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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
4 UPFRONT As well as decorative in-store displays of its latest wool offering from its winter collection, luxury womenswear retailer Jigsaw had a visit from the farm. CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL AUSTRALIA Australia recently hosted its fifth annual Wool Week, timed to coincide with the start of the mid-winter retail season. The initiative was part of the Campaign for Wool, which aims to educate consumers about the natural benefits of wool and increase sales of wool product. More than 30 major Australian retailers threw their support behind Wool Week Australia. For the fifth consecutive year, Australia has celebrated Wool Week in style, as part of the global Campaign for Wool which urges consumers to ‘Live Naturally... Choose Wool’. Scheduled to coincide with the start of the mid-winter retail season, Wool Week – held in May – played host to a series of events, which involved the campaign’s retail partners across the country helping to educate consumers about the natural benefits of wool and increase sales of wool product. Following the success from previous Wool Weeks, Australian Campaign for Wool retail supporters created some beautiful in-store installations and window displays to help sell more wool – see page 6. Major brands such as Jigsaw, Kookai, Koskela, M.J. Bale and Sportscraft also proudly championed the natural benefits of wool by setting up online wool shops and crafting blog posts dedicated to Australian Merino wool. A special shopping night was also held at Sydney’s newest premium shopping hub, Macquarie Centre. A major partner for Wool Week Australia, Macquarie Centre invited the public to come and shop in the name of wool as it played host to 40 uniquely crafted sheep sculptures, a magnificent giant wool installation and special offers during its distinctive shopping night. It also welcomed Merino rams Fred and Truffle to help showcase the complete farm to fashion journey as shoppers were reminded to live naturally and choose wool. With Australian designers having access to the world’s best Merino wool, influential fashion brands bassike, Camilla and Marc and hip new womenswear label Être Cécile adopted the alluring message and slogan ‘I wool if you wool’ to design and produce limited edition T-shirts to celebrate Wool Week. Sourcing premium fabrics from Charles Parsons’ Merino State collection, Camilla and Marc and Être Cécile opted for a 100 per cent Merino wool single jersey while bassike selected a Merino-silk jersey fabric made from 85 per cent superfine Merino wool. Available until sold out, these Tees are another way for consumers to wear their heart on their sleeve and support Australian woolgrowers. Iconic Australian designer Jenny Kee and fashion boutique Parlour X partnered with the Campaign for Wool to celebrate the launch of Jenny Kee’s new 100 per cent Australian Merino wool collection, A New Beginning. Known for her fusion of fashion and art, Jenny Kee has been adored the world over for her iconic knitwear inspired by the flora and fauna of Australia. Collaborating with AWI, Kee’s new Woolmark-certified collection uses Zegna Baruffa yarn and is available online at www.jennykee.com. “The global campaign for Wool was initiated in 2010 by HRH the Prince of Wales, and since then has gone from strength to strength both here in Australia and across the world,” explained AWI CEO Stuart McCullough. “AWI continues to partner with the global campaign, encouraging consumers to discover the natural benefits of wool and make conscious purchasing decisions. At a retail level, we applaud all of the Australian brands who continue to support the campaign and champion wool.” Whilst the Campaign for Wool has a strong focus on retailers pushing their wool and wool-rich product with the ultimate aim to sell more wool, celebrations bridging the gap between farm and fashion were also welcomed in the town of Armidale. Fusing fashion with art, the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM), has been working alongside AWI to present The Art of Wool exhibition in support of the Campaign for Wool. Woolgrowers and fashion lovers were united at the exhibition’s official opening on 2 May, which sees NERAM’s extensive collection of Australian art paired with stunning garments from the coveted International Woolmark Prize. The Art of Wool exhibition, which runs until 2 August, illustrates not only the significance the Australian wool industry has had in shaping the nation, but also the true versatility of the premium and natural fibre. MORE INFORMATION www.campaignforwool.org