Matt O’Connor, product manager at Beechfield Brands, explains why sustainability and security are the key trends for 2020

Matt O’Connor

What are the main design trends to look out for in the coming months?

The key trend across all markets, industries and geographies is sustainability.

Eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable living is finally on the fashion industry’s agenda — and sustainability is one of our core values. From initial concepts through to delivery, we’re constantly evaluating our impact and taking steps towards a more sustainable future.

Which fabric trends should our readers be aware of?

Sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton and recycled PET, are a key trend across all consumer products. We’re investing in recycled polyester and we’re also introducing our BagBase ReNew collection, made from 100% recycled polyester with 100% recycled lining.

Are there any particular styles that are proving to be popular?

Waistpacks, like the BagBase Molle Utility Waistpack (BG842), have been a big trend in fashion, and we’re planning new colours for this style in 2020 including fluorescent pink, fluorescent yellow and midnight camo.

Is there a particular size of bag that’s most popular?

With the fitness and personal wellbeing industry still continuing to grow, locker- size bags are becoming increasingly popular. The modern consumer often wants a bag like the new QD565 Pitch Black 24 Hour Backpack from Quadra, which functions as a smart, lightweight laptop bag, but with enough capacity to hold gym essentials — all while being comfortable for the commute.

The QD926 Security Backpack is perfect for the modern tech consumer

Are there any essential features that customers are looking for?

Quality, reliability and longevity are important, and customers also want increased functionality. In today’s digital world, more and more consumers are looking for security from their bags as they are carrying considerable valuables in the form of a phone and tablet, plus DSLRs, mirrorless cameras (for the vloggers out there), right through to 4K drones for those cinematic selfies. That’s why we offer the QD926 Security Backpack, designed in parallel with the QD922 Camera Organiser. Its slash-proof construction, expansive 20-litre capacity, internal organisation pockets, power bank pockets and integrated USB charging port means that it’s the perfect solution for the modern tech consumer.

What inspired the design of the new Modulr backpack with detachable pockets?

Our focus was ‘designed for decoration’ — we really thought about what we could do to make it easier for people to decorate our products. We decided to break the product down into smaller, manageable parts, with extended decoration access and opportunities to brand — plus the option to create thousands of colour combinations. There’s increasing consumer demand for multi-function, multi-purpose carrying solutions, and the Modulr Collection transcends markets from back-to-school through to contemporary streetwear.

Which of your new styles do you expect to be a bestseller?

The ReNew in BagBase. Sustainability is a key driver for modern consumers so I would expect — and hope — that this will pick up some major traction and enable us to move closer to a more sustainable future. One day all our polyester could be recycled.

How do you think the market will develop over the next few years?

I think consumers will continue to make more considered purchases and there will be an increasing expectation surrounding sustainability and the environmental impact of the products they buy.

What’s the best piece of marketing or sales advice you can give to Images readers to help them sell more decorated bags?

Help your customers to understand that every bag is a walking billboard of advertising opportunity, unencumbered by any other item of clothing. It’s not very often that you see someone wearing a coat over their branded backpack or messenger bag.