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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Clothing Line?


Starting a clothing line is no easy task. There are many expenses to consider, and the cost of starting a clothing line can be daunting. But, don’t let that deter you! This article will outline some of the main costs you should expect to incur when starting your own clothing line, as well as how to budget for them. So, read on and get started on making your fashion dreams a reality!



If you decide to run your business from a brick-and-mortar store, there will be some overhead costs to consider. These include the cost of renting or leasing a storefront, as well as the cost of utilities and other necessary expenses like insurance. The typical costs for these expenses can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per month, so be sure to factor this into your budget.


Licenses and Permits

Depending on your business structure and location, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits before starting your clothing line. The cost of these can vary widely, so be sure to check with your local government to see what is required. However, clothing businesses typically need a business license and some sort of sales permit, which can cost a few hundred dollars.


Business Insurance

Another important expense to factor into your budget is business insurance. This will protect you and your business in the event of any accidents or liability claims. The cost of business insurance can vary, depending on the coverage you select, but it is typically a few thousand dollars per year.


Cost of Materials and Supplies

Of course, one of the biggest expenses you will incur when starting a clothing line is the cost of materials and supplies. The exact cost will depend on the type of clothing you plan to sell and the quality of the materials you use. However, here is a typical list of materials and supplies you will need to purchase and their average prices:

  • Fabric: $5-$20 per yard
  • Notions (buttons, zippers, etc.): $100-$200
  • Thread: $50-$100
  • Pattern: $10-$20


Design Costs

If you plan to design your own clothing, there will be some additional costs to consider. These include the cost of software (if you need it) and the cost of hiring a professional designer (if you decide to go that route). The average cost of design software is around $100, and the average cost of hiring a professional designer is around $50-$100 per hour.


Manufacturing Costs

Another major expense in your budget will be the cost of manufacturing your clothing. The exact cost will depend on the type of clothing you are making, how many pieces you plan to produce, and where you have your clothing manufactured. However, the average cost of manufacturing a simple garment is around $15-$30 per piece.


Labor Costs

In addition to the costs of materials and manufacturing, you will also need to factor in labor costs. These include the cost of hiring employees (if you have any) and the cost of contractors (if you use them). The average hourly wage for a clothing line employee is around $10-$15, and the average hourly rate for a contractor is around $20-$30.


Marketing Costs

You also need to budget for marketing costs. These include the cost of advertising, promotions, and public relations. The exact cost will depend on the type of marketing you do and how much you spend on it. The typical costs associated with various forms of marketing are:

  • Social media marketing: $200-$500 per month
  • Search engine marketing: $500-$1,000 per month
  • Traditional advertising (print, radio, TV): $1,000-$10,000 per month


Website and Software Expenses

If you plan to sell your clothing online, you will need to factor in website and software expenses. These include the cost of registering a domain name ($10-$20 per year), the cost of hosting your website ($100-$200 per year), and the cost of ecommerce software ($50-$100 per month). You may also consider additional software such as a payment gateway ($50-$100 per month) and shipping software ($50-$100 per month).



On average, a new clothing line can require anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in startup costs. However, there are a number of ways to save money when starting a clothing line. For example, you can design your own clothes, find affordable manufacturing options, and use low-cost marketing channels, such as social media and word-of-mouth advertising. But, no matter what, you will need to budget carefully and make sure you have the financial resources in place to sustain your business in the long-term.

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