Standout Products Make A Statement On The Show Floor
Every year, The PPAI Expo brings a new opportunity for suppliers to showcase their latest in products and services before thousands of potential distributor partners. Describing the roster of products on the show floor as “impressive” is putting it lightly—there are infinite products available for custom branding, advertising and marketing efforts, with an expansive selection fit for any industry, client and project imaginable.
Many of the products and exhibitors at this year’s show focused on growing their sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts. Hanes, truly a gamechanger in this space, has a myriad of programs and projects aimed at reducing their carbon footprint to zero waste. Rachel Newman, vice president and general manager at Hanesbrands Inc., which operates in the promotional products industry as Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138, S10), says the company is working toward a 2021 goal of replacing all virgin polyester with 100-percent recycled polyester in future manufacturing. And last year, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, company successfully diverted 86 percent of its production waste from the nation’s landfills, and it aims to reach 100 percent by the end of this year.
One of the products featured at Hanes’s Alternative Apparel booth is the Eco-Teddy Outdoor Quarter-Zip Hoodie. Made from 50-percent polyester, 46-percent cotton and four-percent rayon, the hoodie is manufactured using organic and recycled materials. Details include a bound hood opening, quarter-zip front, bungee cord with a lock at the hood’s opening and a kangaroo pocket. Available in S-2X in eco black, eco gray and eco canvas.
Also hot in apparel is the Prim + Preux Adult Preux Elite Long Sleeve Button-Down from Christ Church, Barbados-based Gildan Activewear (PPAI 250187, S13). Available in three standout colors—morning blue, soft grey and soft lavender—the shirt is made of 52-percent cotton and 48-percent polyester and has a modern, classic fit with wicking properties. Details include a self-fabric collar and collar stand, eight front pearlized white buttons, rolled forward topstitched shoulder, side seam, decorative logo side tab on the left side seam, a curved bottom hem and woven label. Available in sizes S-3XL.
Also featured at Gildan Activewear is the 64EZO EZ Print T-Shirt, which uses a secondary step to remove traces of fibers and fuzz on the shirt prior to printing. The 100-percent ring-spun cotton shirt, which has a modern, classic fit, also has a higher stitch density for a smoother printing surface. Additional details include a taped neck and shoulders, double-needle sleeve and bottom hems and a tearaway label. Available in white, pitch black, gravel and navy in S-XL.
The Signature Crewneck by San Francisco, California-based supplier Marine Layer (PPAI 690355, S1) is available in any color—the company will PMS-match the tees to fit branding perfectly. The tees also have an incredibly soft hand, a detail aligned with the company’s story. The owner was inspired to found his business after his girlfriend threw away his favorite t-shirt; a shirt that possessed the cozy feel of a shirt that’s been worn many a time before. So, he decided to remake his favorite t-shirt, and Marine Layer was born. The tees are also pigment garment-dyed, meaning that the shirt is made first, and then dipped in dye and washed twice, producing a faded color with a vintage effect.
Apparel accessories were also big at the show, such as these hyper-custom, bold sock designs from Lee’s Summit, Missouri-based Sock101 (PPAI 625402, S6). The company, which just recently lowered its turnaround time from 10 days to seven days, has a T.O.M. (top of mind) program, which helps keep business top of mind for clients by sending a package, once per month for a year, along with a written insert. The best part? There’s no minimums, no lead times and the box ships out the same day Sock101 receives the recipients’ information. One of the company’s most popular products is its Custom-Knitted Athletic Socks, which are 100-percent custom athletic jacquard/woven socks that are knitted on 168- to 200-needle count machines, with added compression support—the perfect complement to the end of a long day walking the show floor at Expo.
Tech accessories continue to drive many new product introductions. The Stick Company is featuring a new phone accessory, IM Stick, which adheres, with a magnet, to the back of any phone. Its flexible, coated wires can be bent at any angle, allowing the phone to stand on a desktop, adhere to a car AC vent or wrap around a finger or bicycle handlebars.”
Whether you’re traveling, or you’re running errands, LuxePak, LLC (PPAI 743943, S00) encourages distributors to think “inside the box” with its new collection of brandable, customizable, airtight, water-resistant and pressure-resistant cases. The lightweight six-by-six-by-three-inch hard shell case holds three two-ounce bottles with a removable bottle bracket and storage net. It’s also TSA-compliant and durable up to 215 pounds—so you know your belongings are in safekeeping.
Port St. Lucie, Florida-based supplier Foxyware (PPAI 368029, S1) also has products that make it easier to be on the move—and they’re sure to attract attention everywhere they go. The company’s Rhinestone Emblazoned 16-20-ounce Tumblers are adorned with allover, custom glass or acrylic rhinestones, adding a bedazzled spin to a company’s logo or branding. And for projects requiring low minimums, Foxyware also has a new “Skinny” 20-ounce, stainless tumbler that features banded glass rhinestones with just a 24-piece minimum.
The folks over at supplier Alpi International, Ltd., (PPAI 111221, S8) based in Oakland, California, introduced new looks in hyper-customized, eye-catching stress balls, available in practically any design imaginable. Pictured here are stress products shaped as a dog, unicorn, plunger, coffin, a strand of DNA, the United States and baseballs, among others. New and popular this year, they say, is anything rainbow—pictured are rainbow hot-and-cold gel packs, a product that sold out in the month of June, which is LGBT Pride Month.