Trouble Finding The Right Sportswear Manufacturer in 2021? Read Now!

This is a complete guide for helping you choose the perfect Sportswear Manufacturers in 2021. We will cover 10 different places you can find sportswear manufacturers, the pros and cons of overseas & domestic sportswear manufacturers, the features or functions of quality sportswear factories, and how you deal with the manufacturers in an efficient way. For your question on choosing sportswear manufacturers in 2021, we are trying our best to reply in this article, the post is written by the experienced staff from sports apparel company Berunwear.

10 Places to Find Sportswear Manufacturers

Verified Supplier Directories

Directories can be your best bet for searching the sportswear manufacturers. But there are many of them are low-quality or outdated, you should spend enough time to investigate the manufacturers and select the one that suits your need.

B2B Marketplaces

The most popular 2 B2B marketplaces are Alibaba and Aliexpress, sportswear manufacturers often sell directly via these platforms so if want to pickup a reliable factory, you can just choose from them. Notice not all of them are the original sportswear manufacturers, you should learn to tell from the middlemen and the factories. Check their lead time and the price, you will find the answer easily.

You also have the added benefit of being able to read reviews and contact previous customers. However, you do need to be wary of scams and you should still undertake due diligence using the guidelines above.


Use search engines such as Google to search for sportswear manufacturers is a convenient way in 2021. But, many sportswear manufacturers often have outdated websites, they are not good at building websites in fact as B2B companies. So, you need to parse 10 to 30 pages on the search engine before deciding on any sportswear manufacturers to work with.

Trying a variety of keywords can help you. Less specific keywords such as “apparel manufacturer” and “sportswear manufacturer” will work as best as specific keywords such as “T-shirt manufacturers” would.


Tradeshows are a direct but money-costing way to meet the sportswear manufacturers. You need to go to the tradeshows, so you can meet the sportswear factory representatives. They can also help you source the fabrics you need.

Industry Meetups

The same goes for industry meetups. You can’t beat talking with a manufacturer face-to-face. It helps to build trust and confidence and establishes a more personal business relationship.

Incubators and Local Fashion Schools

Fashion schools and incubators usually have great relationships with sportswear manufacturers. They do make use of the manufacturers regularly. Calling or visiting a fashion school or fashion incubator can help you access some of the top-rated sportswear manufacturers in 2021.

Local Library

While you may think it is impossible to find sportswear manufacturers via local libraries, it isn’t. Libraries feature some paid or exclusive access to directories which can help with your search. Some of the otherwise expensive directories may be affordable or even free at your local library.

Social-media Apps

Also, do some research on social media as well. There is already plenty of information out there for you to read and it can be easy to find people looking to share their recommendations on different sportswear manufacturers.


You can try some online forms which discuss sportswear and more specifically sportswear manufacturers. Many sportswear business owners will post there to find quality sportswear manufacturers like you.


If you have friends or relatives or anyone around you doing sports apparel business like you, just ask their opinion, your true friend will give you the right suggestion.

Domestic and Overseas Sportswear Manufacturers

When it comes to choosing overseas sportswear manufacturers or domestic manufacturers, first of all, you should know what’s is the most important factor for you. Quality or Price or Speed or you have any other special requirement? No matter domestic US/UK/CA/AU sportswear manufacturers or overseas Chinese sportswear manufacturers, they have their own advantages and disadvantages. The one that suits you most should be the best choice for you.

To those of you choose domestic sportswear manufacturers;

The Advantages

Easy and efficient communication – Communication with suppliers is much easier. In most cases, you won’t have to deal with time zone issues and cultural conflicts.

Cheaper shipping rates and faster shipping times – This means that you get to fulfill all the orders made by your customers more quickly. Also, with lower shipping rates, you get a better profit margin.

You won’t have to deal with tariffs and duties – Both tariffs and duties eat into your profit margin.

Intellectual property right protection – This ensures that your symbols, names, images, or even artistic works are safe.

The Disadvantages

Higher manufacturing costs – This means that the products you are sourcing from the US manufacturers may be more expensive.

The choice of potential factories is smaller – The US does not have a large number of manufacturers.

Smaller product choice – Very few of the products being sold in the US are manufactured in the country.

To those of you choose overseas Chinese sportswear manufacturers;

The Advantages

Lower order budget – You have reduced expenses on your Wholesale Sportswear order because of the cheap labor cost and manufacturing cost and material cost.

Huge sportswear catalog – T-shirts, Polos, Hoodies, Jackets, Tops, Shorts, Pants, Vests, and even the sportswear accessories such as hats, face masks, neck gaiters, socks you can customize.

Small Order Accept – The factories can accept bulk orders and small orders.

The Disadvantages

High shipping fee– You have to pay for the international shipping fee, the overall cost is reduced but the shipping fee is higher.

Slow delivery – Wait for overseas shipment is a must if you choose the Chinese sportswear manufacturers.

What is Quality Sportswear Manufacturers?

★  Huge Collection of Sportswear

For that, the primary thing we need to see is that they have a lot of variety of products for sportswear or activewear or athletic wear or gym wear. The more the collection of sports clothes the easier it would be for us to choose the best from them.

★  Reasonable Pricing

As a business owner, you are not looking to only sell Sportswear and barely make any profit. You are doing a business to provide quality products to your customers and in return earn good profit margins. So check if their products are overpriced or rightly priced. You can do so by comparing with other manufacturers. Try to get the lowest possible prices without compromising on quality.

★  Fast Response

We all do not want to wait endlessly for our products. The fast response not only means fast to respond to your email or chat but fast to design, fast to produce and fast to shipping. Find a list of Sportswear manufacturers, tell them your need and your desired sportswear concept, and ask them to give you a quick response. The one who can send you a reply at the fastest speed with good quality will be a proper sports apparel manufacturer to you.

★  Ease of Business

While looking and finalizing your sportswear supplier or manufacturer you will also be looking forward to the ones who are easy to be contacted and communicated with. Language shouldn’t be your barrier and they can be reachable at most times in your schedule. Most importantly, their payment, shipping methods, and websites are easy to use for you.

★  Private Label Manufacturer

Build, establish, and promote your sportswear brand to the clients is the ultimate goal of us. So your chosen sportswear manufacturer should be a private label manufacturer as well, they should have the ability to custom-made and produce unique labels, hangtags, and packaging polybags for you. It’s a must for any quality sportswear manufacturer factory.

More Tips for Selecting Sportswear Manufacturers 2021

  1. You should have backups, one sportswear manufacturer is not enough, prepare a list of others in case if anything goes wrong with the first sportswear manufacturer.
  2. Reliability is key for sportswear manufacturers, and if they are slow responding or late with their first set of samples, you should be listening to the alarm bells.
  3. You can try and get your factory to sign a contract, but note that this is very difficult and complicated. Many won’t, and even if they do, the contract will likely not be worth the paper its printed on. That’s why gut instinct is important in these situations, you want to make sure you trust this person to do the job they say they will. And make sure to keep records of EVERYTHING, so that you can reference it should there be a problem down the line.
  4. When analyzing samples, do a quality assurance (QA) check. Check the seams (stitches) whether they are even, have unnecessary give, etc.
  5. Do wash tests to see if your colors fade or spill and ask your athletic clothing manufacturers to conduct stretch and recovery tests at proper labs for you to further assess.
  6. Ensure that the activewear manufacturers you speak to have experience.
  7. When reviewing manufacturers, always ask for references, carefully inspect previous product quality, and when you can, visit the factory floor to get a better sense of the company and the way they work.

How to Request a Quote from Sportswear Manufacturers?

  1. Ask the MOQ

MOQ is the minimum order quantity. Every sportswear manufacturer has its own moq. Some require wholesale start from 100 pieces, others can do MOQ=50. You can express your special need and try to negotiate with them to lower the MOQ. Berunware supports the Lowest MOQ in the sportswear wholesale, only 30 pieces.

  1. Ask the Free Samples

Sportswear samples are the key before placing an order. So you should ask them whether or not offer free samples or sample fees can be returned after the bulk order. Generally speaking, samples aren’t free, but most manufacturers will send you this part of the money back once you wholesale from them in the end.

  1. Ask the Lead Time

Lead time and shipping time are 2 important factors for sportswear manufacturers. The one can manufacturer fastly and deliver clothing quickly can be your good option. You should have your own timeframe, so you would better get to know their exact lead time and shipping time to see if they can satisfy your need.

  1. Ask the Hidden Costs

Hidden costs are here, do not spend money too easily. Ask the sportswear manufacturer to tell you what’s the hidden fee, where is it and how much is it. So you won’t be shocked when checking the final price.

  1. Ask the Certifications

Quality of sportswear is important, so to guarantee the quality, you should look for a sportswear manufacturer with some internationally recognized certifications. If on their sites they say they have, ask them to show you.

This is not the ending on sportswear manufacturers guidance, but I have to stop here, if you have many more other questions, welcome to ask here at [email protected]. Berunwear is a quality sportswear manufacturer but your sportswear business helper too.