How to pick a clothing factory?

The most common comments I receive, around my business, is how great the aftercare is; once you have received your items the service only stops once you are happy. Mistakes happen but how much care do you receive after the payments been taken? Do you know what I mean? When you pick Grappling Science my customer service goes beyond your money landing in my account. I don’t spend money on marketing, my customers are my marketing. Infact, i’m pretty confident you are reading this because of a recommendation from someone else right? No?

I’m here to help and I mean that. If you just want some advice on a logo for your club, drop me an email if I can fix it quick, it’s free and I mean that. I’m here to stay and i’m here to help. I’m a grappler, I know that equipment is too expensive, I know that competitions are costly, training is hard, you sacrifice a lot. The last thing you deserve is a second rate service on your clothing. I don’t know about you but my experience of working with factories, like from day one or year one..(because I didn’t always manufacture, I was once only the artist and not the supplier, so I know the challenges you face) was scary daunting and insanely expensive, In fact let’s talk about that, let’s look at things to avoid, so we don’t get burnt again. Please note, I lost so much, not just time or patience but I mean money. I’m not trying to scare you but rather warn you. Be careful, think about what manufacturer you go with and DO NOT LET COST BE THE FACTOR. DON’T!. The biggest decider on who to go with, should always be previous customer experience, there is no other gold standard in service. That is so important let’s say it again... Your choice of factory should be based on PREVIOUS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Your factory should win your confidence, it should not be guess work, you should never have to ‘take a risk’. That’s what was so unfair, in the beginning, you had to take a risk and hope you didn’t get ripped off. I believe you should go with someone you see producing content every day, go with someone who you can clearly communicate with, go with someone you know understands what makes good spats, go with someone that has wrestled, Someone that knows your spats need long draw stings so they don’t get lost in the wash machine. With waist bands that can stretch a few inches. Rash guards should be a close compression like fit, with small collars. We are not surfing.

Shorts should have a 4 way stretch bottom panel and shouldn’t rip when we pull our draw strings.

Don’t let price be the reason you choose someone

I know the price is the biggest concern for most clubs but please remember factories know this and can exploit this, they will undercut, short sell us and disappear (this is rare but i’ve known people that just disappeared after payment). Have you had a factory approach you but they have no followers? Their artwork is non existent or worse they have clearly stolen pictures from other suppliers. Their communication is below par? Look out for factories that play on poor communication as they can use this as a way to deflect accountability later!.

Don’t go with a factory that says yes to everything

What’s very interesting is how many questions your factory ask you. If we collaborate together I will ask you so many questions you might actually get annoyed, but why? After years of designing and manufacturing, lots of questions is the only way to know that what I THINK you want, is ACTUALLY what you are asking for. The key is in the details. Thats why I say avoid the yes man!

They say yes to everything? (please be careful with this one, no factory should say yes to everything, if they really are capable of manufacturing on a large scale it’s understandable they say no to some of our requests). Always get a sample, your factory should be able to produce a single item for you, after your sample don’t immediately order one hundred units, go with thirty, don’t put all your eggs in one basket until you know it’s a safe basket.

Don’t assume they are experts

If your factory has an Instagram and the feed is just motorcycle clothing and leather gloves. But you want custom rash guards or custom shorts.. this is not the factory you should go with and I promise you they will say yes to everything. Here’s a good point to mention, ask your supplier about their knowledge of the clothing they make. Do they know your concerns? Don’t assume they are experts. This is an assumption you should not lend your factory. They should prove to you they are the leading factory and most knowledgeable in their chosen field.

All these warning signs should signpost to you a level of risk that is too high and you don’t want to work with and you don’t have to. You have the power, you make the choice.

I hope this helps, thanks Glen at Grappling Science

Dont’ and Do’s for choosing a clothing factory-

  1. Don’t let price be the reason you choose

  2. Don’t assume they are experts

  3. Don’t go with a factory that says yes to everything

  4. Don’t use factories that make motorcycle clothing or real leather gloves, you know?

  5. Don’t go with the  yes factory, saying yes to everyone of your requests is not a good sign.
custom rash guard