What's The Vitamin C Shirt? Listen to the Podcast
Just when you think youve seen everything along comes the Vitamin C golf shirt from Tehama (asi/90798). This new shirt is made from fibers infused with Vitamin C that in turn is absorbed into the wearers skin – helping to promote a healthy body. This revolutionary shirt is part of Tehamas new Green Collection that debuted last week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
Click here to listen to Senior Editor Matt Histand as he speaks with Tehama vice president of design, Anne Ingham, about how the Vitamin C shirt works and what other environmentally friendly apparel products theyre releasing this year.
[ TRENDS ]
Papa's Got a Brand-New (Reusable) Bag
Call it a fashion trend, environmental consciousness or just plain common sense, but public opinion has turned against plastic shopping bags. People are turning their backs on those disposable bags that pile up in households and litter city streets in favor of reusable shopping bags – and it appears retailers are starting to listen.
In the United Kingdom last year the hottest fashion item was a reusable bag from supermarket chain Sainsbury's imprinted with the phrase, "I'm Not A Plastic Bag!" The initial giveaway of the bags drew a crowd of over 500 people and subsequently became so popular that even celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom were all photographed toting the bag around London.
From Sage Green (asi/84290), an example of a
reusable bag that's creating a sensation with shoppers
of all ages and reducing the use of harmful plastic bags.
A number of stores in the United States, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Whole Foods, unveiled their own reusable bags. Many more stores are designing their own for introduction later this year such as high-end New York retailer Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales.
The trend could be a boon for distributors, as both a replacement for plastic bags and as a fashion accessory. San Diego-based Sage Green (asi/84290) is a supplier that formed two years ago in anticipation of the reusable trend and sees 2008 as a breakout year for sales.
"Our business has gone up 1,200% in the past year," says Terri Thomas, president. "We're adding more people and already looking for a larger warehouse. A lot of companies are now thinking green. The momentum is moving in that direction and the reusable fashion bag is going to be a very popular and sustainable item."
Selling Tip: Some parts of the United States, such as San Francisco, and the country of China have actually banned the use of plastic bags. Many more cities and town across United States are also considering such a measure. Now is the time for distributors to approach retailers to create their own bag in anticipation of such moves and as a great advertising medium for their business.
From U-Trau Inc. (asi/93133), flannel Breezy Pants
(15146) come in several fun color combinations.
If you've been out in public in the last year, you've no doubt noticed more than a few teens sporting what look to be their pajamas. If so, you're seeing the emergence of the next niche in youth apparel: loungewear. Victoria's Secret really got the ball rolling a few years ago with the creation of its Pink line of colored hoodies, sweats, underwear and accessories. The line targets older teens and college-age buyers, but it has also sparked a trend among young girls as well. The Pink line has already generated nearly $1 billion in sales and inspired other retail imitator such as American Eagle's Aerie line. The good news is that it's a niche that several apparel suppliers already cater to, such as U-Trau (asi/93133) and Crispies Co. Inc./Peace Frogs (asi/47432).
Selling Tip: High school and college promotions using loungewear are a no-brainer, but distributors should also consider targeting cheerleading teams, sororities, school stores and spas. Anywhere you find tween, teen and college girls, you'll find a need (and a desire) for comfortable clothes to lounge in.
If there's one must-have item for women this coming spring and summer, it would have to be the silk scarf. Aside from the obvious flourish it adds to any outfit, the silk scarf is all about versatility.
Wearers can use scarves to take a business casual look to fun weekend wear. A scarf can tied around the neck for a traditional look, wrapped around the waist as a belt or, maybe most popularly, worn as hair band or turban.
From KTP Design Co. (asi/63773), custom silk scarves available in both square and oblong styles.
Selling Tip: The best thing about silk scarves is that most women won't settle for just one, so push repeat giveaways or program selling. As for decoration, all-over patterns are popular as are step-and-repeat prints that can turn your client's logo into a really fashionable look.
[ NEWS BRIEFS ]
Alpha Shirt Co. (asi/34408) announced a series of open houses for 2008. The events will take place in Orlando on March 20, Philadelphia/Harrisburg on April 17, Chicago on September 25 and Dallas on October 23.
Ashworth Inc. (asi/37128) announced its acquisition of the Sun Ice and Sunicetrademarks from Fletcher Leisure Group Inc. Ashworth will launch a new golf-related technical outerwear line under this brand later this year.
Bella (asi/39590) introduced new styles and fabric mixes into its 2008 collection. Among the fabrics making their debut are bamboo jersey, mini thermal knit and polyester soft shell in a number of new men's and women's styles.
Boxercraft (asi/41325) launched a line of organic apparel. The line of cotton tees and tanks are made from 100% super-soft, certified organic cotton.
In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494) acquired the license to Gabrielle Rohde Royce (asi/83278) apparel. The agreement also includes the Rohde Royce for Men apparel label.
Sierra Pacific Apparel (asi/87224) has added Umbro, Rawlings and Hilton. Umbro is currently available from S & S Activewear (asi/84358); Rawlings will be available from Heritage Sportwear Inc. (asi/60582) this fall; and Hilton will be exclusively distributed by Virginia T's Inc. (asi/93917).
[ ASK AN EXPERT ]
Question: Where can I get embroiderable bomber hats?
Answer: We've got more than a few ideas. Try Philadelphia Rapid Transit (asi/77945) product number NS33; a sherpa-lined bomber hat that comes as a blank. But we think you may have to order a lot of these and if you don't want a lot, that could be a problem. So check on that. You can also go to New Age Inc. (asi/73761) and check out product number CF8147. This one comes in a digital camo design in a few different color options. Finally, try Lakeside Mills Inc.'s (asi/66105) product number 92214E, which is a polar fleece bomber. OK, that was a long answer to a short question, but we hope one of these options pans out. Good luck!
Selling Tip: Bomber hats, as well as other cold-weather wear, make great items at outdoor events and winter carnivals. They're also perfect for ski resorts and snow-related promotions.
Question: I'm looking for a company that can supply me with Made in the U.S.A., full-zip polar fleece outerwear.
Answer: Actually, we have two sources. First, try Apparel USA Corp. (asi/36541). This company has a great selection of outerwear made of polar fleece. And of course, as the name suggests, the products are all U.S.A.-made. Next, go to Force 2000 Athletic Apparel (asi/55056). The supplier's product number WP-907-666 is a full-zip polar fleece jacket. But, be sure to check this company's entire selection.
Selling Tip: Fleece jackets make a great outerwear selection, but decoration usually means embroidery. Keep that in mind when placing your order because it can sometimes affect turnaround time.
[ WEARABLES TERMS ]
Fabrics - Terms you should know:
Bengaline: Lustrous, durable fabric with a heavy crosswise rib made from textile fibers in combination. Used to make coats and suits.
Pique: A closely woven ribbed fabric produced from natural fibers, usually cotton. Pique is very popular in polo-style shirts.
Seersucker: Lightweight cotton-type, color-striped fabric with permanent, lengthwise, alternating, puckered stripes and felt strip sections.
Terry Cloth: This cloth has uncut loops on both side of the fabric. Woven on a dobby loom with terry arrangement, various sizes of yarn are used in the construction.
[ APPAREL SOLUTIONS ]
Safety Green Jersey Knit from Big Top T's, Inc.