Infographic: How Much Does It Cost To Make A Premium T-Shirt?

Came by this great “Making of a Designer T-Shirt” Infographic by way of online-only luxury essentials maker Everlane’s Facebook page.

At a macro level, it outlines the cost to produce a premium t-shirt from their experience, and sheds some light on the traditional mark-ups in retail supply chains.

Of course the goal of the Infographic is to expose the sometimes insane mark-ups that go into getting a clothing product onto store shelves, and helps reinforce the value an online-only retailer like Everlane brings in offering a direct-to-consumer product.

There is no doubt that if a company wants to offer a product in-store, it definitely has to know it’s cost structure and anticipate the supply chain costs to determine what the retail price will be.

But in most instances, if the company knows it eventually wants to offer it’s products in physical retail, it will either have to find a way to manufacture the product for less, or set the retail pricing appropriately to ensure each entity in the supply chain can get paid for the value and service it provides.

While I’m a big fan of online-only retailers, I understand and fully appreciate the value that physical retailers bring to the shopping ecosystem and experience. The fact remains that it’s really easy for me to jump in my car, and visit 4-5 different stores and look at, feel, and even try on a bunch of tees, all within the span of a few hours. That tangible experience is simply not present in online shopping.

I know that physical retailers are trying to innovate, but I still believe they need to find a better way to bridge the online and offline shopping experience.

Until such time, I’m really happy that online-only clothing retailers like Everlane exist.

Oh, and by the way, I read that Everlane’s $15 t-shirt is pretty darn comfortable too and can double as an undershirt!

2 thoughts on “Infographic: How Much Does It Cost To Make A Premium T-Shirt?”

    • hey tomindc, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and asking the question.

      the costs in the infographic are for a premium t-shirt, likely made in the united states, in lower volumes.

      keep in mind that hanes and fruit of the loom have their own manufacturing facilities, plus they have relationships with certain other manufacturing facilities and likely guarantee, at minimum, tens of millions of undershirts per year. these guys probably get their undershirts fully made for under $1.

      check out this hanes info from 2010:

      During 2010, approximately 63% of our finished goods sold were manufactured through a combination of facilities we [hanes] own and operate and facilities owned and operated by third-party contractors who perform some of the steps in the manufacturing process for us, such as cutting and/or sewing. We sourced the remainder of our finished goods from third-party manufacturers who supply us with finished products based on our designs. We believe that our balanced approach to product supply, which relies on a combination of owned, contracted and sourced manufacturing located across different geographic regions, increases the efficiency of our operations, reduces product costs and offers customers a reliable source of supply.

      think about it, at 10,000,000 undershirts per year alone, that would be around 833,000 per month. if you look at just the united states, divide that by 50, and that leaves a mere 16,000+ undershirts per state. keeping in mind that a state like texas has 25.6+ million people, even if only half (12.5 million) wore undershirts, that equates out to .00128 people would be able to get an undershirt.

      if you 10x that, it still only leaves 166k+ per state (or 6% of that state’s population).

      so keeping the above in mind, just in undershirts alone, the biggies like hanes and fruit of the loom must have pretty low costs not only due to the sheer volume of undershirts they produce per year, but also because they can control raw material and supplier costs as well.

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