There will be no love loss between me and the year 2020. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. My 2020 started off well enough with a trip to Taiwan in January to visit my son living there. On the flight from San Francisco to Taipei I sat next to a gentleman who “slept” the whole flight but proceeded to cough on me the entire trip. I think you know where I’m going with this. After landing, I had such a great day with my son outdoors and we were ready to explore Taiwan with a series of day trips over the next 9 days. That night I was running a low-grade fever and feeling achy. I then spent the next 12 days with theeeee most annoying cough. A cough unlike any other cough I had ever had. By the time I landed back in the U.S. I was pretty much recovered.
Then March hit, and the world as we knew it, turned upside down. I think like many others we all thought, surely this will not last long and by summer this will just be a bad memory. But it did last and it is not going to be over anytime soon. I remember thinking to myself after the first lockdown here in Florida happened that, “oh boy, a lot of business’ are not going to survive.” I was so pleasantly surprised that it never really happened for the decorated apparel industry. Sure, business owners were concerned, but an amazing thing happened, apparel decorators stepped up to help everyone! Restaurants that were struggling to survive were purchasing t-shirts for delivery personnel, corporate offices that were going remote were investing in decorated apparel for when their sales reps were doing Zoom conferences, and of course logoed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was needed by everyone.
I mean how great is this industry we are in!?!? The resiliency of this industry is quite amazing. It definitely proved to be recession-proof (thanks 2008), and now proving to be pandemic-proof, as well. I do not mean to be tone deaf to 2020, because not every business survived, and my heart goes out to those who did not, but the majority are still doing pretty good. Truth be told I think a percentage of those who shuttered will be back.
So, what does 2021 look like for our industry?
Right now, the biggest complaint I hear from our Teesom users is the ability to get good stock on items that people want. Thankfully, our users are able to actually check stock levels right through Teesom with our fully integrated vendors; S&S Activewear, AlphaBroder and SanMar. Before they even send a quote off to their customer, they can make sure they can secure the items.
Grand View Research stated that “the decline in global sales of clothing is attributable to a massive supply chain disruption across significant export markets, including China
and India.” They further said that “the industry is likely to recover over the forecast timeframe, given the rise in online/e-commerce sales”. (1)
So, here is my prediction for 2021:
- You will see an uptick in USA made items; start finding your suppliers now if you do not currently purchase these items. Teesom was proactive with this and you can now search items in your catalogs by USA Made.
- PPE is here to stay, so if you have not dipped your toes yet, for goodness sake get in the water!
- Higher quality and luxury items will be in demand, your Nike’s, Ogio’s, etc.
- Heat press is majorly in: (2)
- Silicone and Hi-Density Transfers
- Hybrid Heat Transfers
- Laser Etched Leather
- Embroidered and Woven Patches
- 2D PVC
- High Detail Flock Transfers
- 3D Molded Transfers
- Puff Embroidery (2)
- Unique placements: sleeves, cuffs, collars, yokes, bottom hems, basically anywhere but left chest. (2)
- Retro designs
- More E-commerce/Online Sales/Company Stores *
- Remote work from home for artists and business owners (Teesom can help with this!)
It is a good idea to start researching solutions now so that you are prepared for 2021.
(2) Webinar with SanMar, Impressions and PPAI: The Latest in Decoration Techniques and Trends Wednesday, November 18, 12:00pm EST
(3) *Boy do we have exciting news coming to you from Teesom next year!