings. Apparel, interior furnishing and industrial such as luggage bags and boat sails. The textile industry uses many raw materials and many steps are involved in the process of manufacturing a finished textile product. Thus, the entire process from fibre to consumer involves coordinated activity of many firms and many individuals within each firm.

The structure of the textile and apparel industry is divided into four major departments. Product or design development, production, marketing and merchandising and lastly, operations and finance.

The apparel design development department is usually headed by the chief designer. In general, in a large company, it takes a few months from the initial design concept to final production, usually during the spring or fall collection is being released. Some companies may release new collection almost every month to every week, in addition to releasing new design during the spring autumn period. In Thai Wholesale Clothing, we release new designs almost every 2 weeks. As a SME company, we do not confine ourselves to only spring autumn release. The design development team forecast the fashion trends by visiting trade shows around the world while others do their own research on current trends. Usually, designers produce samples with the actual fabric materials. Samples are that get good responses will then be manufactured into apparel and sold to consumers.

The production department is responsible for the procedures and processes required in actually making the apparel. Usually headed by the production manager or director, the department is responsible for mass producing the line based on orders of the customer or sample designs. Production schedules are planned based on deadlines assigned by planners. Process are maintained at a high level of productivity in order to meet deadlines and control costs.

The marketing and merchandising department are responsible for establishing market positions, finalising the collection, branding and presenting the collection and determining the sales forecast. The department will also be responsible for negotiating prices and delivery details with the supplier. The manufacturer through its merchandising department will determine the cost of the garment and then calculate the price which the garment need to be sold for to the supplier and in return the supplier will mark up the price to be then sold to retailers or ecommerce store owners. The retailing price that a consumer pays is typically about five to six times more the manufacturer cost in order to cover overhead cost and profit. While in Thai Wholesale Clothing, we are the manufacturer and supplier so our prices are usually lower than most middleman supplier and retail stores.

Finally, the finance and operation department are responsible for financial planning. Accounts management and salaries payment. They are also involved in human resources and training, quality control and assurance, logistics management such as warehousing, inventory control, shipment and custom clearance.


Platinum Fashion Mall, 222 Phetchaburi Rd, Thanon Phetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

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