White Label Vs Private Label: What Is The Difference Between White Label And Private Label Clothing [6 Major Differences]

Fashion has its language, and today, we’ll be decoding some of its intricate phrases – “white label” and “private label.” Both terms have been tossed around the fashion industry, often interchangeably, causing a cloud of confusion. So, if you’ve been wondering about the difference between white label and private label clothing, you’re at the perfect place. 

Join us as we unroll the thread connecting these terms, stitch by stitch, in a way that even fashion novices can understand. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the fascinating world of fashion labeling.

difference between white label and private label

What Is White Labeling in Fashion?

What is white label clothing? Well, white label clothing is defined as manufactured apparel with white labels and no brand information put on them.

In other words, white labeling in fashion is a business model by which clothing manufacturers produce identical items that various retailers can market under different brand names. The process involves creating garments that lack specific branding, allowing retailers to customize branding and label the products under their brand.

Have an illustration: imagine a clothing manufacturer mass-producing white t-shirts without any labels or branding and then selling them in bulk to different retailers. These retailers can then add their own label and brand name, essentially making the product their own. 

This business model has been popular among fashion companies who either don’t have the resources to manufacture their clothing line or want to focus on marketing their brand rather than production. 

The practice of white labeling in clothing fashion is used by many retailers, including boutique fashion stores, online retailers, and department stores. These stores buy products from suppliers who manufacture clothes for multiple clients at the same time. The retailers brand the items under their name or store label and sell them as their own.

The white labeling trend has become popular for many brands as it provides a low-cost means of entering the fashion market. This approach allows designers to eliminate branding and marketing costs, significantly reducing the product’s overall cost. By using white label fashion, retailers can expand their product lines faster and more efficiently.

Furthermore, white label fashion allows manufacturers to produce a large volume of clothing and can lead to economies of scale. As a result, suppliers can offer reduced costs for production, which retailers, in turn, can pass on to their customers.

Despite its advantages, white labeling in fashion does have some downsides. One of these is that it can lead to homogenization in the fashion industry, where many stores offer similar products that lack diversity and unique aesthetics. It can also negatively impact the product’s perceived value, as it can be seen as a generic product without any added value.

What Is Private Labeling in Fashion?

Private labeling in fashion is a business model where clothing or other products are exclusively manufactured for a particular retailer or brand. Unlike white label clothing, private label items have the manufacturer’s branding and information on them.

In simple terms, private labeling allows retailers to customize their products entirely, from design to manufacturing, while also retaining ownership of the brand name. This means that the product cannot be sold by any other retailer, making it exclusive to the brand.

For example, a boutique fashion store can work with a manufacturer to create a unique clothing line that features the store’s branding, logo, and other specific details. This product will be exclusively sold by that particular store, creating a sense of exclusivity for its customers.

Most luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, and Chanel use the private label model to manufacture their products. They control every aspect of production, from materials used to manufacturing techniques, ensuring their products are high quality and exclusive.

Private label clothing is often seen as a step up from white label fashion, as it gives retailers more control over product quality and design. This approach also allows brands to establish their unique style and aesthetic, which helps in building brand loyalty.

Private labeling has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in the fast fashion industry, as it allows brands to quickly launch new product lines and respond to changing trends. It also enables smaller retailers to compete with larger companies by offering unique products that are not readily available in other stores.

Moreover, private labeling allows retailers to create a more personal connection with their customers. By having exclusive products, they can offer a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness, making customers feel special and valued.

White Label Vs Private Label: What Is the Difference Between White Label and Private Label Clothing

Now you know what white label and private label clothing is. Now I will break down both the businesses regarding a comparative discussion. So, what are the differences?

#1. Difference in Branding

One of the main differences between white label and private label clothing pertains to the branding process. With white label products, the clothing items are produced without brand information, allowing different retailers to add their labels and sell them under their brand name. 

On the other hand, private label clothing involves exclusive manufacturing for a particular retailer, with the items featuring the manufacturer’s branding and information. This results in clothing that is unique to the retailer and cannot be sold by any other store.

#2. Level of Customization

The level of customization varies significantly between white label and private label clothing. White label fashion allows for basic customization, primarily limited to adding the retailer’s label or branding to the product. However, private label fashion offers a far higher degree of customization, enabling retailers to control all clothing elements—from design and color to material and manufacturing process.

#3. Market Positioning

Market positioning also differs between the two labeling options. White label clothing generally targets consumers seeking low-cost fashion essentials, with the lack of branding generally resulting in more affordable pricing. In contrast, private label clothing often positions itself as a more premium or exclusive option, offering unique products that are typically priced higher due to the customization and exclusivity involved.

#4. Unique Selling Proposition

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for white label products is usually the cost-effectiveness and speed of market launch, while for private labels, the USP often lies in their uniqueness, exclusivity, and the retailer’s control over product quality and design. 

#5. Speed of Market Launch

White label clothing can be launched in the market more quickly due to the product’s already completed manufacturing process. Retailers only need to add their brand labels to start selling. In contrast, private label products require more time for market launch as the design, manufacturing, and branding processes are all done from scratch for every new product line.

#6. Investment & Costing

The cost and investment involved in white label and private label clothing also differ. White label fashion requires a smaller initial investment, as the retailer does not need to invest in designing or manufacturing. However, private labeling involves more significant investments in terms of design and production costs but can result in higher profit margins due to exclusivity.

What Are White Label and Private Label Examples 

Here, different examples of white and private label clothing are given below.

White Label Clothing Examples

Big garment manufacturers are the actual white label clothing manufacturers. For example, a white label manufacturer is a factory that manufactures t-shirts and sells them in bulk to different retailers without any branding. Retailers then add their labels to the t-shirts and sell them under their brand name. These clothing are sold at a cheap rate and found in local markets. 

These manufacturers also produce generic clothing items like plain t-shirts, jeans, and basic dresses that are sold to multiple retailers. This results in various retailers selling similar products under different brand names.

Private Label Clothing Examples

The actual brands, who produce their clothing regarding their own design samples. For instance, a retailer working with a manufacturer to produce unique clothing items based on their own design ideas and brand aesthetic engages in private labeling. The retailer exclusively sells these products and cannot be found in any other store.

Luxury fashion brands like Chanel, Prada, and Louis Vuitton are examples of private label clothing manufacturers. They have complete control over every aspect of their products, from design to manufacturing and branding. These brands offer unique, high-quality products that are not readily available in other stores, hence commanding a higher price point.  

Furthermore, private label clothing examples include niche retailers working with manufacturers to produce customized products for specific target markets or fashion segments. For example, a boutique store specializing in sustainability may collaborate with a manufacturer to produce eco-friendly clothing under their private label. 

Check out the video content below to learn about what is better between white label and private label clothing.


Now you have a detailed understanding of the difference between white label and private label. Both options have advantages and can be used by retailers depending on their business goals and target market. Ultimately, the key is to provide customers with unique products that cater to their needs and preferences, whether it be through white label or private label clothing. 

So, go ahead and choose the right labeling option for your brand! So, it can be concluded that both white labeling and private labeling have their own set of advantages and can be used by retailers based on their business objectives and target market. 

Ultimately, the main aim is to provide customers with unique products that cater to their needs and preferences, whether it be through white label or private label clothing. So, choose the right labeling option for your brand wisely!  

Tamim Shikder
Tamim Shikder

Head of the editorial team of myapparelsourcing.com. I have been working as a merchandiser in the apparel-sourcing industry for the last seven years. Over the years, I have gained a strong understanding of the clothing business and have developed skills in product development, quality control, pricing negotiation and customer service. I am also well versed in the latest trends of fashion and retail industry. For any clothing manufacturing needs, please email me at info@myapparelsourcing.com

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