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PINDUSTRY: the Lapel Pin Comeback

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Forget key rings and chokers; nowadays you’re never fully dressed without a pin (or five) attached to your outfit.

Over the past 12 months, you may have noticed millennials getting excited over Trump and Hillary themed badges and popular fashion brands releasing their own pin lines, but the enamel pin movement began long before 2016, and now it’s taking the Internet by storm.

Source: W Magazine

Originally, lapel pins were worn as either symbols of achievement, or by members of an organisation to showcase affiliation to a cause. Aside from the obvious political uses, enamel pins and patches are prominent in the military to indicate ranking (Heddels), and are often gifted by businesses, schools, universities and fraternities/sororities to elite members. More recently pin design, collecting and trading has become a popular hobby worldwide.

“Around 2014 was the early days of what you would call pin revival,” Eduardo Morales, better known as Instagram pin-prince Pin Lord, told W Magazine. “Small artists started doing unique, interesting, artsy sort of pins for the fun of it, and people just started liking it.”

The “pindustry” has rebooted with such enthusiasm that in 2016, New York played host to its very first Pin & Patch Show (for any pin-crazy Yankees reading, the 2017 show is on August 2). Although capacity at the cosy Chinatown Soup gallery is only 100 people, almost 2,000 pin fanatics flooded through the exhibition to gush over collections of the top ten New York pin brands.


Source: W Magazine

So why have pins made a comeback? Founder of Prize Pins believes it’s a new way to demonstrate identity. “People are always looking for ways to express themselves, and a pin is cheaper than a tattoo,” she told Vice. “They can literally take on any shape or form.”

Not only do modern pins add individual style to jeans, bags, jackets, shoes – pretty much anything you can stick a pin through – but they’ve opened up opportunities for small-time artists to create an affordable product on a global platform.

Even better, enamel pins – like PinstaPals – can be used to promote a greater cause. In our case, $2 from every pin is donated to Lort Smith Animal Hospital, which is part vet, part foster centre and it also runs a volunteer program that sees therapy dogs visit hospitals and aged care homes. 

Tag us in your pin collection snaps on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #mypinstapal and show us what you've got!

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