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Benefits of wool; from country to catwalk
Sep '09
Australian Wool Innovation is listening to woolgrowers across Australia this week while selling the benefits of the natural fibre in Italy and China.

The wool marketing, research and development company is selling the merits of the natural fibre at two major international events. Milano Unica in Milan is one of Europe's most prestigious woven apparel shows, while AWI is meeting knitwear processors, manufacturers, designers and retailers at the Spin Expo trade fair in Shanghai.

As this takes place, AWI chief executive Brenda McGahan and European-based director Laurence Modiano are visiting woolgrowers in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT, having attended two woolgrower forums in WA over the weekend.

Ms McGahan said AWI had been reshaped to allow for more targeted marketing activities, funded through a reduction in overhead costs and an integration of the on- and off-farm R&D sectors to improve the flow of market signals.

“We have a plan to reignite the demand for this wonderful fibre and the long term viability of the Australian wool industry. I look forward to listening to as many growers as possible about the future of the wool at these meetings throughout the week,” Ms McGahan added.

The grower forums take place just weeks before the industry votes on the future funding of AWI at WoolPoll. Woolgrower shareholders presently pay 2 per cent of their wool income to AWI for marketing, research and development. This funding is partially matched by the Australian Government.

Much of the new marketing initiative at AWI involves the world famous Woolmark. The brand's profile at the trend-setting event Milano Unica will pave the way for AWI's European sales team to sell its new season woven innovations and strengthen partnerships with the European textile industry's best. Woolmark will also co-present this year's signature event – On Stage - featuring collections by 10 emerging international designers handpicked by the doyen of Italian fashion and international trend maker, Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.

In Shanghai, AWI staff will this week be showing textile manufacturers and retailers its 2010/11 MerinoTouch collection, based on Mercerised Merino technology, which gives garments a much smoother surface, more lustre and a softness that suggests even finer quality. Last month MerinoTouch was positively received at Spin Expo New York, where fabric retailers were looking for a more wearable and affordable alternative to Cashmere and Merino wool is catching attention.

Woolgrower forums:
• Geelong, Victoria - Monday 7 September at 6.30pm, Geelong Wool Museum
• Campbell Town, Tasmania - Tuesday 8 September at 6.30pm, Campbelltown Town Hall
• Adelaide, South Australia - Wednesday 9 September at 4.30pm, Adelaide Show Ground
• Canberra, ACT - Thursday 10 September at 6.30pm, Parliament

Australian Wool Innovation

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