Sportswear brands no longer need to rely on manufacturing companies in Asia and beyond for cost-effective and fast garment production. Europe is buzzing with new and established innovation centres where a skilled workforce and cutting-edge technology can produce collections at competitive prices.
Any European-based sportswear brand should consider partnering with manufacturers in the continent for these two key reasons - carbon footprint and lower transportation costs. But the below benefits are no less important in strengthening your label as a responsible sportswear brand.
Keeping it local
Local sourcing of garments is one of the fundamental factors in running an influential sportswear label in Europe. It benefits everyone involved, from the environment and local economy to your customers and, ultimately, you as a brand.
What makes European manufacturers more attractive compared to those based outside the EU is the free movement of goods, meaning that you have no import tax to pay. Lower transportation costs and faster shipping also add an extra layer of convenience when choosing to work with European manufacturers.
Being in the same time zone and operating on the same continent brings additional advantages. Smoother communications, growing focus on sustainability and transparency, flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile are just a few of them.
Some European manufacturers even invite their partners to see the manufacturing process firsthand while site visits can be costly or not always feasible with Asian producers.
Harbours high-quality production process
Although still slightly under the radar, many established and smaller-scale European activewear manufacturers can offer an exceptional end-to-end process. As specialists in sportswear production, their in-house teams are highly skilled in all aspects of technical clothing construction, such as odour-free and waterproof garments.
Subsequently, from grasping your vision to the last stitch, the entire production process is overseen by a team of experts. This gives you the luxury of consulting your lead contacts about the best fabrics for your products and strategic cuts for optimal results.
Drives positive environmental, ethical and social impact
Working together with sustainable and ethical European manufacturers allows you to reflect such qualities in your brand. Aside from a reduced carbon footprint and overall environmental impact, the label 'Made in Europe' indicates that your brand is conscious of ethical issues. What's written on your sportswear label today is one of the premium benefits of choosing to work with European manufacturers.
Consumers are becoming increasingly passionate about their sportswear garments and where they're produced. Especially after the tragic 2013 events in Bangladesh, when a manufacturing building collapsed, killing 30-35 workers. As such, they are prepared to spend more on products made in Europe as opposed to products made in Asia because, in their eyes, it adds value to their purchase. It also makes them feel good for not contributing towards exploitation and poor working conditions.
Of course, not all Asian factories are unethical, and vice versa, not all European factories follow ethical practices. But the latter are required to adhere to strict EU laws and regulations, resulting in fairer and better-functioning working conditions.
There's also the social aspect of working with European manufacturers. In Lithuania, for example, existing factories can participate in government-subsidised schemes to tackle unemployment across the country. So, by choosing to work with a European factory like Kirpte, you are also indirectly investing in job creation and making a significant social impact.
Boosts your brand’s image
Just as important is your brand's image, which merges all the above points into one entity, making your sportswear brand a strong, conscious and trusty label.
Not having your activewear produced in 'sweatshops' sends your customers a clear message that you don't just care about profits but also about the environmental and social factors. Most importantly, you are showing your customers that you care about them too by offering sportswear garments that are made in a fair and safe environment.
If you're looking to partner with a European sportswear and teamwear manufacturer, contact us today , and we'll help you turn your ideas into high-quality wearable garments. Our high-standard manufacturing facility, based in Lithuania, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and our expert team is always ready to assist you.