In 2020, the global custom apparel and t-shirt market was worth about $3.64 billion, and between 2021 and 2028, it is set to grow at a CAGR of 9.7%.
Asia-Pacific, for instance, accounted for the most significant share (37.6%) of the market in 2020, mainly attributable to countries such as India and China, where fashion consciousness and eCommerce popularity are growing in a big way.
In North American countries such as the US and Canada, the demand for t-shirts has always been high due to the popularity of outdoor games in their culture.
For textile printing companies looking to expose their brand to a broader audience in 2021, custom printed t-shirts are a great option, particularly because personalized clothing is becoming increasingly popular as a fashion choice. Everyone wants to feel special!
In addition, custom apparel and t-shirts are often used to share slogans that raise awareness about social issues and causes worth supporting. Particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown, the fashion industry witnessed a surge in eCommerce purchases.
Several new custom clothing brands began selling t-shirts and other apparel that combined stay-at-home comfort with fashion. Clearly, the niche industry is only going to grow from here. Although it does require some investment, a top quality printer is worth the money if you want to venture into this business. Options like an Epson direct-to-garment printer are recommended as they offer industrial-grade reliability, without the need of having to print in bulk and storing inventory. The next section explores reasons why it could be an area of interest for you:
Reasons behind the growth of custom apparel and t-shirt industry in US and Canada
The t-shirt is a garment popular among people of all ages. The reason it saw a new spike in demand during the pandemic was because shoppers searched for fashionable loungewear available in a variety of styles and fits that was comfortable to wear and highly affordable. Here is why starting a custom apparel and t-shirt printing business in 2021 is a great idea:
1. Fulfilling the increased demand for branding
Thousands of companies launch every year, making it hard for any individual company to stand out. That is where branding comes in.
Placing a logo, the company name, and other relevant information on a t-shirt is great for casually sharing the brand message without overt marketing. Wherever the wearer goes, people will notice the brand on the t-shirt, gaining valuable attention for the brand.
As long as the company invests in designing stylish, well-fitted branded t-shirts, people will be happy to wear them. As a Canadian fabric printing business, you have a massive market to sell personalized apparel to such companies so that they can fulfill their branding requirements.
2. Attracting TV fans worldwide
Television shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, and Suits have massive fan followings worldwide that are proud to flaunt their tastes. The Canadian consumers are no exception.
Stylish t-shirts featuring characters, logos, or quotes from these shows will thus sell like hotcakes. The purchaser can choose a print design and background color, font color, font size, and so on, making it a genuinely personalized t-shirt.
All you need to do is ensure you have multiple vendors that sell print-ready customizable templates on your apparel printing store.
3. Boosting the team spirit
Over the last several years, many Canadian brands have recognized the importance of building a strong company culture that boosts employee morale. Custom t-shirts act as an extra emotional bond with the company.
When team members wear them, they feel an extra sense of loyalty to the brand they are part of and more camaraderie with their teammates. Make sure your printing company caters to the demand for such custom apparel.
4. Enabling long-term customer loyalty
The best way to get customers to stick with a brand is by creating a top-notch experience for them. Many brands respond to this by offering custom t-shirts as a freebie with a minimum order value on their websites. This is a more personal touch than merely relying on marketing emails and helps the customer feel special.
5. Successfully doing off-the-clock marketing
With custom t-shirts, Canadian companies do not need to worry about clock-out hours or limited-period ad windows. Customers and employees will be happy to wear fashionable t-shirts anywhere and everywhere, making it a highly effective one-time marketing investment. Therefore, why not start selling them now?
6. Selling apparel cost-effectively
T-shirts are far less expensive to make and distribute than other forms of marketing, such as billboards. When made with high-quality material, it also has a long shelf life, so your Canadian printing business can continue selling custom apparel for a long time.
7. Promoting sustainability
People everywhere are conscious about the need to protect the planet and its biodiversity, and t-shirts with messages to that tune are likely to appeal to environmentally conscious customers. Canadian clothing companies, too, want to do their bit when it comes to fighting climate change and protecting the environment.
Therefore, bonus points when the t-shirts themselves are made from recycled or minimum-waste material. If you can sell such apparel on your eCommerce store, that would be great for your CSR initiatives and sales!
How to build a t-shirt printing business with web-to-print technology
Having your custom apparel and t-shirt business is less complicated than you might imagine. With web-to-print technology, you can set up your business and start selling straight away. Web-to-print is the best way to appeal to customers who want their personalized apparel at reasonable prices. Here is why it is ideal for a new business:
1. Maximise efficiency
Managing multiple vendors and simultaneously catering to customers can be challenging. With a web-to-print portal, however, you can allow your vendors in Canada and worldwide to take all their orders from a single admin panel and track the progress of each order. A single portal also makes it easier for your team members to coordinate with each other.
2. Offer an extensive design library
A web-to-print tool is the easiest way to let customers design their t-shirts and custom apparel by enabling them to choose from an extensive library of pre-made templates and designs should they wish to. A lot of customers prefer speed and convenience over in-depth personalization, and this allows you to cater to both.
3. Have branded storefronts
What the homepage of an eCommerce site looks like will often determine whether a customer chooses to browse further.
The t shirt designer software enables you to have a professional-looking storefront with attractive branding, clean layouts, ease of browsing, and other features.
Dedicated vendor pages with products and reviews will help each vendor promote their business better and thus act as an incentive for them to sign up with you.
4. Add extra customer bonuses
With the plethora of eCommerce options available online, Canadian customers have come to expect high-quality products, timely delivery, and excellent customer service as the bare minimum, and this behavior is here to stay.
This is where adding extra features like a 3D preview of what their t-shirt will look like or pre-designed templates to make the job easier will help you stand out, and a t-shirt design software solution will help you accomplish just that.
5. Enable faster order fulfillment
Web-to-print provides a one-stop solution that streamlines the order placement, shipping, tracking, and delivery process for both your team and your customers. Automated, accurate processes make for happy buyers and happy vendors, which is excellent news for your printing business.
Key players to look out for in your niche
Some of the key names in the Canadian custom t-shirt industry include Vistaprint, Printful, Entripy, Get Bold, Mad Monkey Apparel, and Ottawa Custom Clothing.
These players are engaging in multiple strategies to expand their market share, including new research and development and mergers and acquisitions.
Several companies are also investing in ways to reduce their order fulfillment time, as Printful did in October 2019 by opening a second fulfillment center in Europe.
Wrapping it up
The global custom apparel and t-shirt market is a great place to be in for new print businesses. The increased demand for loungewear post-COVID and the fondness for TV/movie merchandise will continue to fuel the popularity of custom t-shirts in Canada and on a global scale — COVID-19 or not.
With a creative eye and an efficient web-to-print portal set up, you can kick off your own thriving business today. Talk to Design’N’Buy for prompt support in deploying a t-shirt design studio of your choice. Our quality service will enthrall you! Speak to you soon.