2020 Wrap-Up: 10 of Our Biggest Apparel Stories of the Year
It’s been an interesting few months for apparel. Workwear suddenly became a lot more casual, as “Zoom shirts” became a thing. A good pair of sweatpants were suddenly more valuable than gold, and we even saw the dawn of “Sicker.”
In addition to pandemic-specific stories from this year, fashion continues to move forward at its rapid pace, and the branded apparel industry keeps on finding ways to innovate and adapt.
While condensing a year’s worth of progress in fashion is tough, we’re going to try with 10 of our biggest apparel stories from 2020.
Mucinex, yes, the company with the gross mucous mascot, introduced a line of apparel that it calls “Sickwear.” The products are literally designed to make you feel better, featuring aromatherapy cuffs, tissue pockets and calming colors.
In Cape Canaveral, a lot of local merchants use NASA launches as excuses to sling some branded merchandise, like T-shirts, to commemorate the occasion. This is an easy thing to do, since NASA’s logo is in the public domain. But, since SpaceX is a private company, sellers were annoyed that SpaceX wouldn’t grant them permission. What was even more odd was that the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX store barely had any merchandise related to the historic launch.
Patagonia doesn’t keep its environmental opinions hidden. Well, except for this one time. The outdoors apparel company hid a little message in the tag of a certain line of jeans, hoping to rally votes against politicians who stood in the way of environmental conservation.
4. Promo Distributor Warns of Credit Card Order Scam Involving Hundreds of Blank T-shirts (All Size Medium)
This story is a good cautionary tale for new distributors and veterans alike. One apparel distributor was left dealing with banks and authorities after scammers made off with hundreds of blank T-shirts and put in a chargeback to the credit card they used for payment.
Similar to the Patagonia story, The North Face chose to stick to its environmental ethics when an oil drilling company put in an order for year-end gifts for employees. The company state that it does not "support the oil and gas industry" in the same way it "would reject the porn or tobacco industry.” This earned a four-page open letter from the oil company’s CEO.
Back in May, we were still tracking the phenomenon of apparel companies shifting their operations to focus on face masks. A little over six months later, that trend is still in full effect, as universal masking is common across the country and all over the world.
In 2017, Starbucks scaled back its e-commerce platform, focusing instead on in-person sales and cutting stock in stores by 30 percent. Because of this, Starbucks merchandise has become more exclusive, and therefore more valuable to collectors and re-sellers on sites like Poshmark. That’s good for Starbucks’ brand, but don’t you think they’d want to use that hype for its own gain?
We took an in-depth look at how turning your apparel business into a one-stop shop through kitting and in-house decorating can present cost-saving opportunities and simplify your life.
The far-right organization, categorized by the SPLC as a hate group and as “white supremacists” by the Anti-Defamation League, had made black and yellow Fred Perry polos an unofficial uniform. Not wanting to be associated with the group, the Fred Perry brand stopped selling the polo.
We’re already gearing up for this year’s virtual expo, but there are still plenty of lessons to take away from the show floor at this past year’s Expo. We checked out different apparel suppliers to see what they were focusing on with fits, materials and manufacturing processes.