We provides information on purchasing apparel materials for corporate customers from Japan.

You’re Starting a Brand, but Where do you source your Trims and Fabric?

Hi readers,

It’s Haruna back with a new blog. We’re talking about how ApparelX can be of use to you as a new small apparel business/brand owner.

Let’s get started.

Starting Your Business

You have the funding and the design ideas and you’ve (maybe) registered your small business.

Many people starting a new brand may have trouble finding apparel manufacturers and suppliers. And it can be tricky without help.

Though there are many manufacturers available, most are specialized, meaning they only do pants, or only tops, only bags and only shoes, OR they may even only work with certain fabrics or trims and they will all have their own minimums and requirements.

Some manufacturers may help you source fabric/trims or they may already have some in stock (which will mean a quicker turnaround time and even better if you need a reorder), and some will put that responsibility on you so that you need to find a separate supplier.

And this is where we, ApparelX, comes into play…

ApparelX | An Apparel Sourcing Platform

With a quick, free account registration, you get access to all the fabrics, buttons, tapes, elastics, shoulder pads (and more!) that we have to offer. We recently reached 18K registrations so if you are one of them, thank you for your continued support!

(products are viewable without registration but you will not be able to see the prices nor put items in the cart to purchase)

Most of our customers are small to medium sized brands and small businesses (even people who are creators as a hobby), but on occasion, we have a larger brand buy materials from us.

Our platform is best for people with small to medium size brands because our minimums are 1 meter/piece/roll etc. for most of the items listed.

With a full array of items to choose from, you may be overwhelmed. Let me break it down a little so it’s easier.

How to Search for Products

Photo 1a

Obviously, you can start at the Search Bar on the top of the page.

A little unique thing about this search bar is that when you start typing, a drop down list of possible products shows up under the bar, and when you click on one of the products, it’ll open up the product page, but when you click the back button, it’ll take you back to the same drop down list.

Next, you can use the menu button and this dropdown window (Photo1a) will display and you should be able to see Category, Maker, Style, Material, and collection. I’ll briefly go over each one.

Category: choose a specific product category that you may be looking for. For example, you may be looking for buttons but not quite sure what’s available, if you click on the buttons category, you’ll have a search result of all the buttons we supply.

Once you select a product category, it’ll take you to another page where you can further filter by color, manufacturer, material etc.!

Maker: (aka manufacturer) such as YKK, Vancet/Sojitsu, Toray, and IRIS. Most of the manufacturers we work with are domestic Japanese manufacturers which allows for shorter lead times when fulfilling your orders!

Style: If you know you want to make pants, but aren’t sure what fabric to use, you can search by style. (Photo below) We do our best to categorize each fabric by their usual end products and uses but they may not be a hundred percent accurate so please look at several different categories or search by fabric key words in the search bar. Especially good if you’re looking for all the products made/sourced sustainably.

Photo 1b

Material: Search by material of the fabric, button, etc. Whether you’re looking for ramie, alpaca, imitation pearl, shell, linen, we have all products categorized so feel free to look by material!

Collection: Collections (photo below) are mostly formed by the manufacturers, like Solotex by Teijin, or Re:Dry by Vancet. We also have the Outlet here! Outlet is where we offer special prices for products that are discontinued or have special circumstances. These are limited inventory.

Photo 1c

Referring back to Photo 1a, on the right next to the search categories, we have your search history and the popular items. Please use these for reference. Search history portion may look small but you’re able to scroll through it!

Timeline | How long does it take to ship your order?

You’ve placed your order, but now what?

Processing: 1~2 business days

The global delivery team will start processing all new orders received before 12pm JST that same day. If you happen to order at 1pm JST, we will process your order the following day.

Please keep in mind that if you’ve selected bank transfer as the payment method, that we will not process your order until we have checked that the transfer has been made. If you order before 12pm JST, but the bank transfer happens at 3pm JST, we unfortunately are not able to start processing your order until the following day.

Shipping: Depends on the Product

This really depends on if the product is in stock or not and where your order is being shipped to but for reference, if your order consists only of items we have in stock out our own warehouse, we will typically ship it out the same day. If it’s coming from a manufacturer and is in stock, typically ships out 1-3 days after processing your order.

If something is out of stock, no worries, we will contact you with other suggestions if applicable. Best case scenario, it’s just a slight delay of 2-5 days to get the item back in stock.

Estimated date of arrival will really depend on where we’re shipping your order to. Whether we’re sending it directly to you, your warehouse or to your manufacturer, we’ll be sending you an email once your order is shipped with the shipping number so you’ll be able to track it.

Please contact us if you’re looking for the inventory and timeline of a specific item and we’ll do our best to help you out.


I hope this blog was helpful. If you’re looking for more information on products, have a look on our site and scroll through the product pages, read our other blogs, or contact us here!

If you know Japanese, we try to post a couple videos a month on our YouTube channel when we have new products or industry updates, so subscribe and turn on post notifications! Definitely let us know if you would be interested in English content.

If you are considering ordering in large lots or would like to have a corporate representative contact you, please visit the Okura Trading Contact page!

フッター オークラ問い合わせフッター