Finding the best sportswear factory to produce your performance sportswear is a daunting task.
You could spend hours if not days searching online and reading factory bios about the number of workers, ethical and technical standards they work to and the the machinery they use to produce their products and make your decision based on this in the hope that their bio is accurate and they are honourable.
We get approached on a daily basis from factories touting for business as they know we produce sportswear in factories around the world for our clients and would like a slice of this business. We often spend a little time digging through the interesting ones via their website to find they are not as “Qualified” as they claim.
We also go to several sportswear trade shows and again visit the more “Quality” focussed stands to see what they actually offer and if they could form part of our network. One year we popped onto a stand that had an ashmei soft-shell jacket hanging up on their display and touted that they made this for ashmei. We introduced ourselves but didn’t confess that we owned ashmei and knew that they had not made this jacket. Instead we enquired about the piece and asked them to explain the materials used to create this jacket and the approximate cost of the jacket is they replicated this with some tweaks.
Bear in mind, this is at an international sportswear trade show and the calibre of exhibitor should, in theory be top notch!. The response from the sales guy was quite astonishing. He confirmed that they make for ashmei and the jacket was last years production ! (lie #1). He said the fabrics were from their source and made from synthetic materials ! (lie #2). He quoted a price for the jacket which was actually less expensive than the cost of the material we use on the rear of the jacket!!!
When I pointed out we were from ashmei, he looked puzzled, shrugged it off and admitted he did not manage the production and it was a colleague in China that managed this account. We highlighted that we have never placed any production with their factory and never will and requested they remove the garment from their display and not to tout business on the false presentation that they made for ashmei.
I then looked around their stand at the other blue chip brands they claimed to work for and wondered who, if any they actually did produce for. I doubt any.
We work with a network of sportswear factories that we have established a great relationship, some for over 15 years and have proven themselves with the production of innovative, high quality, performance gear that hit our specifications on every level
Many of the factories we work with don’t physically show at trade shows or need to tout for business as they already have an established network of blue chip performance sport clients who continue to feed them production year after year. In fact some of our factories capacity is so full we need to reserve several months in advance of the required shipment date and one factory we work with wont entertain new clients without a firm commitment of bulk production with a minimum order value prior to receiving designs and specifications.
It’s a bit of a mind field out there and we suggest you carry out some thorough due diligence before you start to work with any new factory. If they claim to work with a brand, ask the factory for the representative of that brands contact details so you can ask for a reference. This should clarify if they actually make for these brands and you may also get an honest appraisal of the factories quality and service.
Alternatively, get in touch with us for some advise.