build your brand

Take control. Create your own fashion brand.

minute/s remaining

quick summary

In this article, you'll learn...

What is private label?

Private label products or designs are a special type of product that sits in the grey area between fully custom and white label. 

private label vs Custom

Custom products are fully-custom, meaning that you have fully control over every variable. Private label gives you control over some variables, but not all.

private label vs white label

White label products are what we refer to as "customizable". These types of products allow you to choose color and place your own label, logo, etc, but may offer more limited customization options.

private label pros & cons

Private label products offer a wide variety of customization options versus a white label, but fewer than fully custom. Whether this best meets your needs will depend on your brand and budget.

all about

Private Label Fashion

Private label products are becoming a staple of the retail industry, both online and in brick & mortar retail. Private labeling is found in every type of product sold today, from food to clothing to consumer electronics. We're going to break down private labeling for you. We'll explain why private label products are a perfect solution for small and large businesses around the world. We'll also tell you about our company and why Prototype is a great choice for private label clothing manufacturing.

What Does Private Label Mean?

A private label product is a type of product that can be customized and/or labeled in various ways to make the product uniquely your own. It takes a lot of time, effort and expense to develop a custom product. The costs and time required to developing a private label product is greatly reduced as compared to a custom product. 

Many of the products you see on the market today being sold by major brands are actually private labeled. This means that the can of beans being sold by one major brand is often produced in the same factory as  the can of beans you'll see at an off-brand retailer. However, the recipe may be tweaked to better suit each retailer. 

Similarly, in fashion, a private label fashion product being sold by a major brand might be, and often is, coming off the same production line as a competitor, a small brand or even a discount retailer. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the products are the same. They will typically have been customized in various ways to suit the specific requirements of the retailer.

How do private label products work?

When you private label a product you are buying the rights to resell a product that a manufacturer has developed. In most cases, the basic "building blocks" of the product can't be altered, such as the essential specs, patterns or dimensions. The features that you are able to change are controlled by the manufacturer. With private label clothing, for example, you might be to change the location of a pocket but not the size of the pocket itself.


What's the difference between a private label and a brand?

Private label is upstream of a "brand". Once the brand has selected the configuration of the product, and their own tags and labels are applied, it becomes the property of the brand. Then, it's on-sold direct-to-consumer or to a wholesaler. Very rarely is a private label item sold directly from the manufacturer to the end consumer.


What is an example of a private label brand?

Truthfully, private label is EVERYWHERE now. Most large retail chains, like H&M for example, sell private label clothing that was developed by a manufacturer. The designs are then proposed to the buyers. The buyers from the big retailers simply view the product catalog and make their selections with whatever brand-specific modifications they may require.

A very common example is in the supermarket. You'll often see a "house brand" food item next to the brand name item. The house label is typically cheaper and "compares to" the name brand. In Costco, for example, you'll see Kirkland Signature items on nearly every shelf. Those are private label goods that have been sourced from private label manufacturers.


Is private label profitable?

Private label products can be very profitable, yes. Particularly in the case where a company does not have the infrastructure to independently develop every product it sells, it makes sense to use private label designs to fill out your product offerings and provide you with more variety to sell. If you're able to mark up those products and make your cut without having to bear all the development costs, then private label is definitely a profitable option for any business.

What Can Be Customized With Private Label?

With private label clothing, you'll be able to make selections such as a choice of fabrics, prints, or even supplying your own print. You may also be able to make certain design decisions such as the type of collar, button or zipper selection, placement of pockets or other design features. 

Private Label differs from White Label in that there is a wider selection of customization options. A good way to think about it is that white label products would typically be something that could be ready-made and simply have your branding applied and sent to you. With private labeling, however, all the products are made-to-order.

In fashion, private label products can often be customized in the following ways...

Choose your preferred fabric color or sometimes a custom dye is available. Digital printing may be available, as well as other types of printing.

Choose from a variety of finishes and trims. Items such as buttons and hardware may be chosen to suit.

All types of labels, tags, logos and artwork can be customized. Placement locations for all the above is often up to the client as well.

Private Label Advantages

Some advantages to private labeling a product:

  1. The cost is considerably less than developing your own unique product
  2. Saves a great deal of time vs. custom product development
  3. Can be far more unique than a white label product
  4. Perfect for many types of retailers

Private Label Disadvantages

The downsides of using a private label design:

  1. As compared with fully custom design, the customization options may limit your creativity to some degree
  2. Private label products can take longer to produce than white label
  3. Private label products can sometimes be more expensive than white label

The Prototype Advantage

Private labeling helps you to put your own unique stamp on a product, making it uniquely your own, without the hassle and expense of developing your own fully custom product. However, you have to be careful about where you purchase your goods. Private label products can appear deceiving online. If you've been through the process elsewhere before, then you know how incredibly frustrating the process can be! 

Excellent Customer Service

We'll help guide you to the best result for you and your brand. We've worked with 100s of clients just like you and we know what you need.

Experienced Team

Our team of fashion experts hails from around the globe. All this experience becomes your competitive advantage when working with Prototype.

Unique Products

All of our products are available only right here. We design and develop our products specifically to meet the needs of our discerning clients. 


Enjoyed this? 

You can find more great content here:

Swimwear Manufacturers
Fashion Branding Services
>