Trends to Be Thankful For

November 24, 2020

Usually, this is the time of year for food and fellowship shared with family and friends, the time to remember all the things that we’re thankful for. This year is looking a little different, but there are still plenty of reasons to give thanks. Here’s just a few on our list.


The readiness is all,” Hamlet says in the play Shakespeare named after him. Being prepared for change is always important, but this year it took center stage. And so we have the most unexpected and unavoidable apparel accessory of 2020: the face mask.

Nobody had this in their predictions for 2020, but what was once a niche market for masks and face coverings became a growth industry. Both enterprising individuals and established businesses responded to the pandemic by quickly exploring and expanding on mask designs.

Here at SanMar, we added so many face coverings this year that we built a page just to keep track of all the different options, and also wrote extensively about how to decorate them.


Being prepared for change sets the stage for adapting to it, and human beings are nothing if not adaptable. When things change, we learn and change with them. It is this quality that has gotten us through the last several months, and it’s this trend that we’ve been covering in recent posts on the Style Network.

The overall trend is something we call Elevated Active – a shift towards apparel that supports working and learning at home and mixes a professional look with a high level of comfort. So far, we’ve focused on how this has made workwear a category worth watching and on the importance of creating surfaces that feel both protective and comforting. Stay tuned in December as we discuss how we apply this trend to preparing for the year ahead.


Finally, the changes we’ve seen this year have inspired us to make changes of our own. Many of the businesses experiencing success now used the changed circumstances to re-invent themselves, try new things, and develop fresh skills.

One example of this is the trend of on-demand printing. While this has always been an option, the new models of 2020 required smaller and more flexible systems for ordering, and printing shirts when they’re ordered simply makes more sense. Many decorators have added direct-to-garment printing capability to their toolkit of techniques, and SanMar is introducing the first DTG-ready shirt later this year to help improve the process of this versatile decoration style.

For many, 2020 has probably been the most unusual year in recent memory – maybe ever. It’s nice to have time at the end of the year to slow down, reflect, and give thanks for the things that have gotten us through. By being prepared, adapting to change and innovating for the future, there’s plenty to be thankful for.

Here’s to a safe, calming and happy Thanksgiving for all of us.