Tag Archives: Promotional Apparel

7 Fashion Trends for the Australian Uniform Industry in 2019

The following post is by Mike Lyne of Entity brands, one of 4Promote’s suppliers. Entity Brands brings retail brands to the promotional products industry in Australia. These brands include Nike, The North Face, Port Authority, Ogio, Sportek, Bella + Canvas plus many more high-end retail brands.

The gap between retail fashion and promotional uniforms is closing fast.

ASI notes, when it comes to apparel, tomorrow’s promotional trends are no longer yesterday’s retail hand-me-downs. Suppliers and distributors are on the pulse of the most relevant fabrics, cuts and colours; it’s never been easier to make both a brand and a fashion statement.’

social fashion

With that in mind let’s look at 7 fashion trends for both retail and promotional uniforms in 2019. Prepare yourself for some 1990’s nostalgia.

1. Sustainable and Organic Fabric

Prevalent in almost all aspects of Australian modern society, we’re becoming increasingly aware of our environmental and social impact and responsibility. For many this extends to what they wear. Expect to see a surge in requests for organic and sustainable fabrics in 2019.

Since reports surfaced in 2017 on the increase in landfill dumping of unwanted clothes, the need for recycling made its way into apparel, especially that of man-made fabrics such as polyester. Similarly, organic became a fashion trend in its own right. Price became a secondary concern behind the need for organic produce and cotton.

Regardless of your personal view on this, there is no doubt that demand for organic and sustainable clothing is growing.

Alternative Colourblock Rocky Eco-Fleece Zip Hoodie

Pictured: Alternative Colourblock Rocky Eco-Fleece Zip Hoodie

2. Heathering

Creating a unique textured look, appealing to the desire for something fashionable.

‘Companies are increasingly looking to get away from the traditional corporate colours of black and navy and are wanting other, more fashion forward but still neutral colourways,’ says Nick Anstee, marketing specialist with Stormtech. ‘Heather colours provide a unique textured look to the fabric with the high perceived value, but these colourways, when done right, are still subtle enough that they don’t detract from whatever corporate logo is added to the garment.’

Heather fabrication continues to grow in popularity, extending further than t-shirts and hoodies, into outerwear such as Soft Shell.

Heathering inspiration: Sport-Tek’s Electric Heather Soft Shell Jacket.

3. Activewear

Another category straight from the retail fashion world, with a lot of mileage left in the tank. Activewear (or athleisure), a fashion trend that offers the wearer a casual, yet active and dynamic appearance.

We’re of course talking elevated yoga pants, matched with a well-fitted scoop neck t-shirt. Activewear is becoming regularly sited in the office, with 2019 set to see the trend explode.

The ultimate work-life balance look, effortlessly crossing social settings, from the office, to lunch, to the gym. Or at the least providing the perception that we’re hitting the gym.

Activewear inspiration: Ogio Endurance Ladies Verge Scoop Neck

Activewear-1

Pictured: Ogio Endurance Crux Soft Shell Men & Ladies

4. Neon

Stay with me here, this one’s straight out the fashion world and off the run way. Neon is back baby! Expect to see purchases of the more ‘daring’ colourways grow in popularity throughout 2019. For promotional uniforms this one is game-set-and-match, providing a visually striking, head-turning brand statement.

Colourblocking, with bright neon accents on darker colours has been popular in promotional uniforms for years, and long may that badass look continue. But expect to see the amount of neon grow against the darker traditional colours in 2019.

One thing’s for sure, neon is no longer just for tradies. I for one can’t wait to get my hi-vis on!

Neon inspiration: Nike Dri-Fit Colorblock Icon Modern Fit Polo

5. The Puffer Vest

Back from the 90’s with a vengeance, no doubt you’ve witnessed the return of the puffer on the streets of Australia throughout the later part of winter 2018. Granted they’re about to go into hibernation for the summer. But expect to see them back in full force come June 2019.

What we love about the puffer vets, (all vests for that matter,) is the ability to create a branded layered uniform that provides a business casual, individualistic look, without losing brand awareness.

Puffer vest inspirationThe North Face Ladies ThermoBall Trekker Vest

6. Tie-Dye

Again, don’t shoot the messenger, ‘tie-dye is covering the spring 2019 runways’ says Fashionista. It’s hard to predict whether this will make it to promotional uniforms in 2019, but we’re putting our money on yes, at least in creative companies, those looking to create a unique look, whilst staying fashion focused.

Tie-dye inspiration: Port & Company Window Tie-Dye Tee

7. Bags as Fashion Accessories 

When we talk about fashion trends, we can’t skip bags. No outfit is complete without the bag, especially brand-name bags.

Fashionable brand-name backpacks for the office worker’s commute, and larger luxury bags for media and tech companies is big business. If you’re not onto this growing trend, get on board. We consider brand-name bags to be one of the hottest trends ahead.

Ogio Backpack 2

Pictured: Ogio Apex Rucksack

Now it’s your turn, what enquiries are you increasingly fielding and what are your predictions for 2019?

Make your Tees Pop with 3D Screen Printing

3D decorations have been used for promotional products for many years, mainly to do with 3D embroidery and 3D pvc promo items. However traditional screen printing for t-shirts can also use this technology.

The Toy Story franchise created 3D printed t-shirts with the ChromoDepth® 3D technology. The print looks like a normal 2-dimensional screen print until you put on the glasses and then the t-shirt comes alive. This technology has many applications including printing on carpet, colouring books, packaging, promo tattoos etc.

Chromadepth-3d-shirt-glasses            toy_story_promo_t-shirt-TS

What a great way to make your message stand out.

 

North Face for Co-Branded Apparel

Looking for extra oomph to your corporate wear program?

North Face has a great range of Soft Shell Jackets, Fleeces, Thermoball Puffers, Vests in both male and female cuts. All of these items can be co-branded so you get to leverage the massive branding of North Face with your own your logo/brand.

Co-branding North Face apparel works well for corporate wear programs, staff uniforms, client gifts and incentive programs.

north_face_far_north_fleece_jacketnorth_face_ladies_ridgeline_soft-shell

 

Under Armour Promotional Apparel? – No Sweat

Under Armour is the latest brand to become available to the promotional products industry in Australia.  Under Armour joins Nike, Puma, Adidas and Izod as major apparel brands available to the promotions industry.

Under Armour is an amazing success story, started by Kevin Plank in 1996. Kevin was a college footballer (NFL) who was frustrated by the sweat-soaked t-shirts (undergarment) that he and most players wear under their uniforms.under_armour_polo_promotional_clothing

Changing at halftime consumed a lot of time,  also the sweat-soaked t-shirts added a lot of extra weight.  A dry cotton t-shirt weighs about 170 grams, soaking wet, it can weight up to 1.26 kg!!

Kevin went looking for an answer. He noticed that the compression shirts worn during practice kept dry. So Kevin took that knowledge and went about making T-Shirts with the same compression and moisture wicking material, and the rest (and almost US $4B in annual sales is history).under_armour_cap_promo_industry

Using Under Armour as you promotional apparel will give your branding instant recognition alongside one of the premier sporting apparel brands in the world.

Under Armour Polos and Caps work well at Corporate Golf Days, Team Events and for those that travel a lot and like to keep their ironing to a minimum.

Matthew Bywater

Marketing Strategist
For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –
www.matthewbywater.com

Promoting to the Hood

Traditionally hoodies were used in the promotional products industry predominately as sports uniforms or for schools.

However that has changed in recent times; not only with the general trend in more casual dress in the broader community; but also due to the cooler styles and branding options available.

Materials have changed from basic cotton to include cool dry (moisture wicking types), cotton/polyester mixes, soft shell, nylon ripstop and even some that are more like a light weight jacket.

With 4-5 weeks notice we can also produce a fully custom branded hoodie!

Custom Branded Hoodie

Custom Branded Hoodie

For more hoodie options click here

What Does Richard Branson know about Uniforms

Most people in the business world believe Richard Branson knows a thing or 2 about creating a positive perception in the eyes of customers and staff alike. The King of PR has shown this once again with the launch of the new Flight Attendant uniforms for Virgin Atlantic.

promotional corporate uniforms virgin flight attendants

What Richard Branson knows all too well is that a smart, well thought out corporate uniform is not for looks alone. Apart from making the staff feel like they are part of something special, it gives an air of prestige to the organisation, allowing the company to create a desired impression. In this case restoring the Flight Attendants position to that of the glamour years gone by.

Sustainable materials were also included (a polyester yarn made from plastic bottles) to give the green eco touch.

For more ideas on Corporate Apparel click here

 

Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist
For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –www.matthewbywater.com

Marketing at Corporate Sporting Events

Red-Bull-Baseball-Shirts-Corporate-Sporting-Event

Red Bull Raglan Shirts

Picking the right apparel and headwear material is important when marketing at athletic and corporate sporting  events. Quite often companies will look to keep the costs low on the merchandise thinking that these are a one-off use. This is missing a really strong, long lasting  marketing opportunity.

Selecting the right promotional items and materials will :

1. Make it look like you know what you are doing – ie moisture wick shirts for runners or marathoners. This builds the perception that “hey they know us”.
2. Not abrasive on the wearer – the wrong material can cause skin irritation as the the athlete starts to perspire.
3. Lasts well beyond the event – get a long tail on your branding by selecting a product that the user will want to wear over and over.
4. Create an anchor in the mind of the athlete of a happy time – eg the marathon they ran in, you can add in the event name /date etc on the shirt, cap etc.
5. Great exposure – if you supply a team’s worth of clothing and headwear then you will get great exposure on the day.

4Promote-Sporting -Event-Promotional-Products

 

 

Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist
For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –www.matthewbywater.com

How to Incentivate Sales

promotional hoodie icentive to buy sales bait

One of the great benefits of using  promotional products is that they often achieve multiple objectives at once. Primarily they are often thought of as a brand awareness item, however they can also be extremely successful for  Incentives to Buy programs (also called Gift for Purchase or Sales Baits).

If the item is attractive enough to your target market and the offer is reasonable you can experience the pull through sale effect while achieving a long term marketing effort. What more, the recipient of the offer instantly becomes an ambassador of your offer.

Union Tribune San Diego (UTS) used a promotional hoodie to garner more subscriptions, what I love about the program was the execution.

1) Delivery location as Petco Park – home of the San Diego Padres (this ties into points, 2 and 4)
2) The hook – A Padres Hoodie with Padres branding on the front, and a small UTS logo on the yoke (they thought about what the consumer would like to wear)
3) The offer was commiserate with the retail value of the hoodie, ie it was a reasonable purchase that the consumer saw value in – the hoodie was of good quality
4) Associating with a popular brand for the locale – home game for the Padres – obviously these are fans of the Padres – they aligned their brand with the Padres – Joint Ventures are great for leveraging the trust your venture partner has built up.

See also a previous blog on Local Area Marketing

 

Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist
For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –www.matthewbywater.com

Merino – The Eco Clothing

We have many options available in clothing today including cotton, poly/cotton, soft-shell material, wool, acrylic and cool dry materials.

4Promote Promotional Merino Wool Scarf and Beanie

Merino Wool Scarf and Beanie

One clothing material which is at the higher end of the spectrum is Merino wool. Used in clothing, Merino offers some unique qualities.

It is incredibly warm, breathable and buffers changes in the micro-climate to maintain body temperature. It’s hydrophilic nature means that it absorbs moisture better than most apparel materials making it ideal for moving sweat off the body and into the atmosphere.

Merino wool also has good safety factors, with a UPF protection rating of 40+ along with being naturally resistant against high temperatures and doesn’t really catch fire. Being an entirely natural fibre makes this a sustainable material that is biodegradable.

And let’s not forget that with promotional apparel, we get great marketing value when they get worn over and over again. So whether it is for corporate uniforms or customer appreciation, Merino wool has the huge advantage that is is one of the most comfortable materials to wear.

merino wool promotional apparel corporate uniforms

Merino Wool

Click this link to check out our Merino Wool range available as promotional apparel.

 

Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist

For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog – www.matthewbywater.com

Wet to Dry: Moisture-Wicking Materials

Ever go hiking in your jeans and tees, then come back chilled? Ever play sport in a cotton tee, then wring it out at the end of the game? This does not have to happen any more.

There are some great fabrics being manufactured today which solve a big problem in our modern, active, everyday life: perspiration.

4Promote Promotional Cool Dry Polo

Cool Dry Promo Polo

These moisture-wicking materials have the unique ability to wick or move moisture away from our bodies. This is particularly important for people playing sports, exercising, or simply going through “hot flashes.” The sweat created by these exertions do not sit on the skin or get absorbed into the garments, but rather are moved to the outside of the garment away from the skin, making the wearer comfortable and dry.

The real advantage to this fabric is that it can be used in so many different ways to benefit the wearers. These types of garments have been typically used in the past by athletes and people exercising in hot climates. Today, however, we have found many more applications for this wonder fabric.

By layering these individual pieces, these “hot weather” garments are now used in extremely cold climates, protecting the wearers from hypothermia. When a day goes from cold to hot to cold, hikers avoid cottons and seek out special moisture-wicking clothing, especially socks, tees, and pants–all of which keep the hikers dry, blister-free, and unchilled as they go from hot to cold in the erratic weather.

When the days are hot, people can play golf or tennis or simply live their daily lives without being soaked by sweat when wearing these garments. When the military is stationed in the hot climes of the world, they often use moisture-wicking attire under their uniforms, keeping them somewhat cool in the extreme temperatures. Anyone who feels the heat can benefit from this specially designed apparel.

There are numerous types of moisture wicking garments available today for the active individual, including polo shirts and pants, yoga wear, socks, and even bras made from this fabric.

There are two basic ways in which a garment can be manufactured to be “moisture wicking.” The first is to apply a topical treatment to a garment made from hydrophobic fibers, such as polyester, to give it the ability to absorb sweat. The hydrophilic (water-loving) finish or treatment will allow this type of garment to absorb residue, while its hydrophobic (water-hating) fibers will help it to dry fast, keeping the wearer more comfortable.  

moisture wicking technology

moisture wick technology

The second way in which a garment can qualify is to be manufactured with an intimate blend of fibers that include both hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibers. Optimized blends of these fibers will allow the hydrophilic fibers to absorb fluid, moving it over a large surface area, while the hydrophobic fibers speed drying time. The benefit of these garments is that the moisture management properties are inherent in the fiber blend, meaning they will never wash or wear out.

When you hike, golf, play tennis, or just want to sleep, comfort is probably the number one reason you will wear clothing which is moisture-wicking. Layer it in the winter for warmth and dryness; wear a single garment in the summer to stay cool. Because of the comfort that the fabric creates, you will find that clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics will consistently be your favorite clothes to wear.

Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist

For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog – www.matthewbywater.com