Mid-Year Promotional Apparel Update: What’s Hot in 2023

It’s hard to believe, but 2023 is barreling rapidly towards its midpoint already! As the year wears on, it feels like a great time to take a closer look at key trends in the promotional product industry, where they’re shifting, and where they’re remaining the same.

Branded apparel continues to make up a significant portion of the promotional products market. Here are three trends that your team should stay on top of as you consider your branded apparel options.

Sustainable Materials and Production

You may still see fast fashion “hauls” on social media, but in large part, customers across the board are turning away from cheap synthetics and becoming more conscious about where and how their apparel is made. Promotional apparel is no exception. Consumers are looking for apparel made from sustainable, natural, or even recycled materials and made through practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment, communities, and individual workers. They’re also prioritizing longer-lasting pieces and brands that have a clear commitment to sustainability, backed up by actions like supply chain choices, donations, and more.

Branded apparel can be part of the conversation by selecting sourcing and production partners with an eye to sustainability. Consider partnering with suppliers that focus on ethical and environmentally-friendly materials and productions, as well as those that make commitments towards carbon neutrality, resource conservation, and so on. The biggest step is still a focus on reducing waste, which means locating partners who produce long-lasting, high-quality apparel.

Versatile Styles

In concert with the rise in interest in sustainable fashion, more and more people are getting interested in apparel that is more versatile and multi-purpose. Pieces that can go from the office to the weekend or an after-work meet-up are gaining in popularity. This means more functional, versatile silhouettes, neutral color palettes, and fabric that is both comfortable and visibly “quality.”

Instead of splashy T-shirts or colorful logo fleeces, look for apparel styles that have a more minimalist, easygoing feel to them. Instead of the brightly-colored athleisure wear that has been so on trend over the last few years, consider shifting to a more laid-back “streetwear” vibe with more neutral tones and loose silhouettes. Where previous years looked at bold styles and bold colors as a way to “cheer up” a stressful world, today’s customers are looking for a calmer, more cozy aesthetic.

Personalized Apparel

Personalization has been a major trend over the last couple of years, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. People love to feel like they’re getting something “exclusive” or “special,” and being able to customize aspects of their apparel definitely fits the bill. With the right design and production strategies, it can be surprisingly easy to add an element of personalization to your branded apparel.

The options for personalization allow for even more creativity, and we’re continually exploring new techniques and exciting trends to make personalized pieces even more memorable. Consider creative embellishment techniques such as embroidery, 3D embroidery on hats, domed shirt logos, and eye-catching patches. You might also look at direct to garment full color prints, glow in the dark prints, or sparkle transfers. When it comes to designing these pieces, consider unusual or more creative imprint locations like collars, the back yoke, the bottom back of a shirt, or the side of a shirt. Personalization isn’t just about offering the ability to choose a unique style, fit, or design, but about finding new and unexpected ways to make those elements stand out.

Priority Promotions has extensive expertise in all aspects of incorporating branded apparel into your marketing strategy. We can help you design memorable, on-trend pieces using a wide variety of eye-popping techniques, source and produce them, create streamlined ordering systems, and handle the storage and shipping process. Talk to your Priority team today to learn more.

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