Do you want to start a T-shirt business but you want to go niche and be unique? If YES, here are 28 best T-shirt business ideas & opportunities. T-shirts are a staple part of wardrobes across the globe. Clever entrepreneurs have identified the popularity of this product and have started thinking about starting their own T-shirt businesses.
The T-shirt business is a popular choice for both beginner and veteran entrepreneurs. This is because t-shirts are cheap to source, have universal appeal and are relatively simple to customize.
Today, the T-shirt printing business is one of the few businesses that can be started with a small capital and it promises large returns in many countries around the world. All it requires is little money and a lot of dedication and hard work. With almost everyone wearing T-shirts, there is ample room in the industry for entrepreneurs armed with a good idea and plenty of energy to execute it.
Over the past five years, the T-Shirt Sales industry has grown by 9.5% to reach a revenue of $441m in 2017. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 9.9% and the number of employees has grown by 8.3%.
In 2016, the global custom t-shirt printing market was valued at 1.16 billion U.S. dollars, and was forecast to reach a value of 3.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. With the t-shirt industry ever expanding, now is the right time to start your business.
If you are looking for ways to get into the lucrative t-shirt industry, we have provided you a couple of well-fitting ideas that you can start off with.
Best T-Shirts Business ideas
Sell t-shirts online
One of the businesses you can build around t-shirts is to start selling t-shirts online. We all know that the normal brick and mortar store is now moving online and people find it easier to order their stuffs from an online market place.
The first thing to do here is to get yourself a website where you can display the wares you have available. The next thing to do is to do is to market your online store. How you can market your online store is to get SEO for your website so that your site ranks high in Google.
If you get good ranking in Google, you will have a better chance of people seeing you first before your competitors. You can equally take your marking endeavors to your social media pages where you can post things relevant to your business, and solicit buyers for your wares.
Sell t-shirt designs online
Are you an avid designer? Can you make beautiful creations on t-shirts that can attract people to buy? Then you can start selling you designs online. There are various online platforms that you can upload your designs on and get willing buyers.
There is zazzle, threadless, sellmytees, etc. You can choose any one of them that you feel is best for you. How you can go about this is to create your designs and upload them on the platform.
You then have to spread the word about your creations. Note that if you do not market you t-shirt designs, you may not get much sales. The next part is to sit back and watch as your orders are printed and sent directly to your buyers. When your orders re shipped, you get paid.
Bulk sale of t-shirts
Another way you can get into the t-shirts business is to sell t-shirts in bulk. This business may cost you more to start initially as you need to have enough money to get the shirts in bulk.
If you are able to get good, unique t-shirts, you can start taking them to retailers, who would then stock them in the shops and sell to the final buyer. You can as well get unprinted shirts and sell to printers who always need these shirts for their business.
Start t-shirt dropshipping business
Dropshipping is the best way to start your t-shirt business if you do not have a lot of money for inventory. Because of the relative ease of starting this business, there are more people to contend with in the market. Dropshipping this a new method of e-commerce business, one big advantage of dropshipping is that it allows sellers not have or to keep inventory.
You can start your Online business at any time without worrying about funds. The first step to starting this business is to find the best t-shirt dropshippers.
If you work with the best t-shirt dropshippers, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary troubles, such as shipping problems, product quality issues, product packaging issues and so on. There are a lot of them, and a little bit of research will reveal them to you.
Blogging on t-shirts and apparels in general
Another way you can start a business in the t-shirt industry is to start blogging on the issue of t-shirts and apparels in general. There are a lot of topics that can be covered in this subject.
You can equally start advertising dropship companies, print on demand companies, wholesale t-shirt stores, and what have you. You can make money through this medium by monetizing your blog and through other formats that have not been mentioned here yet.
Sell vintage t-shirts
The sale of vintage t-shirts is another way to can get a foot into the t-shirt industry. Just like toys and records, vintage band T-shirts have been big business for years now, despite high-street shops selling mass-produced copies. Vintage T-shirts have become an increasingly popular fashion must-have that everybody is raving for them.
Vintage t-shirts are so casual an cute that it makes people look good without looking like they are trying too hard. You can start a business around this new trend. You can start selling your t-shirts online or in a brick and mortar store front. You can also sell your wares from a mobile vehicle and it would still be acceptable.
Sell t-shirt printing equipment
The t-shirt has become one of the staples in casual wear for both men and women over the past few decades. Not only are they classic casual wears, but t-shirts are also widely used as casual wears for entrepreneurs and artists alike. Because of their versatility, a lot of entrepreneurs have set up t-shirt printing businesses. For this reason, there is now a high demand for t-shirt printing machines.
There are different types of printers and accessories that people need for their t-shirt printing business, and it is your duty to sell these machines. You can start selling printing machines online or offline, but you have to make sure that your machines are from a reputable supplier. You also have to make sure that you offer warranties.
Become a t-shirt designer
There are a lot of ways you can gain relevance in the t-shirt industry, and one of them is to become a t-shirt designer. If you are proficient enough, you can attach yourself to a t-shirt manufacturing company and design for them. The average annual income for a T-shirt designer was $39,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Indeed.com.
Educational qualifications can vary based on the job description. Those who design the T-shirts for fashion companies usually need associates or bachelor’s degrees in fashion design. You can equally decide to design and print your t-shirts on your own, or you can just sell the designs online.
Starting a small screen printing business at home can be a lucrative endeavor. With a small initial investment, plenty of motivation, and a solid marketing plan, you can launch your own screen printing business and turn a profit in no time. Custom screen printers specialize in wholesale T-shirts printing to order for clients such as sports teams, schools, restaurants and bands.
They run screen printing shops using presses and dryers designed for garment printing. An order for 72 shirts would take less than 25 minutes to print and you would charge at least $8.00 per shirt for 6 colors or $576.00. $144.00 72 shirts would cost about $2.00 each when you buy in dozens. $ 21.00 Screen making materials average about 3.50 per screen.
But while it is true that you can buy a screen printing package and make money screen printing garments in your spare time, running a successful screen printing business requires more than just good equipment. The skills and knowledge required to screen print successfully cannot be learned overnight
10. Start selling t-shirts On eBay
Ebay is one of the biggest online retail platforms where one can comfortably list his or her products and start making a sale.
It is quite easy to set up a retail store on eBay. You only need to register on the platform, upload pictures of your t shirts, and wait for people to bid on your products. To sell on eBay, know that you must have your products at hand so you can ship them to your buyers.
Sell baby t-shirts
Companies like Zazzle are standing out with their iconic line of baby t-shirts, and you can too. You only need to create really nice designs that can appeal to mums. While you are at it, you should also think of ways you can bring these t-shirts to the attention of mums so that you can start making sales.
You should know that no matter how beautiful your designs are, if people don’t see them, then you are heading nowhere in the industry. Since your tshirts are aimed at babies, you need to make sure that you use soft fabrics that would suit their skin when printing your designs.
Become T-shirt Customizer
A t-shirt customizer is someone, or a business that helps people bring their t-shirt ideas to life. A t-shirt customizer takes your ideas and prints it on a tshirt. You can start a business where you have the full equipment to help people put the designs in their minds on the shirt. You can even create ideas for people who need suggestions.
Run a mobile t-shirt truck
We have seen the food on wheel, now we have the tshirt on wheels. Now, people are stocking their batch of tshirts on a truck and sticking them on the road. It is now easy to spot a mobile business selling tshirts.
This can be an easy business to start if you have a truck already, and you can easily make money by taking your truck to fairs and places where a lot of people gather. Another way to go about this business is to take your screen printing equipment and some shirts and go around to fairs printing t shirts on the spot for people who provide their own ideas.
Sell your t-shirts on amazon
Another way to make money from the t-shirt business is to sell your wares on amazon. Amazon is one of the biggest online markets and you can make good money if you are able to get your business noticed.
The cost of selling one shirt on Amazon is around $12 per shirt, so if you price your shirts at Amazon’s suggested $19.99, you can make $8 per sale. Your shirt will go through an approval process before it goes live on Amazon. On average, the approval process takes about 12 hours, but it can sometimes take a few days.
Sell plain t-shirts
Printers that print t-shirts always need plain t-shirts to print on, and this can make you a good business. You can start sourcing these t-shirts for the manufacturers and selling them to printers that need them. Take note of the specifications before you start making your purchase.
These are some of the high quality brands that printers are always looking out for. Alstyle 1301, Gildan 2000, and Hanes Beefy tee 5180.
These are heavy weight durable tees with high quality hems. They weigh 6.0 – 6.3 oz. Next Level 3600, Bella Canvas 3001, and Anvil 980, 4.2oz all make a light weight combed ringspun tees. These shirts are super soft, and have fitted cuts.
Open a print-on-demand t-shirt company
Print on Demand is when you sell your own custom designs on various different types of products. A Print-On-Demand T-shirt Fulfillment Company provides the printing and shipping of T-Shirts to customers.
They take the order information that you enter manually or that they take from your store directly, then print and ship the shirt out to the customer ‘in your name’. This method eases the demand on sellers and dropsippers who can conveniently use your services.
Start a t-shirt line
The t-shirt is a staple in casual wear and has been universally accepted by both men and women the last few decades. Not only are they a classic piece of casual wear, but t-shirts are a blank canvas for artists and entrepreneurs alike. On this blank canvas, you can start a very profitable business by printing your own tshirts.
But with the growth in popularity of t-shirts businesses, there’s no doubt you’ll be facing some stiff competition. To break through, you’ll need to have t-shirt designs people love, a brand people cherish and quality people trust. You must make sure that your brrand stands out from the competition if you want to be successful with your business.
Start a Direct-to-Garment business
Direct-to-garment digital printing is a more cost efficient alternative to custom screen printing in some niches. While screen printing offers price economy for full color printing in print runs of 100 and higher, direct-to-garment is often the less expensive alternative when you need to print custom orders as low as one piece at a time.
The startup cost of direct-to-garment digital printing is higher than startup costs for screen printing. Basic digital printing machines start at about $12,000.
Another way you can get into the tshirt industry is to open a shop where you retail tshirts to your community. Many T-shirt retail shops target specific market niches. Location is an important consideration in running a retail T-shirt operation.
For example, Haight Ashbury T-shirts in San Francisco targets the tourist trade with a store at the historic intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, which became a famous cultural center during the “Flower Power” movement of the 1960s. T-shirt brand American Apparel targets young hipsters with it’s line of form fitting shirts, locating stores in stylish urban markets. This goes to show that you need a unique location for the type of tshirts you want to sell.
Become a t-shirt distributor
Before products reach consumers, it has to go through manufacturers, then distributors then retailers. You can start your business by deciding to focus of one of these niches. Being a t-shirt distributor entails that you make the t-shirts available to retailers by taking them from the manufacturers and shipping them down.
To start this business, you have to liaise with t-shirt manufacturers in your area so they can allow you to become their distributor. Once you have settled that area, you have to now form a network with retailers so you can deliver your products to them. Your remuneration would be based on commission most times.
Sell women’s t-shirt
Another growing market in the t-shirt industry is the women’s t-shirt market. Today, it can be seen that woman wear t-shirts even as frequently as their male counterparts. Being that women and men do not share the same type and sizes of t-shirts, so you can focus of selling female t-shirts exclusively.
Because women are more likely to splurge on their clothing, so you would find a good market segment here. The only thing you need to do is to stock very beautiful and feminine designs that can appeal to their tastes.
Make t-shirts out of recycled materials
With the wind of recycling blowing around, you would make a name for yourself if you key into this trend. One way you can do this is to is to start making your t-shirts out of recycled materials. You would not lack a customer base if you do this as people who are very eager to help the planet would sure purchase your goods. In fact, you will be fulfilling all their t-shirt and other clothing related needs.
Sell muscle tees
People that have muscles are always keen on showing off their hard work, and you can make a good business out of this. Instead of retailing the normal everyday t-shirts, you can start selling what they call muscle tees. Why these t-shirts are different is that instead of having full sleeves, they are sleeveless, or have sleeves like a singlet. This t-shirt would sell well in a warmer climate where people do not need to cover up.
Sell men’s t-shirt
Instead of selling women or unisex t-shirts, one can choose to sell male t-shirts exclusively. With a lot of men wearing nothing but t-shirts on a regular basis, this business idea is set you make you a lot of money in a short while. You only need to make sure that your t-shirts look masculine enough, and you are able to market your business.
Plus size people always have the trouble of not getting their size in clothing they admire, and this can be really frustrating. To change this, you can focus on selling plus size t-shirts that come in different sizes, so that anyone, no matter how big, can find their size in your store. This is a really good niche to capitalize on.
Print and sell tech enhanced t-shirts
Of course, there are t-shirts that have been enhanced technologically. Entrepreneurs worldwide have come up with new twists and spins on the humble T-shirt and sweatshirt business so that your tees now have innovative designs and functions, and are sold unconventionally.
There is a new brand of t-shirts that can be scanned by a mobile phone. The T-shirts feature a datamatrix barcode, known as a “tag.”
Using a mobile phone camera, a person may take a picture of the tag, and the mobile phone will read the tag and open the website of the wearer. You can choose any website, social networking page, photo, video or music to link the tag to. This is a good upcoming niche to focus on.
Sell non cotton t-shirts
The norm in the t-shirt market is to sell cotton t-shirts, but there is indeed a market for t-shirts that are of a non-cotton nature. These t-shirt materials can come in rayon, polyester, linen etc. You can decide to go this route and take center stage in the market.
Sell t-shirts in a can
These days, t shirts now come in a can, these kind of t shirts are unusually used for promotional purposes. You can start designing novelty t shirts, including the cans they come in. The T-shirts can feature jokes, images or messages based on a variety of themes from political humor to children’s cartoon caricatures.
Once the silk-screening is completed, the T-shirts can be packaged in tin cans that have a slot in the top to serve a second function of a piggy bank. T-shirts in a can make a terrific novelty gift and can be sold to retailers on a wholesale basis or directly to consumers via a sales kiosk or the internet.
In addition to selling T-shirts in a can, larger sweatshirts can also be printed with humorous messages and packaged in larger, one-gallon paint cans.