Three months into 2022, we’ve already seen new trends, new products, new objectives and new economic expectations. In the field of corporate apparel, we can look at what’s working and see how we can move forward for the future.
One thing that stands the test of time is the success of branded apparel. Promotional headwear, T-shirts and outerwear consistently rank as some of the most influential branded promotional items — with a whopping 80% of consumers owning promotional T-shirts. That's a lot of influence over a market! From there, we can understand changes in fashion trends, sustainable practices, supply chain changes and, as a result, costs. We can also identify how these changes affect uniforms and workers within the service industry.
Supply Chain Issues
Order delays, low inventories, supply shortages, and unhappy distributors, retailers and consumers are all telling signs of the supply chain shortages that we are currently living through. They are affecting all industries from auto to food production to manufacturing and of course promotional apparel. The global paper shortage and general labor gap puts a strain on warehouse productivity.
Even the U.S. Air Force has taken a hit, with Basic Training graduates receiving fewer uniforms due to fabric shortages. From this global strife come new opportunities for production. Emerging prospects are opened up to the market, as nearshoring and sourcing closer to home become more feasible.
Additionally, warehouse managers are finding innovative ways to incorporate technology and AI into production processes. With new production technology come new ways to create multifunctional and sustainable apparel.
What Changes in Cost Can Be Expected?
According to ASI research, promotional business apparel is kept for over 10 months by end consumers. The impressions and the value they generate cannot be diminished and are invaluable. However, the price that a business may pay for such impressions is especially high amidst a pandemic and several global shortages.
With labor challenges and increased material costs as well as the onset of new technologies, there will be a shift in pricing and practices in the apparel industry until these gaps can be addressed.
Sustainable Clothing and Branding
Sustainability can be defined as providing environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health, welfare and the environment through the commercial cycle. It comes as no surprise that 46% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the product is environmentally friendly.
With more consumers requesting and expecting sustainable practices from the apparel industry, brands should produce eco-friendly corporate apparel, such as with recycled fabrics.
This would be a major boost for marketing and branding within this sector. By understanding the end buyer and tailoring favorable design and production practices to their styles, apparel brands could positively position themselves in the market.
Clothing Trends in a New Environment
It’s important to understand and implement consumer trends in order to appeal to your end consumer. The trends that we’ve seen in corporate and business apparel within the last two years are a clear reflection of what consumers have been going through.
With more employees working from home, there’s definitely more benefit in appealing to both office and remote workers. Providing more comfortable items such as sweaters, quarter-zips, and branded, professional sweatshirts would be key to satisfying this new market.
It’s also important to consider that logo placement may require some changes, as most remote workers can only be seen from the shoulders up in virtual meetings.
With so many anticipated trends and changes, contact GO2 Partners for any questions or if you’d like more information. Ask about our Corporate Apparel program, and let’s see how we can help you reach your business goals.