Apparel Buying House - An Overview

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Know about the apparel buying house, and their activities.

An apparel buying house works as mediator between apparel buyers (retailers) and garment manufacturers (export houses, garment suppliers). Apparel buying houses are also known buying agency and buying office.

International apparel brands

Buying office may be buyer’s regional office or an independent company that works with multiple buyers. For example, H&M has its own regional buying office to the sourcing countries. On the other hand Asmara International is a buying house that works with many buyers, brands and High street retailers.


There is two way to know more about a buying house. One, services provided by buying houses or functions of apparel buying house in apparel supply chain. Second, what all departments are there in a buying house?

Major functions of a buying house


A buying house may provide number of services to their buyers. In this post I have listed down major services provided by most of the apparel buying houses.
  • Product development and sampling for buyers

  • Finding good suppliers for their buyers

  • Order processing from local vendors

  • Contacting with buyers and taking approval on developments, samples, swatches, strike offs etc.

  • Forwarding buyers comments on samples and buyers requirement to vendors

  • Giving local approvals to vendors

  • Follow up order processing with vendors (export houses)

  • Take care of product quality from sample development to final inspection

  • Sometimes buying house do outsourcing of fabrics and trims for buyers and vendors

  • Conducting social compliance audit at vendor factories

  • Shipping and logistics

Different departments in a buying house


A buying office may be run by couple of people from a single room office to a big office equipped with various departments and dozens of employees. A middle size buying house is set with following departments.
  • Design and product development

  • Technical team (Pattern making and fit approval)

  • Merchandising team

  • Quality assurance team

  • Sampling room with few sewing machines and tailors

  • Shipping and Documentation

  • Textile testing lab

  • Sourcing of fabric and trims

  • Factory compliance audit team

  • Shipping and documentation

  • Other administrative departments
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Online Clothing Study: Apparel Buying House - An Overview
Apparel Buying House - An Overview
Know about the apparel buying house, and their activities.
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