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Expanding a fashion business with Alibaba.com

Story

Ed Twine made the decision to pursue his passion for fashion and leave commercial banking behind. He moved from Florida to New York where he started his custom clothier company, Charles Twine, in 2010 with a focus on ties. After partnering with a major US retailer and mastering sourcing and manufacturing, Ed saw an opportunity to expand his product line to include shirts and suits. He turned to Alibaba.com and quickly found manufacturers from Thailand that could create shirts and suits that met his high standards for quality.

In the summer of 2019, Charles Twine relaunched as a fully digital, direct-to-consumer (DTC) business. This transition made Ed turn to sellers on Alibaba.com to help with manufacturing, but also packaging, shipping, and even designing watermarks on the Charles Twine sample books.

Solution

To get the best deal and work with the sellers he wanted, Ed needed to meet a minimum order quantity that came at a high cost — much higher than his available cash flow allowed. He soon found Alibaba.com Payment Terms, a new financing solution that allows buyers 60 days to pay an invoice from the time an order ships, with no interest or fees. “Using capital the best way possible has always been a challenge,” Ed said. “It is hard to determine where to put money when — advertising, new fabrics, influencers, packaging — but having the flexibility to pay manufacturers within 60 days gives us new flexibility and room to breathe.”

Success

Ed found the process to 
get approved for Alibaba.com 
Payment Terms surprisingly simple. 
He plans on using the service for an upcoming 
large order of branded packaging — a new strategic move for the business. Ed sources 80% of Charles Twine products through Alibaba.com. He said the ease of communicating internationally and finding resources like Payment Terms is what keeps him coming back. Ed would not be able to deliver the best of the best to his customers and be his own boss without Alibaba.com.

Despite slowdowns in the US retail sector since early 2020, Ed has had to hire three field staff to host virtual consultations. “During COVID-19, I experienced supply chain issues and certain fabrics coming out of the United Kingdom were delayed,” Ed said. “Using Alibaba.com, I was able to pivot to different sources for fabrics, so I didn’t have to delay shipping times. Having a globally diverse supply chain at my fingertips has allowed me to grow during COVID.”

Learn more about Alibaba.com Payment Terms

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80%
of products sourced through Alibaba.com
3
new field staff
60
days to pay with 
Alibaba.com Payment Terms
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