T-shirt Business Ideas for Beginners

T-shirt business ideas

This century is for entrepreneurs. Unlike earlier decades, now it is easier to start a t-shirt business. As you will easily find t-shirt start-up kits and necessary information from the internet (paid or free).

You can take guidance for starting your business and consultancy services. You can crowd fund for your t-shirt business start-up.

There are many marketplaces available for selling t-shirts on B2B and B2C platforms. So, one can fulfil his/her entrepreneurial dream by starting a t-shirt business.

Many want to start some kind of businesses. Newcomers, who don't come from rich families, normally want to start it small-scale. T-shirt business is one such business that one can start in the fashion and apparel field.

Now question is - what business would be right for you?

Instead of suggesting you what business to start with t-shirts, I am sharing some areas where you can start your t-shirt business.


Ideas for starting T-shirt business in 2022

#1. Make t-shirts and sell to wholesalers

Do you love manufacturing sector? This is solely a t-shirt manufacturing business. The idea is making t-shirts in volume and sell t-shirts through distributors in the domestic market. For this you need to set-up a t-shirt manufacturing factory and buy required sewing and t-shirt finishing machinery. You make some common t-shirt designs. Or make t-shirt as per orders booked by the retailers.

For t-shirt design development you can hire a designer. You can also get orders for uniform manufacturing. Once you have the t-shirt factory ready, you will find many channels for production orders. You may also get jobwork and you can utilize your sewing machines and manpower resources.

To start t-shirt making business, you need to learn t-shirt manufacturing processes, need to learn about raw materials, knits fabrics.

#2. Set up your own t-shirt brand (t-shirt line)

New generation consumers buy clothes by brand name. Buying a branded t-shirts have couple of benefits. Customers don’t need to worry about product quality. Many fashion designers’ dreams of starting their own clothing brand. That dream can be fulfilled by starting with a t-shirt brand. You know the brands like Super dry, Bewakoof, Being Human all started with t-shirts.

Starting own t-shirt brand whether it is a small or big, it gives an accomplishment to the entrepreneurs. You own a brand.

Now question is how to start a t-shirt brand? What would be your approach to start a t-shirt brand?

(1) Either you can start your t-shirt label, get manufacturing done outside and sell online

(2) Or you can start your t-shirt line and set up manufacturing unit for making own brand

PS: I have written a business book on setting up a t-shirt business. Check out the book content. You can also download the free chapters. To buy the book follow this link.

#3. Buy and sell t-shirts with other products

Crew necks, solid colors, basic t-shirts, short sleeve t-shirts along with graphic and printed t-shirts are the top favorites in India. Also, the round neck, V-neck, collared, and polo t-shirts are in demand along with sportswear, athleisure, and dry fits t-shirts.

You can start business in t-shirt sourcing. You can buy t-shirts in bulk and supply to retailers. You can source t-shirt from knitting hubs like Tirupur and Ludhiana. Or you can import quality t-shirts at a lower price from other countries like China and Bangladesh and distribute those in the local market.

Once you gain experience in t-shirt sourcing business, you can add more apparel and textile items in your product portfolio.

#4. Custom print t-shirt business

One can start custom printed t-shirts business. This is also called print-on-demand t-shirt business. For this business, you need to keep ready stock of blank t-shirts. Order blank t-shirt in bulk in multiple colors and in different sizes. This is for those who would like to run a business without a team or with a minimum number of people.

For this business, you need to set up printing machine. Screen printing machine (multiple colour screens) and digital textile printing (sublimation printing).

Related article: Sublimation printing process

In addition to this, you can also open an e-commerce website for selling custom printed t-shirts. For this business, buy blank t-shirts in various base colors, then take orders for individual t-shirt from your website, print the custom design (as per order) and finally deliver it to the customer. Refer these websites to learn how custom t-short print businesses work.

#5. Manufacturing t-shirts (full package) for export orders

If you have expertise on core production of t-shirts and have knowledge of the technical side of t-shirt manufacturing, you can go for manufacturing sector. This is little different from the idea#1. For making export quality t-shirts and garment, you need to organize your production unit considering compliance and good team.

US and European market still sourcing t-shirts from Asian region. So, there is opportunity for export business. There is competition but if you can produce t-shirts in volume, you can earn money from t-shirt business.

You will need to buy machinery and equipment for setting up the factory. Once factory is ready for making t-shirts, you can take order and fulfil the production order and get going. In manufacturing, you will be needed workers depending on the factory size (operators, helpers, checkers, pressman). Through t-shirt manufacturing business, you can create employment.

#6. Design t-shirts and sell your design to brands

You might be knowing that t-shirt is a basic apparel item. It is an everyday wear. T-shirt designs plays an important role in t-shirt business. Many t-shirts brand have able to capture a bigger market share through their t-shirt design.

If you have expertise and understanding about apparel designing, especially t-shirt designing, you can choose to give service in that fields. T-shirts are part of wide product group. Basic t-shirts to sportswear, active wear, to athleisure, comfort wear, uniform and many more.

#7. Make uniform t-shirts and supply to schools, corporates, and institutes

The uniform market is big in India. Uniform sourcing done by schools, colleges, corporates, and other institutes. Normally, schools need uniform sets for their students in two seasons.

You can select this niche for making t-shirts and supplying t-shirts for uniform sellers. You can also become a manufacturer cum seller to the organizations. You can directly contact schools and become a nominated uniform supplier.

In the uniform product range, you can include other kits including bags, shoes, socks with t-shirt and polo shirts.

#8. Start active wear manufacturing

Activewear market is growing. Subcategories of active wear clothes are gym wear, sportswear, and yoga wear. This business is catering to a specific niche. You can build your expertise in the active wear market.

The global brands and key players in the sportwear market includes Adidas AG, ASICS Corporation, Columbia Sportswear Company, DICK's Sporting Goods Inc., Nike Inc., Puma SE, PVH Corp., Skechers USA Inc., The North Face (VF Corporation) and Under Armour Inc.

Start with active wear t-shirt business and later add more knits apparels that would be complement to the active wear range. Yoga wear goes hand on hand of the active wear including athleisure items.

To enter into the activewear market, you need to learn about fabrics used for making active wear apparel items. Know the difference between activewear and athleisure clothing.

#9. Selling export surplus t-shirts

T-shirts are available in different price ranges. Export quality t-shirts at a lower price are preferred by young and trendy individuals. So, it creates a market segment where consumers want export quality t-shirts at a less price.

This is possible by reselling surplus t-shirts produced by export garment manufacturers.

Here, I am not talking about making fake t-shirts and attaching label of internal brands. The idea is, buying surplus t-shirts and second quality t-shirt from the manufacturers at low price and sell it through shops.

Metro cities and second tire cities are right marketplaces for selling export surplus t-shirts.

Read my book “Kick Start Your T-shirt Business” and get more ideas on t-shirt business.

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