One question we get asked on the daily is, "What garment brand would you recommend?" Choosing the right blank can make or break your merch range. Some folks are very specific with the types of looks and colour-ways they're after for their band merch or clothing brand, and sometimes, it can take a bit of research to find the perfect fit.
While there are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right t-shirt, hoodie, or cap, there are definitely some brands that stand out from the rest in terms of popularity and quality.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Before we take a look at some of the wholesale blank apparel brands out there, let's first discuss some of the things you would need to take into consideration when choosing a blank.
Probably one of the most important points! While it may sound really cool to purchase Carhartt tees and slap on some prints, it's not always financially feasible. You also need to consider your target audience - are they willing to spend more on a higher quality, premium garment? Or are they looking for a bargain?
2. Branding Method
Something people may not know is that certain materials only allow for certain types of printing or embroidery methods. For example, to screen print, a garment needs to be at least 50% cotton. That's why it's important to always check with your printing company before making any final decisions.
Think about the type of look you're after. Is the goal to make a good ol' band t-shirt? Or are you starting a streetwear brand? Some blank apparel brands, such as AS Colour, offer a range of different items in similar colour-ways, which is great for consistency over multiple pieces.
It certainly doesn't help to decide on a blank that has a low stock count. Think about whether you'd want to restock your item, then make sure you go for a garment brand that has endless supply of the blank you're after.
The standard, go-to item for band merch? That's definitely got to be the Gildan Heavy or Softstyle t-shirt. If you're a collector of band merch, you definitely have at least one Gildan tee sitting in your closet. While it's certainly not the most high-end t-shirt out there, it does the job, is budget-friendly, and can last many years if looked after properly.
Another great thing about this blank is it offers a wide range of colours, and usually carries quite a lot of stock in most of them.
Another favourite is the Bella+Canvas unisex t-shirt, offering something a little higher quality, while still at an affordable price.
On the more premium side, we have the AS Colour Staple Tee, which is a great heavyweight option for those willing to spend a little more. As mentioned previously, the nice thing about AS Colour is that the brand offers different items and styles, most of them available in similar colour palettes. This allows you to create a full merch range that is consistent, trendy, and stylish.
Lastly, if you're looking for a sustainable option, we'd recommend taking a look at the Continental Clothing EarthPositive tee, or the Stanley/Stella Creator. These blanks are eco-friendly, organic and vegan-friendly. They are a little more on the expensive side, but at the end of the day, the quality makes up for it!
You can't go wrong with Just Hoods' College Hoodie. Good quality, good fit, and good price. This hoodie also offers some unique colour options. And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, take a look at the Gildan Heavy hoodie.
And for a sustainable option, we'd go for the Stanley/Stella Cruiser Iconic hoodie.
We're also a fan of this organic cotton and recycled polyester blend Anthem sweatshirt.
One of our favourites has got to be the Beechfield Dad Cap - a classic style, with some nice colours to choose from. Beechfield also offers a bunch of headwear products, including flat caps, bucket hats, trucker caps, and more.
For those colder months, AS Colour's Cuff Beanie is a good option for a high quality head-warmer.
Beechfield also offers organic & recycled material options, but if you'd prefer to shop from a fully sustsainable brand, Stanley/Stella has this lovely Fisherman Beanie.
At the end of the day, there are so many options to choose from, it really just depends on the look you're after, what designs you're going to screen print or embroider, your budget, and more. We've listed some popular options, as it can be overwhelming when first starting to look into garment brands, but this isn't the be-all and end-all of blanks.
Another helpful tip would be to speak to any friends of yours who have done merch before, and ask what blanks they've used and loved.
Also have a look at our garment review page here for other cuts and styles.
As always, we're happy to answer any questions you may have and help you create your ideal merch range. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org