How To Start A Clothing Business In Kenya From Scratch

Ready to enter the world of fashion entrepreneurship? Learn how to start your own clothing business in Kenya with our comprehensive guide

Jun 18, 2023 - 17:30
Jun 18, 2023 - 17:31
How To Start A Clothing Business In Kenya From Scratch
How To Start A Clothing Business In Kenya From Scratch

Are you thinking about starting your own clothing business in Kenya? If so, you're not alone. With Kenya's rapidly growing fashion industry and thriving entrepreneurial culture, many Kenyans are turning to the clothing industry as an avenue to economic independence. Starting a clothing business is more than just the thrill of seeing your designs on the rack; it's about creating an identity, offering quality, and building a sustainable business. This guide will walk you through starting a clothing business in Kenya from scratch.


This article is intended to guide individuals interested in starting a clothing business in Kenya. It is not meant to be taken as legal or financial advice. Always seek the counsel of a qualified professional before starting any business venture. Prices quoted in the article are subject to change based on market conditions and other factors.

Understanding the Clothing Industry in Kenya

The first step in launching your clothing business is understanding the industry. The Kenyan clothing market has shown remarkable resilience and growth over the years, with the rise of thrift stores, boutiques, and designer outlets. While you're not required to make the garments yourself, understanding your potential customers' styles, preferences, and buying habits can provide an upper hand.

Market Segment and Clothing Style

Before you start your business, identify your target market and decide the type of clothing you want to sell. Are you interested in selling women's, men's, children's, or a mix of all? Will your store sell locally-made clothes, imported ones, or a blend of both? Knowing your market and products will guide your overall strategy and promotion.

Finding Reliable Suppliers

Once you have determined your target market and type of clothing, the next step is to find reliable suppliers. Whether you sell new or second-hand clothes, quality should never be compromised. You can source clothes from local designers, import them, or even thrift from existing second-hand clothes businesses. Remember, the quality of your clothes will directly impact your brand's reputation.

Consider Hygiene

If you choose to go the thrift store way, prioritize the cleanliness of your stock. Ensure all clothes are cleaned and sanitized before hitting the store shelves to safeguard your customers' health and trust in your business.

Naming Your Business and Developing a Sales Strategy

Coming up with a catchy, unique name for your business can make you stand out. A memorable name will make it easier for customers to remember your business, boosting your brand visibility and appeal.

Your sales strategy will also play a crucial role in your business. Decide whether to open a physical, online, or both. The choice will depend on your target market's shopping habits and available resources.

Promoting Your Business

Promotion is a crucial aspect of any business. Leverage both online and offline channels to reach your target market. Social media platforms, online marketplaces, and local events offer excellent platforms for showcasing your products.

Cost Analysis

Starting a clothing business in Kenya requires some initial investment. Here is a rough estimate of what you might need:

  1. Rent for the shop: 30,000-50,000 KSH
  2. Stock (clothing, accessories): 100,000-200,000 KSH
  3. Licenses and permits: 20,000-30,000 KSH
  4. Utilities (electricity, water): 5,000-10,000 KSH
  5. Furniture and fixtures: 50,000-100,000 KSH
  6. Marketing and advertising: 10,000-20,000 KSH
  7. Staff salaries: 30,000-50,000 KSH
  8. Miscellaneous expenses: 10,000-20,000 KSH

Remember, these costs can vary depending on the size of your store, the location, and the nature of your clothing line.

Location Selection

The location of your shop significantly impacts your business's success. Choose a location that is easily accessible and has high foot traffic. Proximity to your target market can also boost your business. Ensure that the area is safe and has ample parking for customers. The physical appeal of your store also matters, so consider investing in good interior design and layout.

Business Registration and Legalities

As with any business, you will need to register your clothing business. Start by registering your business name with the Registrar of Companies or Business Registration Service. You will also need to obtain necessary licenses and permits, including a trading license, fire safety certificate, and public health certificate from the county government.

Register your business for tax purposes with the Kenya Revenue Authority. You must also open a business bank account to handle your finances professionally and separately from your funds.

Building a Strong Team

To successfully run your clothing business, you'll need a reliable team. This includes sales personnel, security personnel, and possibly tailors if you decide to make your clothes. Invest time in training your team to understand your brand and the quality of service you aim to provide.

READ ALSO:  How to Successfully Apply for Green Card Lottery in Kenya


Starting a clothing business in Kenya from scratch might seem daunting, but it can be a rewarding venture with the right information, resources, and mindset. Remember, like any other, the key to success in this business is understanding your market, offering quality products, and continually adapting to changing trends and customer preferences. So, are you ready to step into the world of fashion entrepreneurship?


Q1: Can I start a clothing business in Kenya with a small budget?

Yes, starting a small-scale clothing business with a limited budget is possible. Before moving to a physical shop, you can start selling online or in local markets.

Q2: Do I need a license to start a clothing business in Kenya?

Yes, you need various licenses and permits to operate a clothing business legally in Kenya. These include a business registration certificate, trading license, and public health certificate.

Q3: Can I run an online clothing business in Kenya?

Yes, online businesses are increasingly popular in Kenya. You can create a website or use social media platforms to showcase and sell your products.

Q4: What type of clothes should I sell in my clothing business?

The type of clothes you sell should align with your target market's preferences. This could range from women's, men's, children's, or a mix of all.

Q5: How do I promote my clothing business in Kenya?

You can use various online and offline marketing strategies, including social media marketing, print advertising, events, and influencer collaborations.

Q6: Where can I source clothes for my business in Kenya?

Depending on your business model and target market, you can source clothes from local designers, import them, or buy from existing second-hand clothes businesses.

What's Your Reaction?








Lavine Glory Lavine, a medic in Kenya, is a talented individual with a passion for both medicine and writing. Her expertise in these areas makes her a valuable contributor to, where she shares her knowledge and insights on education and medical subjects.