Why designer glasses are now a must-have fashion accessory
When you think “fashion”, you think clothes, right? Which cuts and silhouettes are trending right now? The materials? Big logos or subtle prints? Trending colors?
However, the fashion world does not stop at wearables. Trends and fads translate into consumer products and accessories, including glasses. Try telling the TikTok kid asking for the last bottle of water they saw their favorite influencer using that drink can’t be trendy.
As with clothing, choosing a good product for drinking means finding the right material (especially if it is environmentally friendly), choosing the right color or colors and adapting to the current wants or needs of consumers.
“Fashionable or stylish and functional glasses designed with purpose are the future,” said Vinh Lieu, co-owner of Elemental Bottles, Fountain Valley, CA. “I’m excited about our Iconic 14 oz. Fidget Pop bottles releasing in late May. This bottle has a unique fidget pop handle strap and is super relaxing to play with. Normally you move by clicking pens or shaking your legs, and sometimes it can annoy people at meetings. If you have this bottle, you can hydrate yourself while fidgeting, and not bother anyone!”
This is just one example of how glasses are evolving to become more than just a container for your drink of choice. Let’s take a look at a few more and what it could mean for the promotion.
Style and purpose
Trends and demand go beyond appearance. Sustainability is now a top priority for many consumers and brands. People want products that make them feel like they’re doing their part to help the environment, or at least not make matters worse.
Choosing reusable bottles over single-use plastics is a great start, but retailers should consider other factors in the manufacturing and decorating process that appeal to environmentally conscious end users. And it’s not enough to just be reusable – durable glasses should always look good, so consumers want to use them day after day.
“I believe that high quality, stylish and functional glass will be used again and again, and that’s durability through use,” Lieu said. “A cheap or ugly reusable product will not be used and will simply end up in landfills.”
Brian Sommers, owner of Baltimore Glassware Decorators, Baltimore, said his company has implemented many processes to comply with current environmental and safety standards.
“We do actual ink application technology,” he said. “In this facility, we are completely organic, UV, lead-free, metal-free. All our applications [and] our inks can pass child safety standards. It’s the same type of ink technology they use on children’s toys. So that’s really a key factor for us in terms of the green initiative: no one will be harmed, no one can be sued, we are fully compliant and eco-friendly for the application process. »
At present, you may not be able to offer your customer their first choice item. We all know about the supply chain issues that have led to long lead times and stock-outs.
This means that the most successful distributors are those who can get their customers to place an order, regardless of the obstacles. Distributors must be sure to be able to find the products their customers need, even if it means looking outside their usual suppliers.
“It’s the guys who have the stock that are winning the race right now,” Sommers said. “So many other competitors and things in our beverage industry category, a lot of people are struggling to stock, which leads to turnover issues. We are loaded. We have increased our stock levels by over 160%. So we are ready to pass while everyone who has slept for the last two years is awake now, but we are able to pass. This is the most important thing. With every call we get, people ask us three or four times, “Are you sure you have the stock? Because they’ve been burned by so many other people. That’s really the key for us right now: having a product.
These days, it can also mean looking at other materials or styles that you may not have considered before.
“We were pushing and hammering so hard and doing well, but most of our ceramics are imported,” Sommers said. “So right now they’re so outrageous and expensive that ceramic volume is down right now. Glass volume is through the roof, but the ceramic you’re talking about is up 100% [from] one year ago in cost for this item. So it’s a bit of a weird time for this sector.
Let’s say you’ve found a supplier who has warehouses full of the products you need. It’s awesome! Unfortunately, it’s no longer as simple as shipping a box of travel mugs to your client’s office.
Other aspects of our modern life influence the demand for glasses. Take, for example, the work-from-home boom and the wave of new hires. Businesses can use glasses in onboarding kits for employees whether they are in the office or at home, and distributors can add value by managing the delivery of these items.
This can mean drop shipping directly to recipients or spicing things up with a fully made kit. Beverage items work great with other items like t-shirts, notebooks, or writing instruments to create a complete promotional experience. This trend has been important for Lieu and Elemental bottles.
“Our drinkware gift sets have been very popular,” he said. “The most popular set is our Classic Water Bottle and Artisan Tumbler Gift Set. We also get many requests to add items to this gift set and ship them direct. [We saw] an increase of over 300% for us in 2021 since 2020.”
Of these additional items (clothing, writing instruments, etc.), chances are the drinking piece will be the most used and have the longest shelf life. That is, of course, as long as it looks good. As we said, a new glass can serve as a fashion statement on its own.
“The wild thing about the glasses category [is that it] almost serves as a trophy/award type product,” Sommers said. “To explain that, someone marks with a pen or a T-shirt, it goes into a drawer or a closet. Someone gets a branded drink, eight and a half times out of 10 it ends up… displayed, traded, resold online. You are almost at the limit of an award or trophy style product.