If you are planning to start a Fashion brand or you have a Fashion brand already you have probably heard or read the terms CMT or FPP or even FF regarding clothing manufacturers.
In fact you might have read our Fashionpreneur article about CMT manufacturers and if they can be the right type of business for you to partner with.
In this article you are going to learn everything you need to know about FPP manufacturers.
How they compare against CMT manufacturers and finally which one is the best for you.
What does FPP stand for?
FPP is an acronym for Full Package Production. This is a term to classify a service by clothing manufacturers.
Please note FPP can also be called FF (Fully factored), FPP or FF is exactly the same thing. FF is a term more commonly used in the UK and FPP is more commonly used in the US and rest of the world.
What is FPP manufacturing?
FPP manufacturing is a service offered by clothing manufacturers whose operations include the full manufacturing process from design to packaged garment and shipping.
Their service can include the following:
• Design • Pattern making • Pattern grading • Sourcing fabrics and trimmings • Sample making • Production • Packaging and shipping
What are the advantages of FPP producers?
- FPP are great for fashion designers or fashionpreneurs without technical knowledge: FPP producers offer great guidance, technology and know-how. Apart from seamstresses, they have designers, pattern makers, fabrics and trimming specialists, etc, all of them in house. They can transform your idea or a simple design into a final garment without the need of anything else from you. A FPP manufacturer will guide you through the entire process.
- They have access to fabrics and trimmings: When you work with a FPP they can source all the fabrics and trimmings you need, this is great as sourcing materials can be very time consuming and expensive, besides, for certain trimmings as buttons for example if you have to source them yourself sometimes the minimum order is 5000 buttons. If you are starting out this would be very expensive. By partnering with a FPP manufacturer you will not have this problem.
- They can offer you big production runs: Contrary to CMT manufacturers, FPP manufacturers are normally rather big and well structured companies. They are perfect for big brands or for small brands that need to scale.
- In the long run, they are cheaper: I find it strange that in some blogs you will read FPP factories are more expensive than CMT factories. That’s not correct. They have to charge you for the pattern, technical drawings and any other services you need, sure, but if you have to outsource those activities you will also have to pay, so there’s no difference there. In terms of production they will charge you much less per item than CMT producers although they require higher MOQs.
- They are very efficient: FPP manufacturers are well structured factories. They have very well defined production plans and respect their production times. They are much more reliable than CTM factories for production runs.
What are the disadvantages of FPP?
- Higher MOQs: The biggest disadvantage of FPP producers is that they are more difficult to convince to work if you have small minimums, with CMT producers they can offer minimums of 20 or 30 pieces, with FPP producers it’s difficult they accept to produce less than 100 pieces/style, and I’m talking about European producers, in Asia or Turkey that number goes up to 500 or even 1000 pieces.
- Less Flexible: As they are well structured and have many clients, sometimes rather big clients, they lack flexibility compared to CMT producers, if you contact them and they are in middle of their production run they will probably not be able to introduce your brand in their production plans, you would have to wait for a production slot later on whenever they have availability.
When should you use FPP manufacturing?
FPP manufacturing is a great option for you if:
a) you or no one in your team have good design or technical skills.
By that I mean knowing how to make patterns, technical drawings or evaluating if a garment was well made or not (this is called Garment technology);
b) you have the capital to produce a high number of garments;
CMT vs FPP? What is the best for you?
For me FPP producers always beat CMT producers. They are better and bigger companies with more experience and expertise.
Something that sometimes designers forget is that FPP producers can also work with materials you supply them.
They will not force you to use the materials they can source. So if you don’t need their help to source any materials that’s fine.
The same thing applies to patterns and technical drawings, they can easily make this for you but no FPP would reject working with your patterns and technical drawings if that’s what you want.
That said, they require higher MOQs than CMT factories and if you are just starting out you might not have the capital to work with them.
Moreover, if you are a small brand you will need to convince them you are worth working with as their new client. They need to like your project and see it has potential to grow.
If you want to grow your brand you will end up working with FPP producers sooner or later. It is as simple as that.
CMT factories, although, can be a great way for you to start your brand, they are great to producer samples or small runs quickly and close to your location.
In summary, if you can afford working with FPP producers, you should do so, especially, if you don’t have technical knowledge or technical people in your team.
If you don’t have the budget there’s nothing wrong working with a CMT producer to start with. Hire freelancers to make your patterns and technical drawings and source the materials directly.
This is it guys for this article, I hope you found it helpful.
What’s your experience like working with CMT or FPP manufacturers?
If are you looking for clothing manufacturers, feel free to have a look at our Fashionpreneur Directories.
Would love to hear your comments below.