If you own a company in the fashion industry, you would do well to partner with apparel organizations to strengthen your business expertise and credibility. Industry organizations bring together professionals with similar goals and challenges. Members of industry organizations come from all company divisions, but all share the same objective of expanding their knowledge.
Becoming a member of the right organization opens the door to a wealth of expertise. You will be exposed to many networking opportunities, information and resources. Additionally, retail apparel associations may also provide invaluable services that include new products, education opportunities and industry support. When looking for membership with a professional apparel organization, remember the following:
1. Make sure the association you're interested in is credible. Check the Better Business Bureau or other industry accreditations.
2. Most organizations charge fees for memberships, so make sure you’re getting your money’s worth before you pay.
3. Many apparel manufacturers organizations don’t stipulate membership for certification.
Become a member of an accredited professional apparel associationAlthough many organizations offer information, tools and resources to non-members, you can benefit substantially from becoming a member. Membership opens the door to additional service, product and representation. Register as a business rather than as just an individual, if possible, so your employees can benefit from the membership.
Join apparel associations that offer a full schedule of events and conferencesEvents and conferences are a boon to any business. They give you an opportunity to network and share issues with industry peers. More importantly, they give your company exposure within the industry, and provide you an opportunity to further your relationships with other businesses. Try and pick organizations with nationally-recognized events.
Opt for clothing associations that offer awards, scholarships and fellowship programsWinning awards, scholarships and fellowships from accredited organizations reflects positively on a business. Usually, members have to be nominated for awards, but each organization has various requirements and expectations. You may have to be a member to enroll.
- If you're considering a clothing association for its online resources, look for one with an active forum where you can discuss issues with industry experts in real time.