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'High demand, limited production push wool prices to peak'

24
Aug '18
Courtesy: Suedwolle Group
Courtesy: Suedwolle Group
High demand and limited production has pushed wool prices to a historical peak, said the MD of Sudwolle Group, a leading spinner of pure wool and wool blend worsted yarns. This has put wool fabric producers under pressure. They are struggling with high prices, as brands and retailers rarely accept increased fabric prices to maintain stable selling prices.

The rising prices of wool has even led to downgrading of quality, by using blends instead of 100 per cent wool, said Stephane Thouvay, MD - product management & innovation, Sudwolle Group in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.

“The discussion should not be how to avoid the price increase by reducing the quality, but how to convince consumers to pay a bit more for a top product. The wool industry is working more in a niche market than ever before. Niche markets have different rules than mass markets and we should all appreciate our valuable material. If we keep our efforts directed on how to make our product interesting and wanted, then we can live with prices remaining at the present level,” said Thouvay.

The company that specialises in worsted (long staple) yarns and produces carded yarns (short staple spinning), is facing a lot of challenges. “A typical customer doesn't exist anymore. Clients require customised yarns, small lots, quick response and innovations. We have recognised lot of our internal processes to follow this trend. We also made organisational changes and launched our new department, Südwebs, about a year ago,” he told F2F.

Like a 'web', Südwebs has been created to catalyse innovation - by creating new sustainable products, technologies or business models and by connecting people and ideas. To do so, the company uses new tools such as Design Thinking and enhances collaborative work.

Sudwolle Group is optimising its business and production processes to be more efficient, flexible and interconnected, as per Thouvay. “Robotisation and digitalisation are the two main aspects here and progress is naturally only possible in a collaborative work together with our machine suppliers. Here, we have initiated various projects with a completely new approach to imagine the spinning plant of the future. Digitalisation is a priority for our company and our management board regularly supervises different projects we have initiated in production, sales and administration.”

Digitalisation, sustainability and the enhancement of the products through R&D are three key strategic topics that the company will focus on in the next three years. (KD)

Click here to read the complete interview.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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