We keep up with the swag trends like it’s our job (spoiler: it kind of is) and we’re always looking for new ways to help Real Thread clients take advantage of the latest in apparel trends. We charted the trajectory of the tote bag, empowering clients to hop on the trend when it was positively white hot. We’ve kept an eye on the cutting edge, anticipating what the future of sustainable printing might look like. Now, we’re shifting our focus to the latest swag trends.
For our full report on the latest and greatest in swag — and a few ways that you can make the trends work for you — read on.
The 2022 Swag Trend Wrap-Up
Swag, Made Softer
It’s 2022, and stiff, scratchy swag is so out. In, is impossibly soft swag that you (literally) can’t wait to get your hands on. Maybe being in our comfy clothes for what seemed like three straight years has us elevating our softness standards. Who knows! What we do know is that, when it comes to the custom t-shirts our clients are snagging, the softer the better. If you’re looking to get in on this super soft swag, printing on borderline delicious Alternative Apparel blanks is the way to do it. The cotton-polyester fabric allows for added movement, and each shirt has a perfect broken-in feel — without years of wear, washes, and waiting.
There’s Something for the Outdoorsy Types
Have you noticed friends, family members, and noted couch potatoes showing off their outdoor lifestyles lately? You’re not alone, as even the National Park Service has seen a major uptick in visitors in the years since the pandemic. A reported 20% hike (sorry!) in outdoor activities means more people are getting straight up outdoorsy than ever before. And those in search of fresh air need the right gear to do so.
Given the great outdoors’ surge in popularity, it’s no surprise that swag with outdoor activities in mind is trending. The trusty tote bag is a great go-to for hitting the beach or strolling the supermarket, but companies looking to appeal to green thumbs of all varieties are making their mark with heavy-duty branded backpacks. With the traffic on the trails at an all-time high, we think this trend is way more than just a phase.
To-Go Cups Are Here to Stay
If you’re like us, you’re probably scratching your head wondering when in the world reusable water bottles became status symbols. The introduction of brands like Yeti and Hydro Flask probably had something to do with it, but we’ve found that the trend goes far beyond these big-name brands. In fact, the value of the reusable water bottle industry is expected to reach a whopping $11 billion by 2025 –– but could very likely exceed this figure if trends around sustainability stay strong. With so many Americans adding their reusable water bottles to their before-I-leave-the-house checklist, branded to-go cups make for some extremely trendy swag.
The hydro heavyweights know it, too! Hydro Flask recently branched out to company and corporate customization, offering engraving and printing services to those looking to get their logos on the coveted bottles. Yeti, too, offers a similar service. While we’re not in the custom water bottle game yet, given our passion for sustainability don’t be surprised if you see us jump on this trend!
The 90’s, Made New
We’re swag fans, of course, but design is at the heart of what we do — and we’ve been closely following the return of 90’s design styles. Think: These iconic cups, retro-futuristic imagery, and a vibey color palette that could only follow the neon overload of the 80’s. The fashion world has already noted this radical return to form, and we expect to see a major influx in 90’s-inspired custom gear in the coming months.
Tackle the Trends with Real Thread
Some swag trends are a flash in the pan, but we have a strong feeling that these are here to stay. With that said, the best way to put these swag trends to work is by creating sharp, lasting gear that people will be proud to wear. Like, we don’t know, the kind you’d find at Real Thread!
If you’re ready to get in on the trend — or stay ahead of the custom curve — send us a note to get started.