Agribusiness

Wool a natural innovator at global trade events

At key global trade events in the northern hemisphere, Australian wool has shown its versatility to hundreds of thousands of textile manufacturers, retailers and designers and consumers.

At Outdoor Retailer and ISPO trade events in Salt Lake City, USA and Munich, Germany, wool has enjoyed increased attention from those looking for the latest fabrics that use a fibre produced in a natural environment from a renewable source.

Aided by an edition of The Wool Lab showing the latest fabric samples in sport and active outdoor-wear, The Woolmark Company had on hand the very newest technological innovations.

These included circular knit fabrics with pronounced structures and seamless garments in new yarns.

The 100% wind-resistant, water-resistant fabric currently being used by various brands was also creating a lot of interest.

One of those using this new fabric is Norwegian company Devold, one of the oldest outdoor brands in the world and whose 100% wool jacket won the ISPO Award in the Outdoor Garment category.

Devold Product and Business Director Vidar Thorvik said the inspiration to use the new fabric came from contact with The Woolmark Company.

“It started one year ago at the Woolmark stand at ISPO and we were shown this new fantastic fabric. We’ve been quite busy to be ready to launch it.”

The reason wool is still central to the company’s products, Vidar adds, is because environmental issues are important.

“One trend is that things should be natural. Wool is natural, it’s a miracle fibre. It won’t be destroying the earth, it’s renewable. So a 100% natural fibre is fantastic so it’s important to have alternatives to synthetics.”

Helly Hansen Category Managing Director Kristoffer Ulriksen – a company that has been using Merino wool since 2000 – added: “We’re growing what we are doing with pure Merino wool because it’s what our customers want because it is superb at keeping you warm and comfortable.”

“Merino wool is a more expensive fibre, but the interesting thing is that we’re seeing more and more markets and consumers understanding the benefits of Merino wool. They are willing to pay more to get that added benefit of warmth and comfort. You can get very cheap synthetic base-layer but it simply doesn’t deliver that type of quality and comfort that people want.”

Australian Wool Innovation, through its marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, has been attending trade shows such as ISPO and Outdoor Retailer for over 10 years, demonstrating and showcasing the features and versatility of Australian wool as part its strategy to influence demand for the fibre.

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