5 Exciting Upcoming ‘New for 2021’ Products

Fall is right around the corner, which means, new 2021 styles are starting to flow into our inventory. We picked five collections and styles we’re really excited about, and put together some details about what they offer, and which markets they’d fit right into.

Adidas New “Floating 3 Stripe” Series

Click here to see all the new adidas® styles for 2021

One of the things we love about these new styles is that it’s really a complete collection, filled with companion styles and accessories to match. Since adidas® is also one of the most sustainable companies in fashion, all of these new styles are made using 100% recycled polyester. There’s no better logo to co-brand your company with than the iconic three-stripes from adidas®, and this collection gives you a wide range of options to do just that.

GREAT FOR:

  • Eco-conscious and sustainable programs
  • Corporate collections
  • Premium uniforms
  • Company store offerings

The Oakley “Utility Bag” Line

In Photo: 23L Utility Backpack – FOS900549 & 50L Utility Duffel Bag – FOS900548

Few brands can match Oakley’s attention to detail, and the new “Utility Bag Line” is no different. Offered in two colors, “Blackout” and “Rye,” the series is durable, stylish, and has no shortage of the functional space and utility pockets you’ll need for your trip to work or on your next adventure. Our backpack line is a favorite amongst sales organizations that want their team to be equipped with functionality, and these will make a great addition to those programs.

GREAT FOR:

  • Outdoor sports enthusiasts
  • Corporate collections
  • Indoor lifestyle

The “Quick Flip” Hoodie (As Seen On Shark Tank)

In Video: Quikflip 2-in-1 Hero Hoodie Lite Full-Zip – LAFZH

You’ve never been as enthusiastic about a hoodie, as you will be for this one. If you’ve already seen this on Shark Tank, you’re already pumped up about selling these to your clients. The Quikflip instantly makes traveling with a hoodie practical and purposeful. No one sells this product better than the owner and jiu-jitsu master, Rener Gracie, so we’ll let the video above do most of the talking. This is sure to become an instant favorite for the school and team market.

GREAT FOR:

  • School and team programs
  • Marketing and tech firms
  • Corporate stores

Columbia’s Urban Lifestyle™ Sling Pack

In Photo: Columbia – Urban Lifestyle™ Sling Pack – 177469

The ever-popular outdoor brand, Columbia, is bringing its casual sling pack to our collection, offering you a quick on and off option in a day pack. This is perfect for the new generation of workers, who just need a quick storage pack for their tech essentials, a water bottle, or maybe even their lunch. This should be especially popular with tech and marketing firms, where their design tools are housed at the office and employees just need a pack for their daily essentials.

GREAT FOR:

  • Marketing and tech firms
  • Corporate stores
  • College Students

Richardson’s Rogue Wide Side Mesh Cap

In Photo: Richardson – Rogue Wide Side Mesh – 935

Streetwear stills reigns supreme in the world of fashion and this new mesh cap should satisfy hypebeasts everywhere, with its minimalist texture and trendy muted color selection. It’s water-resistance also lends itself to being an exciting accessory for outdoor enthusiasts, who might be looking for something more modern. And, as a bonus feature, it can float on water.

GREAT FOR:

  • Nutritional companies
  • Energy beverage companies
  • Health and fitness
  • Lifestyle brands

We’ve Gone Solar! Why We Did It and What It Means For You.

See the power of solar in our new animation

As we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and building businesses, it’s easy to forget about the impact we have on the world around us. With well over seven billion people populating our planet, every little thing we do in our daily routines almost certainly has an affect on the environment and we’ve taken notice of this at S&S Activewear.

Over the past few years, we’ve started to put forth an enormous effort to become more sustainable in our daily operations. Within the past three decades, we’ve been lucky enough to expand our company reach to 6 locations (Robbinsville, NJ; McDonuough, GA; Lockport, IL; Olathe, KS; Fort Worth, TX; and Reno, NV) nationwide, and with great expansion comes great responsibility.

Taking Action

That’s why we started a major initiative to install solar panels on our facilities across the country. With the help of our local officials and dedicated staff, we’ve been able to turn 5 of our warehouses into a renewable energy source for our surrounding communities, most recently being our newest 750k sq. ft. LEED certified warehouse in Lockport, IL. This facility is our most sustainable building yet and we went to great lengths to make sure it lived up to strict environmental standards.

Companywide, we’ve installed water refilling stations where possible, placed recycling stations across our office spaces and reuse packing boxes to reduce cardboard waste.

End Users Are Watching

What does this mean for you? End users are also becoming way more focused on the practices of businesses they buy from, so operating responsibility should be any company’s top priority. “There’s no question consumers across all end markets expect their supply chains to be more environmentally focused,” says our COO, Frank Myers. A new generation of buyers means that people are more focused on knowing their hard earned dollars are being spent on something they know was made, distributed and sold responsibly.

Make An Imprint

The changes we’ve started to make within our company come from an inspiration to help preserve our environment for future generations to come and we invite you to join us and explore new ways you too can operate more sustainably. Together we can “Make An Imprint” that’ll inspire others to help keep our planet healthy for all who follow us.

To find out more about our environmental initiatives and community outreach programs, read about our “Make An Imprint” program here.

“Pivoting Out of COVID-19” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 1 – (feat. Danny Rosin and Robert Fiveash of Brand Fuel)

A lot of revenue streams have dried up due to the COVID-19, and as a result, many businesses have been forced to pivot into a new direction.

Danny Rosin and Robert Fiveash, of Brand Fuel, have been leading a free-spirited brand merchandising agency for over 20 years, delivering experiences, eCommerce, inspiration, and top notch results for their customers. Find out how they’ve been able to use that experience to find success, with new opportunities opening up in today’s markets.

Continue reading ““Pivoting Out of COVID-19” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 1 – (feat. Danny Rosin and Robert Fiveash of Brand Fuel)”

How to Price for Profit, during COVID-19

Yes, decorated-apparel shops are dropping prices to win post-pandemic work. Lucas Guariglia, CEO and co-founder of Chicago-based Rowboat Creative, has definitely noticed, and doesn’t think it’s a good idea. “While shops are using this as a survival tactic to get back above water, it’s setting the tone for us to be taken advantage of due to low pricing,” he says.

When you’re simply trying to survive the pandemic, it’s easy to justify taking orders without thinking enough about profit margin, fit for your equipment, or alignment with your goals.  Even before the virus, pricing was an issue, leaving decorators trying to find the “magic number” to appeal to customers, while still netting a profit.

“The decorators who’ll enjoy long-term success are those who’ve pursued new products and different imprinting methods to serve their customers’ changed needs, while reducing costs and maintaining a profitable position,” says Erich Campbell, program manager for the Commercial Division at BriTon Leap. “Rather than shift to a lower-margin pricing scheme, many retooled their equipment and processes to decorate new products and to serve markets that haven’t been as adversely affected.”

The Impact of ‘Low-Price Shoppers’ During COVID-19

In two months, the United States lost over 36 million jobs. This translates into much smaller budgets for buyers, especially on the marketing side. Because of this, many decorators are steering away from raising prices, even with increases in production costs and materials. “Ultimately, you get what you pay for,” Guariglia says. “We’ll always stand firm on wanting to provide superior products with superior service.”

Continue reading “How to Price for Profit, during COVID-19”

Should You Sell Licensed Collegiate and Sports Apparel?

With fall right around the corner, don’t miss out on a major merchandising opportunity—college team wear and Greek organization gear for the back-to-school and football crowd. Although, we’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a CNBC article, “The Chronicle of Higher Education has tracked over 1,000 colleges since April and has found that roughly 65% of schools are preparing for in-person classes this fall. That also means that all signs point to students still needing some gear to represent their schools, which may now also include PPE.

If you’re already in the business of selling decorated apparel, the process itself for getting a license may look murky. So, let’s talk about what licensing entails, how to go about it, and the pros and cons of selling licensed merch (with a little expert advice).

Companies, schools, teams and organizations all want to protect their market brand. For example, The Walt Disney Co. doesn’t want (or permit) unauthorized Mickey Mouse prints on T-shirts. That’s where licensing comes in.

To legally print a branded product such as a college logo or sorority letters, a printing company must be licensed by the copyright holder to print the artwork. When you apply for a license, the owner of the image (known as the licensor) gets a fee in advance for allowing you to use their images. Usually, this can be a flat fee or a percentage of income from the sales of these licensed products.

As part of this agreement, the printing company (known as the licensee) verifies quality control and the licensor approves the image usage. “If a sorority wants its letters on a crop top that advertises a year-end keg party, the licensor usually won’t approve it,” says Steve Farag, co-owner of Urbana, IL-based Campus Ink Printing. “Ultimately, a lot of the responsibility falls on you, the licensee, to ensure you’re protecting the licensor’s rights and reputation.”

The Process of Getting a License

Getting a license to sell logoed products for colleges, Greek organizations or sports teams isn’t something you can do in an afternoon. It’s a complex, multiple-step process that takes time. But, it can ultimately lead you to a great opportunity to make more sales.

Continue reading “Should You Sell Licensed Collegiate and Sports Apparel?”

What Streetwear Brands’ Response to COVID Says About the Future of Apparel

The year of 2020 has definitely been a challenging one on many fronts. But, one thing that’s really stood out, especially since COVID-19 reared its ugly head earlier this year, is how art and creativity have helped carry us through it all. It’s helped us raise money for those in need, keep local businesses afloat, spread powerful messages, celebrate graduations in unique ways, and given us much needed distractions from the seriousness of the times.

Streetwear and decorated apparel, in general, has absolutely been a huge source of this creativity and support. Many in the streetwear community are among those, who, even while struggling, have used their popularity and creativity to put a smile on people’s faces, while trying to stay in business at the same time.

The Social Distancing Club

Take, for example, a new streetwear company “The Social Distancing Club,” out of Los Angeles, CA. They spawned from a desire to turn social distancing into something that felt cool and positive vs something negative, in an effort to encourage people to do it. The two founders also started the line out as a way to help the World Central Kitchen, a group working across the country on safely distributing individually packaged fresh meals to communities in need. For every piece of apparel (which consists of t-shirts, crop tops, hoodies and of course, face masks) that is sold, five dollars will go to the WCK.

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❌ Out All Of The Hate☎️

A post shared by Social Distancing Club (@socialdisclub) on

Continue reading “What Streetwear Brands’ Response to COVID Says About the Future of Apparel”

Dear Decorators, Musicians Need You and Here’s Why.

Being a musician these days may be tougher than it’s ever been. The evolution of how we consume our favorite tunes has taken some money out of musicians’ pockets and forced them to get creative with how they make some of it back.

Gone are the days when fans would rush to the stores to buy that new CD, or visit iTunes to download their album. Today, most of us simply stream our music and the rise of these services has made tour and merch revenue much more important to artists worldwide. Business Insider found that the highest paid act in 2017, U2, made $54 million in total revenue. About 94% of that came from touring and less than 4% came from streaming or album sales. Imagine what that means for a local band or an artist without the cache of U2.

Streaming Is Sucking Artists Dry

According to Billboard.com, by November 2019 album sales fell 19% compared to the same point in 2018. “And, for the full year of 2018, album sales dropped by 17.7% to 141 million — the lowest number of albums sold in a year since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991.” This is largely due to streaming.

NPR interviewed independent musician, Erin McKeown, and found that her accountant mentioned she was only making $0.004 per play on Spotify. At that rate, it would take 250 streams to earn $1 in royalties and 2,500 to earn a typical album download cost of $10. Keep in mind that is because McKeown is an independent artist, she gets 100% of her streaming royalties, but if she had a label, she’d be splitting even that small amount of earnings with them too.

The coronavirus has recently made things even more dire for musicians. With the pandemic effectively shutting down their #1 revenue stream, most acts have been forced to cancel or reschedule their tours. So how are musicians surviving these days?

Continue reading “Dear Decorators, Musicians Need You and Here’s Why.”

Celebrities Love Adidas. But, THIS Is Why Your Clients Will Love Them Too.

Iconic sports brand adidas has made a huge sustainable splash—and the world has taken notice. That’s why it’s so exciting for S&S to be the exclusive distributor of premium adidas products to the wholesale market. We’ve now introduced the wholesale market to more than 30 adidas styles that contain recycled polyester, or are made from 100% recycled polyester, and more are on the way.

The prestige of this brand, coupled with its compelling recycled-product story and sustainable message, speaks to Gen X and Millennial end-users in a whole new way.

This year, and into 2021, distributors and decorators should start embracing the opportunity to present clients with adidas’ sustainable story and styles, as people are looking for more responsible brands to buy from. Here’s a few reasons why.

Celebrity Love for Adidas Is Blowing Up

When you take adidas’ sustainable efforts and then add in major star power, you get an unbeatable formula for brand success. Collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West have led to the creation of highly sought after sneaker collections. Beyoncé’s “Ivy Park” athletic apparel line, just launched—capturing more of the urban and streetwear markets. Their newest brand ambassador, NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is the inspiration behind their recently launched collection, Pat’s Closet, and the talent keeps on flocking to adidas.

Many athletes and celebrities use their reach to help causes they care about the most. They feel a need to align themselves with things that can make a difference and Continue reading “Celebrities Love Adidas. But, THIS Is Why Your Clients Will Love Them Too.”

How Long Will Sales Opportunities Last for Masks?

As distributors and decorators begin to see “stay-at-home” restrictions slowly being lifted across the country, people are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But, the question of what business will look like, even after restrictions are lifted, still looms large.

Because there’s lots of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its lasting effect on our society, we may see businesses and the general public continue to take precautionary measures for the foreseeable future.

As a result, our society may start to think differently about how we interact and do business with each other on a daily basis. That kind of change, can often open up new markets of opportunity, and decorated face masks are becoming just that.

Bayside – USA-Made 100% Cotton Face Mask – 1900

Information Is Changing Our Mindset

A recent article in Forbes magazine pointed out a study revealing:

“Just one minute of loud speaking could generate at least a thousand virus-containing little droplets of fluid that may hang in the air for over eight minutes.”

Continue reading “How Long Will Sales Opportunities Last for Masks?”

Shirt Lab COVID-19 Survival Tips and FREE 3-DAY Webinar

As small businesses across the country have been scrambling to figure out how to cope with the sudden impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our economy, decorators have turned into a lifeline for many of them. Thinking outside-of-the-box is exactly what will help us all get through a tough time like this, and decorators have been extremely active in helping to find new ways we can all support businesses, families and schools in our local communities.

Marshall Atkinson and Tom Rauen, industry gurus and founders of the Shirt Lab workshops, are masters at thinking outside-of-the-box. In the video below, they’ll share what some of these decorators have been doing to keep themselves afloat, and also touch on their own creative ideas, which you could use to continue generating business now and in the future. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

When we all put our heads together, problems get solved, new relationships form and new opportunities present themselves to us. Marshall and Tom, know how important it is to collaborate and share knowledge, so they’ve rounded up an incredible group of OVER 30 successful industry experts to bring you the Shirt Lab Summit.

Taking place on June 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the Shirt Lab Summit is a series of webinars, which will help you take your business to the next level, and REGISTRATION IS FREE!

Click below for more information on the speakers and to register for access.

Featured Photo created by Yanalya – www.freepik.com