Forward-thinking and creative businesses realize the economic rewards of promoting social innovation, as it enhances a company’s image and can expand its pool of new consumers and workers.
It leaves doors open to multiple possibilities.
Today’s post will cover how UPS is creating a tangible change with its new promo items and how such a campaign can meaningfully impact the swag and fashion industry.
A Brief History of UPS (& of UPS Merch)
United Parcel Service (UPS) is an American package and document delivery corporation that operates globally.
UPS was founded in 1907 in Seattle by 19-year-old James E. Casey and another teenager, Claude Ryan, as the American Messenger Company.
They opened up a business in a basement under Ryan’s uncle’s bar, using a borrowed $100 as their starting capital.
Moving from the past into more of the present day, UPS has evolved into a market leader in worldwide supply chain management.
UPS Supply Chain Solutions is an effective company that provides logistics, international freight, finance, and postal services to clients to improve their business performance and worldwide supply chains.
Furthermore, UPS entered the retail industry in 2001 when it acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., the world’s biggest franchise of retail shipping, postal, and business service facilities.
All of this seems pretty impressive, right?
Well, there’s more!
UPS recently launched its first-ever limited-edition clothing and product line, Be Unstoppable, which premiered during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
The collection is the newest version of the brand’s proudly Unstoppable program, which seeks to raise awareness and support for minority-owned small businesses, particularly during the pandemic.
The collection has a broad choice of products, whether you’re looking for a new cap, a stylish backpack, or a vacuum-insulated water bottle with the UPS logo.
Moreover, this campaign has something for everyone; it includes anything from graphic shirts and satin-finished sling bags to a wallet-sized 14-in-1 multitool with a can opener, 4-position wrench, screwdriver, and more.
Fashion combined with a good cause? We’re all in!
UPS Be Unstoppable Gear x NYFW
As mentioned above, UPS has showcased its limited-edition collection during New York Fashion Week 2022.
Since we’re speaking of fashion combined with social change, UPS gave $580,000 in subsidies to minority-owned companies last year.
In addition, the company is continuing to break down barriers for small business owners by donating 100% of the sales from the Be Unstoppable gear and an extra $50,000 in grants to IN THE BLK, a non-profit committed to boosting young Black fashion firms.
UPS collaborated with IN THE BLK as part of the campaign to exhibit its inaugural presentation and a decked-out UPS vehicle at NYFW highlighting up-and-coming Black designers.
The initiative capitalizes on the current fashion drop frenzy, allowing the firm to reach out to a younger, more varied clientele.
Thinking outside the box
A shipping company joining a fashion week with killer promotional apparel? Why not?
This is where UPS hit differently with its collection, thinking about releasing streetwear that can speak to everyone and branded items that can attract different clientele.
Also, UPS succeeded in getting out there and joining other designers like Supreme, who is super popular for its trendy clothing items and accessories.
That created a sense of a surprise element.
UPS went all in not only by supporting minority-owned businesses during the pandemic but also by choosing a unique placement as the collection pays homage to barrier-breaking black designers and fashion creatives like Virgil Abloh and André Leon Talley.
Shedding light on the Black contribution to the fashion industry matters, as the industry wasn’t previously as all-inclusive as it’s attempting to be right now.
On a related note, Mecca James-Williams, a New York-based Creative and Stylist with a vast portfolio in content creation, styling, and creative direction, mentions the following in a Harpers Bazaar interview:
‘’It’s a lack of access, and then when you get that access, you get disenfranchised. Your voice gets silenced. So, yes, I’ve been a senior styling editor and a deputy styling editor, but when I got these roles, me using my voice got me disenfranchised.’’
Hence, UPS is helping create that inclusive space for everyone to have a voice even when COVID has made things harder on financial terms.
Be Unstoppable Gear online shop
We couldn’t skip talking about the Be Unstoppable gear online shop.
The store is definitely one of the coolest and trendiest stores of its kind that we’ve seen.
It has incredible visuals and graphics; the photography is out of this world, making every item look appealing.
UPS didn’t just go with some traditional printed tote bags; UPS gave a full-on merch experience.
In addition, the shop includes a sign-up option for future drops, which makes it possible to establish a unique opportunity and build anticipation right away, adding some spice to the process.
What Do Campaigns Like Be Unstoppable Mean for the Swag & Fashion Industries?
Streetwear initiatives that combine fashion’s aesthetics and creative side with marketing and commerce can yield fantastic outcomes for both sectors (fashion and promotional products industries).
A great example is a collaboration between Vetements and DHL that happened four years ago.
The relationship has provided DHL with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reach out to a new audience.
DHL permitted Vetements to use the logo in return for a limited number of T-shirts when many large corporations would have thrown the copyright book at the young upstarts.
Additionally, using the power of creativity is vital.
In our very fast-paced environment, remaining original and new is critical.
When something clicks, the most definitive answer could be to take this new concept and give it your brand’s twist.
So-called statement pieces will always have a buzz surrounding them because they are eye-catching, attention-seeking, and distributed to a tiny group of individuals.
A point that brings us full circle to Vetements’ use of the DHL logo’s magnetic strength and success.
Now that you have finished reading our post, we hope you see how fashion and swag can be compelling.
We believe that all businesses can collaborate to have a positive cultural and social impact.
If you want to take your merch to the next level and make bold statements and collabs, we’re here to help.
Thank you for reading!