Finding sustainable underwear manufacturers in Europe is a real challenge for anyone creating a sustainable fashion brand, especially for anyone creating a sustainable underwear collection. In this article, we will explain the main problems we have observed for the development and manufacturing of sustainable underwear collections by the designers and resident brands of our Product Development platform, who must of times contact us because of difficulties they face in finding sustainable fabric suppliers and sustainable underwear manufacturers in Europe.
This article is part of a series of articles we are publishing on sustainable fashion branding and sustainable underwear production in Europe. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter so we can let you know when we publish other articles that will be about the types of ecological fabrics and sustainable accessories that can be used in the design and manufacture of sustainable underwear.
The problem: difficulties in finding sustainable underwear manufacturers in Europe.
Below we will comment on some of the main problems faced by the resident brands from our Sustainable Product Development Platform when finding and contacting the manufactures of underwear in Europe.
1) European sustainable underwear manufacturing suppliers do not accept new customers
Searching for ecological fabrics and manufacturing suppliers for sustainable underwear in Europe is not easy. European fashion manufacturing suppliers are often too busy with the fashion brands they already provide services to. So, often, they have no interest in taking on new customers for the development of sustainable fashion collections.
2) European underwear manufacturers ask for very high MOQ's not compatible with sustainable fashion brands
Slow fashion startups usually start their underwear production modestly, in small quantities. However, most European underwear manufacturers want to work with the big brands and ask for very high MOQ's (and not at all sustainable or adequate to the needs of those who are creating a sustainable fashion brand).
Considering that underwear pieces are small, most European fashion manufacturing suppliers ask for a minimum initial production quantity of 5,000 pieces, which we've already said is a very large amount for those who are creating a sustainable fashion brand.
3) Underwear manufacturers from Europe do not assist brands in the product development steps
Another problem faced in creating sustainable fashion brands and underwear manufacturing in Europe is that manufacturing partners do not pay the necessary attention to new brands, helping them in the fundamental steps of product development.
As we've already said, most underwear manufacturing suppliers in Europe prefer to work with fast fashion brands that produce high quantities and consider sustainable underwear brands to be subsidiaries. In other words, they only accept to work with them when they don't have orders from the big fashion brands. And when they agree to work with clients who are creating sustainable fashion brands, the underwear manufacturing suppliers do not pay enough attention to them in the choice of materials, pattern making, and prototyping adjustments.
4) Underwear manufacturing suppliers from Europe are too expensive
Unfortunately for many, sustainable fashion is just another opportunity to make money. That's why many manufacturing suppliers accept to work with slow fashion brands but charge absurd prices, way above the market and what they charge fast fashion brands. This gives the latter an undue and unfair advantage over sustainable fashion startups and makes honest competition impossible.
5) Sustainable underwear manufacturers suppliers from Europe are not always transparent in their supply chain
Due to the great difficulty of finding manufacturing suppliers for sustainable underwear in Europe, many designers and sustainable fashion brands need to make use of agents that often do not allow the brands to have access to the factories and workers who actually participate in the production of the ordered pieces.
Another problem is that many sustainable fashion manufacturers in Europe outsource the labor of the orders to small studios and do not always share this information with the clients of sustainable fashion startups.
To help you obtain the information you need to ensure the transparency of your sustainable fashion brand in our Product Development Platform, you will find a series of questions that you should ask your European manufacturing partner in order to write the terms of conduct and sustainability for your brand. You don't know how to write a term of conduct? You can find a guide to this on our platform.
How our Sustainable Product Development platform can help you to create your sustainable underwear brand
In our Sustainable Product Development platform, you will find a selection of recommended European underwear manufacturers to work with you. Our database is organized based on the industry categories and the needs of brands in different stages of product development.
You will find recommendations from European underwear manufacturers currently accepting clients for your MOQ, who we believe would be a great match to produce your collections. You will be able to talk and visit them before choosing who you like to work with. You also will find a selection of underwear sustainable fabrics suppliers, with who you can connect directly or you can recommend for your chosen manufacturer.
If you are not a fashion designer and you need someone to guide you step-by-step in the development of sustainable underwear collections from design, fabric sourcing, pattern, and prototypes of your sustainable underwear line you also will find a selection of professionals up to do that for you. You will be able to have access to their portfolio and rating from our members (if someone already worked with them and left a review). In our platform, you also will find:
European sustainable fabrics and accessories recommendations (with suppliers contacts) for sustainable underwear development
We know that for who is starting the process to choose the right fabric can be challenging. So we created a section with sustainable fabrics recommendations based on the type of product you are developing such as sustainable underwear, swimwear, activewear, etc.
Masterclasses about Sustainable Product Development with industry experts
In our Product Development Platform will have access to video classes and exclusive interviews with European suppliers and successful CEOs from other sustainable fashion brands
Sustainable underwear Private Label
Find sustainable underwear suppliers who offer private label services with different designs that can be customized by you with the features of your brand (this will decrease your costs and for sure is an option to always take in mind when developing sustainable underwear collection for the first time.
Eco-Friendly Sustainable Underwear Fabric Library
In our Product Development Platform you can find sustainable fabric suppliers categorized according to their compositions ( such as hemp, linen, organic cotton, cupro, etc). On each supplier's page, you will find information about MOQ's, certificates, and contacts.
Other service providers: mood board + color and fabrics sourcing, digital draws, measurement table, patterns and sustainable underwear prototyping
On our platform, you will also find the profile of suppliers for services such as mood board + color and fabrics sourcing for sustainable underwear, digital draws, measurement table, patterns, and sustainable underwear prototyping.
Recommended sustainable underwear manufacturers from Europe
Recommended sustainable underwear manufacturing suppliers to meet different requirements according to MOQ's and product types. Sustainable underwear suppliers from Europe are also categorized according to the type of product they make and their location. In each one's profile, you will find more information about MOQ's, location, product type, and certification.
After choosing in our Sustainable Product Development Platform the sustainable underwear supplier from Europe you want to contact, just send us an e-mail with a request for contact and we will do a personal introduction of you and your project to our sustainable underwear recommended manufacturers from Europe requesting a budget for the production of your collection.
Customization and crafts
We have also put together on our platform a list of suppliers of handicrafts such as natural dyes and embroidery so that you can customize your sustainable underwear collection and support our local artisans.
Sustainable underwear manufacturers rating
From now on our recommended suppliers, including sustainable underwear manufacturers from Europe, will be ranked on our platform, according to the experience and feedback of our members (if someone already worked with them and left a review for us), regarding quality, customer service, and sustainability. The goal is to help our members to make better choices.
Join us and find out more about all you need to know to get started with your sustainable underwear manufacturing in Europe
Join our Product Development platform now and start enjoying all the benefits of your membership. Get matched with European suppliers and manufacturers for sustainable underwear and take your project from ideation to reality.
If you like more before to join or you need private consulting for a specific project you can our survey for potential collabs and someone from our team will get bin touch with you!
Are you working on a sustainable underwear brand? Leave in the comments the main challenges you face when sourcing underwear manufacturers in Europe.