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Highlight on 2021 and Beyond

Posted 1/12/2021 by Diana Fernandez

As we look ahead in 2021 with a more hopeful and positive mindset, we can’t help but reflect on the aspects of 2020 that have taken us to where we are today. With the pandemic that rapidly changed the way we go about our daily lives, there are many concepts that we will carry into this new year. Many industries, especially Promotional Products, have found themselves more adapted to their new normal by adjusting various aspects of their business to meet new demands and trends.

At Vantage, we always make it our priority to stay in tune with every year’s latest trends and find creative ways to always stay on top. Here are our top 2021 fashion trends for decorated apparel and promotional clothing.

#1 Safety first

It’s a no brainer that PPE has seen a huge increase in sales within the past 10 months and is projected to see an even higher increase in sales in the coming year. According to Grand View Research, the PPE market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29.1%.- It’s safe to say that masks are here to stay and is a trend that will continue to deliver protective and functional products to consumers, health professionals, and essential workers to promote wellness and safety.

According to Grand View Research, the PPE market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29.1%.

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Aside from face coverings, be on the lookout for more apparel related items like knits, pullovers and outerwear that use fabrics with protective finishes such as anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, water-proof elements, breathability ratings, UV protection, and moisture wicking. Other functional components include reflective trim for high visibility, lots of pockets (think chest, waist, sleeve) and items that are packable and convertible for those on-the-go,

#2 Sustainability

Sustainability continues to be a top priority for individuals and organizations as worth-while investment. The demand for eco-friendly products and purchases from environmentally friendly companies is on the rise more than ever. According to ASI’s Global Ad Report, “46% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promo product they received was environmentally friendly.” Some organizations are turning to more eco-friendly processes of clothing manufacturing. At Vantage, we have added a line of sustainable fashion that uses recycled polyester that keeps post-consumer plastic bottles from oceans and landfills, uses fewer natural resources, and reduces our carbon footprint.

According to ASI’s Global Ad Report, 46% of consumers favor eco-friendly promo products.

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Our Earthwise collection includes 6 styles made with certified and traceable high-quality REPREVE® recycled polyester. Since the launch of the collection, we’ve recycled almost 200,000 bottles. In 2021, we added 4 new colors in The Planet Polos and Trek Hoodies – Cobalt, Red Sky, Silver and Orange, and also added a Pro-Tec Gaiter to the collection as an eco-friendly PPE option.

#3 Buy Better Buy Less

Wearables are essentially the longest lasting promotional product that can be decorated on to promote longevity and Logogevity™. On par with the ever-growing sustainable movement, customers desire more products and custom shirts that will serve a purpose, are five-star quality, and are dependable. Per our Director of Merchandising, Lauren Cocco, “Products that serve a purpose and meet an important need are received better than fast fashion by today’s consumers.”

Products that serve a purpose are received better than fast fashion by today’s consumers.

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Better-made basics that hold their quality over time with comfortable fabrics, quality construction and timeless styling are of the essence. In addition, durable and value-added benefits like stretch and performance fabrics (such as our Zen Pullover) have become key characteristics to apparel made with a purpose that is built to aid the consumer. Lastly, versatile and seasonless items with need-based attributes like pockets and packable options are also important and contribute to the mindset of “Buy better and Buy smarter.”

#4 Out and About

It’s no surprise that people are spending more time outdoors, going on walks, or simply enjoying the fresh air. It’s also no surprise that the weather may vary, and it is important to be prepared rain or shine. Taking control of the climate is easy with functional outerwear for unpredictable weather such as the styles in our Climate Collection.

Taking control of the climate is easy with functional outerwear.

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Durable rainwear with stretch and breathable features are essential to confidently and comfortably take on the elements. Director of Merchandising, Lauren Cocco suggests finding “lightweight and mid-weight styles that are designed to be packable, include a removable liner, hoods that fold in or out and other adjustable components.” Another highly popular fabric includes high pile, chunky and super soft fleece fabrics. These types of garments are cozy, fashionable and maintain warmth. Other options include a trucker, denim and utility jackets which offer a cool alternative to basic outerwear.

#5 Everyday Heroes

We extend our gratitude to those who dedicate themselves into helping others in both the biggest and smallest ways. With that being said, if you’re looking for a hot market, there is definitive growth in some of the most demanding industries like healthcare, food services and essential personal. According to Grand View Research, the healthcare industry is expected to reach USD $528 by 2027 and even food services are expected to reach USD $4.2 Trillion by 2024. All in all, these are hot markets that everyone should be eyeing and are worth investing in.

According to Grand View Research the healthcare industry is expected to reach USD $528 by 2027.

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Vantage can help you be prepared with uniform options or appreciation ideas for these thriving sectors. We now exclusively offer Xtreme Visibility, premium quality safety apparel, opening up new opportunities for outdoor crews, recreational needs, and public service workers. From healthcare to food delivery, appreciating our essential workers is always on-trend.

#6 Products with a Purpose

3 words: Meaningful. Mindful. Purposeful. Sustainable products and services as well as charitable causes have all become imperative and sometimes a deal-breaker in a consumer’s buying decision process. That’s why in 2021 and beyond, products with a give-back component, a donation or a promise to do good are extremely popular.

Products with a give-back component, donation, or a promise to do good are extremely popular.

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Vantage has partnered with 1% for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual memberships and everyday actions and pledged to donate 1% of sales from all styles in the Earthwise collection as well as the Denali Jackets, to nonprofit organizations focused on environmental causes. You can help make a difference one purchase at a time.

#7 Bright Light Big Color

Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating symbolize unity, stability and hope, everything we could ever wish for in 2021. These connecting colors work really well together as Ultimate Grey is a stable neutral and Illuminating adds brightness and sunshine. Gray is a go to color and is commonly seen in apparel and accessories. Whether it is sweatshirts, sweatpants, blankets or headwear most have something in this shade.

Pantone’s Colors of the Year Ultimate Gray and Illuminating symbolize unity, stability, and hope.

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Illuminating, on the other hand, is uplifting and provides a pop of color. So, if you’re trying to brighten up your look or stand out on a video call this is popular color choice. Be on the lookout for other vibrant colors to give sparks of energy that encourage and uplift our moods, like Red, Royal and Orange.

#8 Cozy Cotton

Whether people are safely heading back to the office or continue to work from the comfort of their home, there is no doubt that anyone is letting go of their cozy cottons and super soft stretch fabrics. No worries, though, these cozy cottons can still make for a polished appearance (like our Baja Hoodie)

Cozy cottons and super stretch fabrics can still make for a polished WFH appearance.

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Many performance-based fabrics are being blended with natural fibers or engineered to create a cotton-like feel. Other suggestions for some feel-good fabrics are heather or mélange fabrics, and they are just as preferred as solids. These kinds of silhouettes are being worked into everyday wardrobes.

#9 Athflow

Athletic meets elegance, you’ll find athleisure’s “flighty” new friend, Athflow. The next “big thing” in fashion trends, athflow combines loungewear, workout-ready, and elegance that can take you from your comfy couch to a midday walk, and even to the office. You’ll find that looser fits that have become more loungewear inspired that can be worn just about anywhere, rather than the typical athletic appeal.

Meet athleisure’s flighty new friend, Athflow.

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Athflow is influenced by the lifestyle change of work from home, where some don’t want to totally look like they’re headed for the gym but sport a more laid-back look. In 2021, clients are looking for less restrictive, ease of movement, flowy and more relaxed silhouettes (similar to our Vansport Pro Riviera shirt)

#10 Down to Earth

We’ve talked a lot about the Earth and eco-friendly solutions, but the color scheme itself will absolutely come into play this year. With sustainability top of mind, earthy shades of green, blue and purple are becoming increasingly important and are hues that will lighten the mood.

Earthy shades of green, blue, and purple are top of mind hues that will lighten the mood.

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Furthermore, other hues that are trending include neutrals that are lighter beige and tan shades, similar to our Beach, Taupe and Silver.

Our Final 2 trends are primarily based on decoration methods.

#11 “Zoom” Approved

Colleagues galore have become dependent on virtual meetings as a way to stay connected and boost team productivity. However, if you're not branded during virtual meetings, you're definitely missing out on some great opportunities to showcase your company. This is where decoration plays a big part in virtual meetings to maintain brand visibility. (Our Popular Placement Guide can take you through the ins and outs of the best ways to display your brand)

Decoration plays a big part in virtual meetings in order to maintain brand visibility.

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Overall, larger logos like a left-chest or front-chest are easier to see and read and have a better chance of standing out during a virtual encounter. Higher logo placements, by the collar and shoulder seam, will also ensure your brand is seen on screen. On the other hand, the use of layering pieces like vests and cardigans that can easily go over any shirt, are ideal to show off your brand for impromptu meetings.

#12 Old School is the New School

Throwback inspired, brand heritage, and nostalgia, it’s safe to say that people are enjoying all of the old school vibes in the vintage fashion trend. Think of the Tommy Hilfiger and Coca-Cola special re-edition capsule. They’re celebrating the all-American spirit of both brands.

There is a certain comfort with what’s known vs the unknown, and old school nostalgia exudes that warm, fuzzy feeling. You can achieve the popular retro varsity look with classic applique. Be sure to layer your logo for eye-catching dimension.

Throwback inspired and nostalgia, people are enjoying the old school fashion trend.

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Vantage is here to help you incorporate these trends into your product offering, making your business the go-to for current and future clientele. Be sure to subscribe and follow our social media channels to get Vantage updates that you can share with your customers.

Preview our 2021 Trend Presentation Here.

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