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Softlines or ‘soft goods’ are soft products, often but not limited to clothing, made of material or leather including: Clothing, Linens, Towels, Shoes, Belts, Hats, Scarves, Gloves, Bedding, and Pillows.
Softline retailers manufacture or import and sell soft goods, and are often a part of the fashion industry. Large retailers like department stores may sell all types of soft products in the distinct departments related to their use, such as ‘beach towels’ in the vacation department. Numerous smaller retailers often prefer to focus on just a few soft products, for instance, a store selling bedroom furniture and products may also offer bedding and pillows as a part of their inventory.
While soft goods include soft furnishings for use around the home, the most popular products falling under this category are definitely apparel. The global apparel market is valued at 842.7 billion dollars in 2016, up 5.5% from 2015 and constitutes 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. Bearing in mind how large the soft goods market is, SgT have created this guide to producing high-quality softlines in order to help brands and importers assure the best possible quality products and empower them to improve their market share by following proven best-practices and suggestions.
Hit the links below to skip to that section directly, or keep reading to explore various topics such as safeguarding your quality, understanding the cost of quality, how to manage supplier relationships, ethical sourcing, sustainable fashion, outsourcing your quality and more:
Doing business in the fashion industry is not for the faint-hearted. It is a highly competitive and fragmented industry to work in, and not all brands make it out on top. Brands are challenged to continually stay up to date with the changing trends in the industry and adapt to the changes in consumer demands faster.
Buyers, fashion designers and brand owners are expected to predict upcoming trends, and with the rise of the conscious consumer, explore sustainable alternatives. As fast fashion has drastically increased over the last few years, brands are expected to produce quality products that are compliant in record time.
This ever-changing market increases the level of competition amongst designers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, licensors, and retailers in the fight to survive in this cut-throat industry.
Even though the nature of this industry is highly competitive, it can also be regarded as one of the most rewarding and glamorous sectors to work in. Whether you’re looking to get your foot in the door, or looking for ways to scale your brand, there are many factors to consider.