Supplier for a Fashion Startup: find it yourself…

4 min readJun 19


Photo by Alyssa Strohmann on Unsplash

How to find a supplier? I do wish one day AI is powerful enough to tell me everything real time in great details.

— ✨Hello! ✨You’re currently reading about my venture into AI-driven fashion startup with ChatGPT part 6. I also work with Tell us about your story at our chat box “Citrus Box” or index “mikanindex”, and we will help you improve visibility through automated SEO —

Let me resume with my current hypothetical scenario: now we have a small team running a website that provides AI-driven recommendation to users. From our previous estimates, we’re already going to burn $200k from paying our team for a year. Assuming that we do not have any great social media presence, we decide to include influencer marketing in the equation; let’s be conservative and add $50k to the expenses.

What’s the most important part that we haven’t talked about? Supply! We kinda assumed that our AI-driven website is already doing our job, but it feels impossible to survive solely based on advertisement in the very first year of our business: we will barely have enough traffic to survive!

Me: how do i get supplier for fashion product?

CGPT: Finding suppliers for fashion products involves several steps. Here’s a general guide to help you get started:

1. Define your product and target market: Determine the specific fashion products you want to source, such as clothing, accessories, or footwear. Identify your target market, including the demographics and preferences of your potential customers.

2. Research trade shows and events: Attend trade shows, fashion exhibitions, and industry events to connect with suppliers. These events provide an opportunity to meet suppliers in person, view their products, and establish direct relationships.

3. Utilize online supplier directories: Explore online platforms that specialize in connecting buyers with suppliers. Some popular directories include Alibaba, Global Sources, and TradeIndia. These platforms allow you to search for fashion product suppliers based on location, product type, and other criteria.

4. Network within the fashion industry: Engage with professionals in the fashion industry, such as designers, boutique owners, or fashion bloggers. Attend networking events, join fashion communities, and participate in online forums or social media groups to connect with individuals who may have supplier recommendations.

5. Reach out to manufacturers and wholesalers: Identify manufacturers and wholesalers that specialize in fashion products. You can find them through online research, industry publications, or by contacting relevant trade associations. Contact potential suppliers to inquire about their product range, pricing, minimum order quantities (MOQs), and any other relevant details.

6. Request samples and evaluate quality: Before committing to a supplier, request product samples to assess the quality, design, and craftsmanship. This step is crucial to ensure the products meet your standards and align with your brand.

7. Assess supplier reliability and capabilities: Evaluate the supplier’s reliability by checking their track record, client testimonials, and online reviews. Additionally, inquire about their production capabilities, lead times, payment terms, and shipping options to ensure they can meet your business requirements.

8. Negotiate pricing and terms: Once you’ve shortlisted potential suppliers, negotiate pricing, MOQs, and other terms to establish a mutually beneficial agreement. Consider factors such as product quality, delivery times, and customer service when comparing supplier offers.

9. Establish a long-term relationship: Once you’ve selected a supplier, maintain a good working relationship with clear communication channels. Regularly evaluate the supplier’s performance to ensure consistent product quality, on-time delivery, and adaptability to your changing business needs.

Remember, finding the right supplier may require time and effort. Conduct thorough research, compare options, and make informed decisions to ensure a successful partnership with a fashion product supplier.

Me: my niche is customizable fashion. Our team provides recommendations to customers, in which we suggest one of the few preset styles that we have in our database.

CGPT: That’s great! Customizable fashion is an exciting niche that allows customers to personalize their clothing and accessories. To find suppliers for your customizable fashion products, you can follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Identify manufacturers or wholesalers: Look for manufacturers or wholesalers that specialize in producing customizable fashion items. You can search online directories, attend trade shows, or reach out to industry contacts to find potential suppliers who can fulfill your customization requirements.

2. …

The list goes on. ChatGPT is certainly not gonna tell me which manufacturers or wholesalers to choose from. I just have to somehow “identify manufacturers or wholesalers”. Okay, basically “find it yourself”… I already know it’s gonna be this vauge. In the next post, I will urge ChatGPT to tell me more about the ins and outs of this whole sourcing business.




Sometimes sauntering down the alley, sometimes writing carefreely.