Start Your Activewear Line and Launch it in 5 Steps
Have you ever thought of starting your own activewear brand but can’t seem to find suitable styles that match your workout requirement?
The activewear apparel market worldwide has been growing rapidly in recent years, which means there is much room to grow for new brands that cater to unique designs and concepts.
If you’re looking for the steps in launching your activewear line, then our guide is for you. So how to start your own business and make it happen? Here are the five steps to successfully begin your activewear business.
1. Starting up
Find the idea and your unique identity
You need to come up with an idea before you start anything else. Perhaps you’ve never been satisfied with the clothes you see nowadays, or that you have an excellent idea for a design that can fill in the gaps of the current activewear brands. For example, if you think most sports leggings today are not squat-proof enough, which gives you the idea of developing your own durable squat-proof leggings. Once you have a strong belief in your concept and unique identity, you can start to go out and make it happen by connecting your idea to the customer’s needs.
2. Market Research
Understand your competitors
Once you have a great idea, you need to know if the concept is unique and still room for your style to grow in the market. Check out the latest trends in the market by visiting shops and trying out a bunch of different clothes to figure out what you like and what you don’t like about them, browsing the web and doing your homework on the global activewear industry. You want to know your competitors and make your brand stand out from the crowd.
Define your target customer
Knowing your target customer is probably the most important thing to know, along with the activewear niche you’ll be covering in the market. Make sure you know your future target customer and what products you will be selling them. This is why it’s crucial to have a unique idea first so that your customers will remember your product and can’t get it anywhere else.
Set up the business plan
A business plan lets you set goals for the long term and helps you keep track of any changes along the way, as things usually don’t go the way we have pictured it in our heads. It can also be great in case you plan to bring investors and partners on board.
Just like any other business, an activewear line will require some budgeting to get started. Have an estimated cost for setting up as part of your business plan and determine how your business will be financed. You can either choose particular start-up loans or an investor to get your business the early boost it needs.
Look for your dream team
No brand has succeeded without the help of its dream team. Even if you think you can manage everything alone, do you think it’s the most efficient way to do it? It’s essential to have a cast of talented and motivated people behind your back in case you fall short.
Branding your line
Take your time to work on your own brand identity, as your brand connects your customers to your products. Pay attention to the little things in your products, such as the labels and hangtags, to the garment and the packaging itself should all be cohesive and well thought. Make sure your logo stands out of the many brands out there and looks good in all areas. And finally, remember that your brand should reflect the products that you’re selling.
3. Start to Design Your Collection
Define the range
When the foundation phase is all set, then it’s time to start designing your products. The first step in making your garments is to determine your collection. What materials do you want to use, what styles do you want to have and the aesthetic theme you’re going for. Just remember your collection needs to be consistent and cohesive.
After you’ve defined your collection and structure, you can start hiring a freelance designer or a pro activewear designer to begin sketching. Make sure they understand your brand image, identity and your target customers first before they start designing. If you’re personally designing your active product, then you can find inspiration to make your own style. The designers should also make the tech packs to help you get started with the sampling of your activewear line.
4. Choose Reputable Manufacturer
This stage is a vital part of the process, as even though your activewear looks good on paper, you’ll still want your designs to be fully wearable while looking and fitting the way you want it to and finding a good pattern based on the tech pecks. The tech pack can help you start making your samples as it offers technical information that you can use to develop samples. Once the sample is approved, you can create a spec sheet containing all the measurements and grading if your product comes in different sizes.
Production and shipping
Once you’re happy with your final sample, which will be called a PPS (Pre-production sample), you can then think about the production. This requires some discussions with your manufacturer as they need to know everything from the quantity and sizes per style. When your production is all set, check in with your logistics and find a reliable shipping partner to help you deliver your products to your customers. All these contacts will be beneficial when the time comes to finally deliver your products to your customers.
5. Marketing your brand
Selling your collection
Your product doesn’t need to be the most unique in the world. What’s important is your marketing strategy. This is when all your efforts in research during the beginning of development come in. If you have a good marketing plan, it will produce some sales. The image of your brand that you present out there is equally important as your products. This is how your customers get to know your brand. You need to figure out how your brand will sell to make profits and keep following your passion.
You can either follow the traditional way of retail and selling directly to the customers or owning your own e-commerce, which lets you connect directly with all your customers. Take advantage of the power of content by using all social media platforms.
Remember that your customers come first! Your mission from the start is to create a product for your customers to wear and love. Don’t disappoint them and when they have any complaints, figure out how to make it up to them. Get in touch with your customers and use their feedback as a way to make your products even better.
We hope that our guide has helped you get inspired to start your activewear line, we also have a more complete version of this guide in our Active Starter Kit where you can find the a to z about manufacturing and kickstarting your activewear business. We wish you great success in your journey ahead.