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Blog / Beginner's handbook / Grow Your Brand with On-Demand Clothing Manufacturing

Beginner's handbook

How to Grow Your Brand with On-Demand Clothing Manufacturing

How to Grow Your Brand with On-Demand Clothing Manufacturing
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

7 min read

On-demand clothing manufacturing gives fashion brands a more sustainable way to run a business. It’s better for the environment and provides flexibility to store owners. 

In this article, we’ll cover what sets the on-demand model apart from standard manufacturing, 7 benefits for on-demand brand owners, how to choose a print-on-demand partner, and how to launch your business with Printful. Let’s get started!

What is on-demand clothing manufacturing?

On-demand clothing manufacturing is a production model where garments are made after they’re bought, eliminating the need to hold inventory. Such an approach allows businesses to offer a wide range of products without the risk of unsold stock. This model is especially popular in the ecommerce and dropshipping sectors, letting business owners quickly respond to market trends and customer demands.

7 benefits of on-demand manufacturing

On-demand manufacturing is the best option for sellers who don’t want to buy stock in bulk or take care of product printing themselves.

Valuable read: 10 Differences Between Print-on-Demand vs. Do-It-Yourself

And there are clear benefits to this business model. Let’s go over the main ones.

The on-demand clothing production offers a significant advantage for store owners by eliminating the need for stock management. That means you can say goodbye to the challenges of paying for storage space, inventory upkeep, and many, many other aspects of handling stock. 

With products made only when orders are placed, you can streamline your operations, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of losing money. This lean approach lets you focus more on growing your business and less on managing physical stock.

Plus, you can swiftly adapt to fluctuating demand. Let’s say you’re selling custom t-shirts or custom hoodies that are consistently among the bestselling print-on-demand products. You don’t have to try to predict how much stock you’ll need and buy it in advance, you simply have to design a product and add it to your store. Your print-on-demand supplier takes care of the stock management.

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Create and sell custom products online
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With on-demand manufacturing, you can swiftly respond to changing trends and fluctuating demand. Because you don’t buy products in bulk and don’t have to wait for products to arrive, you can introduce new products much faster. This agility gives you a competitive edge, as you can offer the latest products before your competitors. It’s an efficient way to keep your store fresh and ahead of the curve.

Depending on the print-on-demand (POD) partner you choose, you get varied levels of product personalization options. With Printful, you can put your logo on labels, sleeves, and packaging. Personalizing your products in the on-demand model sets you apart from the competition and builds brand loyalty.

Plus, you can let your customers personalize their orders with Printful’s personalization tool

It’s no secret that the fashion industry creates tons of waste every year, harming the environment. Compared to the standard bulk business model, on-demand clothing manufacturing is a greener choice that significantly reduces waste. Producing items only after they’re bought eliminates overproduction and the consequent excess inventory that becomes waste. 

That aligns your store with sustainable business practices and resonates with eco-conscious consumers. Choosing this model demonstrates your commitment to environmental responsibility, potentially boosting your brand’s appeal and fostering a positive image among your customers.

Embracing on-demand manufacturing means you can eliminate the problem of unsold inventory. That means you never lose your money because of unsold products.

This approach essentially frees up your finances by reducing unnecessary costs, allowing you to grow your profits or use the money for marketing. 

For new POD store owners, one of the most compelling benefits is the low initial investment required. Unlike traditional retail models that entail substantial upfront costs for inventory, on-demand manufacturing allows you to start your business with minimal financial investment. This model lowers the barrier to entry, making it feasible for entrepreneurs to launch their stores and test new product ideas without the risk of losing money.

On-demand manufacturing lets store owners have a global market presence effortlessly. Because your POD provider’s supply chain becomes yours, you can reach people worldwide without the constraints of managing and shipping products. The on-demand production simplifies logistics and can reduce shipping times. 

How to choose on-demand clothing manufacturers

Choosing your on-demand provider is arguably the most important business decision you must make initially. Because the entire on-demand clothing production is overseen by your provider, product quality, your brand’s reputation, and customer satisfaction are entirely in their hands.

To choose the right partner, research their production times, read customer reviews on product quality and shipping cost, and test the design process.

How to sell on-demand clothing with Printful

In this article, we’ll briefly cover the steps to get started. If you want more details on each step, check out our guide on starting a store with Printful.

To launch your clothing brand, start by creating your Printful account. You can sign up using your Facebook, Google, Apple account, or email. It’s free and easy to do.


a screenshot of a web pageSource: Printful

First, you need to decide which ecommerce platform or marketplace you want to use for selling clothes. Here’s how they’re different.


a screenshot of a websiteSource: Printful

To get an in-depth comparison and take a 1-minute quiz to see which platform suits you best, visit our integrations page.

Next, link your store to Printful. To do so, go to the side menu in your Dashboard and click Stores > Choose platform to see your options. 

a screenshot of a computerSource: Printful

From there, simply choose your platform or marketplace and follow the steps.

You have several ways to go about choosing the on-demand products you want to have on your store. Here are your options:

a screenshot of a clothing storePrintful’s catalog. Source: Printful

Unsure how to pick the right products? We’ve created an article on how to choose print-on-demand products for your store.

There are 3 ways to add products to your store:

  • Printful Dashboard > Product templates > Add to store

  • Printful Dashboard > Stores > Add product

  • On any open product page, click Add to store

Regardless of your choice, you’ll automatically be redirected to our step-by-step system to add items from your Printful account to your store. During this process, you’ll be able to choose your mockups, add product details, and set your pricing.

Printful logo
man with jacket
Printful logo
Create and sell custom products online
Let’s go

Next, you’ll need to decide what shipping strategy you want to use. You can charge your customers the full price Printful charges you, increase product prices to cover a part of the shipping cost or offer free shipping by incorporating the shipping price into your product prices.

Valuable read: A Complete Guide to Ecommerce Shipping Pricing

You’re almost done. The last thing you need to do is set up a way for your customers to pay you and your payment method to pay Printful. Check out our payment guide for in-depth information on how the payment process works, how to price your products, and more.

preview play-button

To accept customer transactions, you must set up a payment service provider for your store. To do it, follow your ecommerce platform’s instructions. You can set up direct bank transfers and online payment systems like PayPal and credit cards.

Remember that the money customers pay you won’t go directly to Printful. You’ll receive it from your chosen payment provider. Then you’ll have to pay Printful for your orders.

Here are the payment methods Printful accepts.

a group of logos with textSource: Printful

And that’s it! You’re ready to market your products and start selling with the on-demand model.

Your payments will go through the Printful Wallet for quicker payment processing and fewer transaction errors. Your profits will also go to your Printful Wallet, and you can withdraw the money anytime.

Valuable read: 10 Effective Ways How to Market a Product


On-demand clothing manufacturing is an ethical alternative to standard production because it eliminates dead stock. It’s also one of the most beginner-friendly business models because the cost to start is low—you only need to pay for your customer order and the fees of the ecommerce platform or marketplace hosting your store.

This production method also allows you to experiment with your offering without any financial risks.


By Karlina Rozkalne on Feb 26, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.