Recently, we were working on a new line of sport gloves for a client.

As it happened, the first samples were more than satisfactory, but cost was not.

At this point, the challenge becomes, how to get the same look and function, and hit the target cost? Where can we save some money?!more

A Framework for Analyzing Glove Cost

There are 3 basic places we look:

Step 1. Explore glove material options 

For instance, a material made in one country may cost 1.5x the same material made in another … or, a “B” grade leather may work as well as an “A” grade . 

A close examination of glove materials selected can affect the purchase price by 25% or more.

Step 2.  Find labor efficiencies

Labor costs can fluctuate dramatically based on how the glove is engineered and what type of factory makes it.

One factory might be extremely efficient in one type of glove and offer a good labor value, while another could be extremely inefficient in that same type of glove … resulting in an inflated labor cost.

These labor and glove factory specific cost variables can affect the purchase price by as much as 35%.

Step 3. Opportunistic factors and engineering efficiencies

Efficiencies due to yield based on how the pattern is laid out, and many other factors based on how the glove is engineered, also impact the cost of a glove.

Example:  How Creative Design Reduces Glove Cost

A creative glove designer will know how to select materials and create a design that helps keep costs down.

  • For instance, we recently designed a leather gauntlet glove. To hit a price target, we replaced the leather on the palm side of the gauntlet above the wrist with a more drape-able, flexible fabric.
  • This kept material costs lower, and added a benefit to the end user, who wants a gauntlet that stretches over his or her jacket.
  • With a little design creativity, leather didn’t have to be used in every part of the glove! 

By being strategic both in your selection of material and your design, you can achieve a winning solution, and keep within your price target.

Back to Our Sport Glove Example …

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton famously said, “Because that’s where the money is.”     Like Willie Sutton, we were looking for money — and didn’t even have to rob a bank to find it!

In this particular example, here’s how we made it work:

  • by only changing a trim, we saved 10% in cost.

  • by sourcing a more suitable leather grade, that worked just as well as one that cost more, we saved a third of the material cost.

  • by rearranging the pattern, we improved yield, reducing the material usage from .15 square yds, to .12 square yds.

  • by building efficiencies into the manufacturing process, we were able to maintain style integrity AND hit the retail cost target. 

So do a little digging … you might just uncover some hidden costs on your own.


 P.S. If you like this post. you might also like:

Glove Manufacturing: The Ultimate Guide to Glove Cost (Part I)

Glove Manufacturing: The Ultimate Guide to Glove Cost (Part II)