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Trends - Green Wave

Looking for a color trend to capitalize on? Think green.

Dark green is making waves in fashion circles this year as an unconventional neutral that has enough pop to pair with both pastels and darks. It’s perfect for apparel and accessories, especially for branding purposes in light of its versatility and its frequent appearance in global companies’ official marketing colors.

“Hunter green in particular is everywhere these days, from dresses, to sweaters, to jackets and more,” says Vicki Ostrom, senior designer at SanMar (asi/84863). “Actually, green in general is top of mind, with all eyes on Brazil for the upcoming World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Hunter green evokes excitement and lushness, and it’s so prevalent that it’s starting to be used as a classic color like black or dark navy.”  

Since Emerald was Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, dark greens have steadily increased in popularity, says Vanessa Keefe, vice president of marketing at Charles River Apparel (asi/44620). “We offer forest green, which is a soothing color associated with renewal and vitality, such as the transition from spring to summer,” she says. “At retail, we’ve seen forest green accessories, but now we’re seeing it more in apparel such as jackets, polos and windbreakers.”

SanMar offers everything from polos and tees to caps and bags in hunter green for a unified team look and an eye-popping canvas to show off a logo. “It speaks to a focus on nature, especially in tropical prints,” says Ostrom. “Warm botanical darks are key in playing off brighter tones such as melon and citrus.”

Hot markets, says Keefe, include university athletics and the corporate world; green is a key color in the branding for Starbucks, Heineken, John Deere, Rolling Rock and H&R Block. “Distributors should also look at landscapers, park services, grocery chains and organizations focused on organic food and wellness,” she says, “since green often evokes nature and health.”

When pitching dark green to clients, it’s important to have samples on-hand, says Keefe. “They need to see how great it looks in person, especially fleece, which looks incredibly rich and attractive,” she says. “It pairs easily with various neutrals, so it lends itself to both corporate and weekend wear. Be sure to point this out, because calling attention to its versatility will help make a sale.”