Acres of Promotional Products

The PPAI Promotional Products Expo starts tomorrow January 16th. Well it started yesterday if you are into seminars. The product area opens Tuesday January 16th at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

I’ve been exhibiting or attending for a long time and it actually seems to have improved in that it is now on one big floor not upstairs and down, and the quality has improved. In the early days it seemed like  all one saw was miles of aisles of plastic throwaway crap. There are lots of interesting items and now you can get anything from high quality hockey jerseys (Barbarian Sportswear Booth 1551) to affordable small digital presses to print cellphone cases (Direct Color Systems Booth 6976 or get a new Pantone book discounted (Booth 2651.)

Many of the companies we work with will be there and if you are in Vegas at the show, check them out:

Hanes (Booth 5445)  Check out their new line of women’s shirts. Great look, Hanes Black Label.

Hanes (Booth 5347) Check out the new “Comfort Wash” line that is a softer better performing alternative to garment dyed shirts, no dye migration and you can dry clean out your mistakes.

Stahls (Booth 3407 and 3507) Take every chance you get to see what Stahls is doing with transfers. These are not your grandmother and father’s Care Bear and Farrah Fawcett transfers. This is a whole new world of decoration alternatives in terms of function and fashion. They are one of the few companies that are dealing with all the new fabrics rather than complaining about them.

Los Angeles Apparel (Booth 2107) Take a look at what Dov Charney has created with a truly Made in USA line that is truly non-sweatshop and truly fashionable. My new favorite is a great heavy zip hoodie that is somehow old school and new fashion at the same time.

Alternative Apparel (Booth 2247) They have the most fashionable garments that are ready for decoration in our industry. Always worth a look to see what is new there as they are always on the leading edge.

Bayside (Booth 2831) The most solid USA producer of garments with a deep inventory and well-made garments. They are the only union-made garment company worth considering IMHO.

eConscious (Booth 2116) They make affordable stylish organic and sustainable garments and they are a solid company, not just doing it for a year or two. They are the company most reliably making organic garments.

LAT Apparel (Booth 2011) Maybe it has something to do with having the only woman CEO in the industry but they have pioneered true sizing on women’s garments with four lines that actually line up with the variety of women’s body types out there in the real world. They also have some very cool baseball and football inspired fashions as well as the most complete kids line (Rabbit Skins.)

Bella/Canvas (Booths 2276, 1947, 2047) They have the widest variety of stylish garments in the industry. If you are doing big programs in the USA they are the solid supplier, you must be familiar with their lines. Their Black Heather garments have been a recent success with some of my clients. They are promoting their new Prism heathers, very very nice looking.

SanMar (Booth 3013) Full service distributor only a day or two away from just about everywhere. They have good inventory and so many lines to choose from. They were the first distributor to take seriously the fact that we have to decorate garments. They have online tools to assist and real people across the country that are dedicated to assisting decorators in figuring out the ever more complex array of garments out there.

Maybe I’ll see some of you in the aisles, look for the guy with a beard and baseball cap wearing either a Monkeyfishprinting or Ink Kitchen shirt.


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