The Biggest Promo Apparel Trends We Noticed at the PPAI Expo 2020
See ya later, Vegas! All week long, Promo Marketing was reporting live from the PPAI Expo 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. If you were at the show, we hope you had a great time and learned a lot. If you weren't there, we made sure to include product information, session wrap-ups and a whole lot more in our newsletter. Up now: a roundup of the big promotional apparel trends we saw at the show.
The PPAI Expo is sort of the Paris Fashion Week of the promotional products industry, where all the suppliers roll out their newest lines, and we get a glimpse at the fits, colors and styles that are going to be huge in 2020 and beyond. Read on to check out some of the biggest promo apparel trends we noticed at this year's PPAI Expo.
1. Apparel Is All In on Sustainability
While the hard-goods sector of the promotional products industry is doing its part to limit waste with items like reusable water bottles and alternatives to plastic, apparel manufacturers are following suit by stocking up apparel that uses recycled material like cotton and polyester, and implementing decorating techniques that limit energy and resources.
Threadfast Saves the Planet
Threadfast has done its homework when it comes to how much waste companies generate when they're producing apparel, and have put in place new strategies to use less water and energy. By using technology that changes the way cotton responds to dye on a molecular basis, the act of decorating takes less time (and therefore less energy) and less water.
SanMar Introduces the Re-Tee
This week, SanMar introduced its District Re-Tee, which is made with 100 percent recycled materials. Each T-shirt is also kind of a relic of the past, too, since the color is determined by the original garments used as scraps. Since there's no dyeing necessary, it saves a lot of water, too.
Alternative Apparel Makes the Pledge
Alternative Apparel advertised this year that by 2021 it will replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester for its clothing. This means that it will minimize waste by not creating new synthetic materials, rather using older plastics like bottles to keep existing plastics from polluting the planet, and making it so it doesn't have to create new waste every time it makes a new garment.
Hanes Explains It All
Over at the Hanes booth, a major focus was on making T-shirts responsibly. On one of the panels in the booth is an infographic breakdown explaining the cycle from production to the consumer, and how the T-shirts can be washed in a cold cycle, which reduces energy used.
Vantage Apparel Features an Eco Line
Over at Vantage Apparel, the Earthwise collection was the highlight of the booth. The shirts from the line are made with recycled water bottles, and all of the staff members were sporting them.
2. Everyone Needs Some Good Fleece
We're from the Northeast, so we know the importance of layering. But, even if you're soaking up some California sun, a good fleece sweatshirt or hoodie should be a staple in your wardrobe.
American Apparel Plays the Hits
One of the biggest draws of American Apparel is its reliability. It's created a reputation for its high quality T-shirts and hoodies, and even since its rebirth of sorts a few years back, it knows what its loyal fanbase wants. Rather than introducing too many new products and trying new things for 2020, American Apparel is going strong with its fan-favorite hoodies and crewnecks.
Oceanic Inc. Has You Covered for Chilly Summer Evenings
There's something really nice about those summer evenings when it's just too chilly for a T-shirt on the beach, so you get to enjoy the sand and surf, but you're enveloped in the comfort of a good fleece hoodie. With a name like Oceanic Inc., it's pretty obvious that it understands the appeal.
3. Offer Versatility and Variety
Apparel suppliers should have a product line that has something for every possible end-user and application. This doesn't mean they should be masters of none, but if you can appeal to distributors working with all kinds of verticals, you're bound to find more business.
Blue Generation Covers Its Bases
When we stopped by the Blue Generation booth, we were immediately struck by how many different styles of pieces it had. There was traditional workwear, there was athleisure, there was casual wear, you name it. By having such a diverse catalogue of apparel choices, the possible applications are just about endless.
Hit Promotional Products Plays It Cool
You want versatility? How bout a denim jacket. You can wear it anywhere from a night out to a punk rock show (or, better yet, a night out at a punk rock show), or, heck, even a lot of offices these days. Hit Promotional Products made it easier for everyone to get their hands on some Levi's denim jackets, with minimums as low as four pieces and some rad decoration options. Just look how cool these things are!
Cotton Love Flips the Script
If you didn't think towels could be versatile, think again. The gang over at Cotton Love was showing off their Turkish Towel, which is a towel on one side and a blanket on the other. Plus, it's huge, so there's enough towel (or blanket) for anyone, even if you're Shaq.
Sock 101 Has Some Killer Footwear
Sock 101 isn’t just custom socks—they also have branded footwear! Aside from all the awesome socks they have every year, it was cool to see the addition of sneakers and boots. In the picture below, you can also take a look at the shoe boxes and how they jump out and really grab your attention.
Bring On the Athleisure
Athleisure has been one of the biggest trends in apparel, so we were on the lookout for suppliers that were featuring a lot of these styles with comfortable T-shirts, sweatshirts and more.
alphabroder Features Style And Comfort
You can’t miss the alphabroder/ Prime Line booth; it’s absolutely massive! Walking around—and at first glance—there are tons of mannequins, but the one that popped out to us was the very laid back, athleisure apparel display. Athleisure has become increasing popular, and it was neat to see how they styled the pieces.
Next Level Apparel Has All The Comfort
All week we’ve been facing the Next Level Apparel booth, so of course we had to go over and check out what’s new for its line. Their Sueded Jersey T-shirts are crazy soft, feature a snow heathered pattern and they’re available in five snow heathered colors.