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Vietnamese textile manufacturers explore Australian wool
28
Mar '14
As part of the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) "Out of Vietnam" project, 20 Vietnamese textile manufacturers have visited Australia to see first-hand how wool is grown, tested and traded, as well as assessing for themselves the quality of the fibre.
 
Comprising sweater, sock, underwear and accessory manufacturers, the delegation visited farms, testing houses and an auction. They also had meetings with a number of Australian brands and retailers, providing an opportunity to show garments produced with Australian wool. All delegates have come to Australia at their own expense.
 
AWI's "Out of Vietnam" project was launched just under two years ago and is primarily aimed at reducing the Australian wool industry's reliance on China, where around 80% of Australian wool is currently exported. In addition, the project is creating new business opportunities for the fibre and around 50 Vietnamese manufacturing companies are participating in the project.
 
At the start of the project, none of the Vietnamese companies were familiar with making garments from wool, with them largely using cotton, acrylic and polyester.
 
AWI's General Manger Product Development and Commercialisation, Jimmy Jackson said, "Our value proposition to the Vietnamese companies was that we will teach them firstly how to produce higher value products made from Australian wool, and then we will introduce them to potential new customers who can pay a higher price. Since the project began this is exactly what we have done. 
 
“As a first stage, our technicians visited the factories in Vietnam to teach them about what yarns to buy, how to dye wool, and finish fabrics or garments made from it. Once the companies were technically confident we then embark on the second stage, where some six months ago, we arranged the visit to Vietnam of a delegation of Japanese retail buyers to meet our new manufacturing partners. This was replicated last month with a visit to Vietnam by Korean retail buyers".

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