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Beyond the Bale : September 2015
For more than 50 years the Woolmark brand has built its reputation as being one of the world's leading textile fibre brands. Its enduring appeal continues to deliver significant returns to Australian woolgrowers who own the brand through their ownership of AWI. AWI-commissioned research shows that awareness of the brand and its value by consumers varies by the market. Chinese consumers in particular (that are aware of the brand) regard the Woolmark logo as a symbol that ensures quality, is something they look for when buying clothes, and regard clothes with the Woolmark logo as worth paying more for. With around three quarters of the Australian wool clip exported to China, there are a significant proportion of companies located in China that are certified to use the Woolmark logo on their products. In June, AWI brought together 95 of its Chinese Woolmark licensees and 16 other partners in China to attend a one-day Woolmark Licensees Seminar in Shanghai. The event highlighted the ever-increasing opportunities in wool textile innovation and marketing, and provided the opportunity for the companies across the supply chain to communicate and cooperate together. As well as AWI presentations, the seminar included two guest speakers. Amy Cai, Head of Product Marketing from Fast Retailing (China) Trading Co Ltd, which is the fourth largest retail apparel group in the world, highlighted the quality control undertaken at its Uniqlo brand. Uniqlo has more than 1600 stores in 16 markets worldwide, including more than 350 in mainland China. Mandy Luang, Vice President of Sales & Marketing from SML, which is the supplier of Woolmark tickets and labels, spoke about new technology on the labels to ensure authenticity. Presentations by AWI staff included: • Creating the wool future of fashion -- Jeff Ma, AWI's Marketing Vice President Greater China • Wool innovation in progress -- Junny Zhu, AWI Project Manager Knitting • Changes to Woolmark specifications 2016 and marketing support -- Zhang Sheng, Woolmark Manager. The session ended with a lively open discussion and networking session, which encouraged licensees and partners to share information, provide updates on their respective industries as well as build new supply chain links. Attendees indicated their satisfaction with the event on the e-questionnaire that was provided, as well as noting their appreciation to AWI for hosting the seminar that provided such an opportunity to connect with other licensees and partners. Furthermore, social opportunities both online through WeChat chatrooms and offline through group photo sessions enhanced the close relationships between AWI and its Woolmark licensees and partners. BACK WOOL IN CHINA Chinese companies certified to use the Woolmark brand recently gathered in Shanghai to learn more about the opportunities for wool in the region and thereby increase sales of their wool products. WOOLMARK LICENSEES THE WOOLMARK BRAND The Woolmark brand and The Woolmark Company are owned by AWI. The Woolmark brand provides a unique, global fibre quality assurance scheme for manufacturers and consumers alike. No other fibre offers this type of scheme. The value of the Woolmark brand is well established and highly regarded across the world in the apparel, interior textiles and home laundry sectors. Since the creation of the original logo in 1964, more than five billion products have carried the Woolmark logo as a symbol of fibre content and quality assurance. Through the Woolmark Licensing Program, Woolmark certification allows licensees to use the Woolmark logo, Woolmark Blend logo or Wool Blend logo depending on the fibre content of their wool products. The Woolmark logo provides consumers with guaranteed fibre content and an assurance of quality. The Woolmark brand is backed up by technical specifications for a wide range of wool products and wool care products and stringent testing carried out by independent authorised laboratories. The income from the sales of Woolmark licenses to companies provides AWI with about ten per cent of its revenue each year, which it invests into further marketing of Australian wool. As well as being essential to the Woolmark Licensing Program, the Woolmark brand is central to most of the marketing that AWI does to build the demand for Australian wool -- from the Campaign for Wool, that uses a stylised green Woolmark logo to reinforce the 'eco' credentials of wool, to the International Woolmark Prize that has attracted phenomenal interest from the international fashion communities and media. MORE INFORMATION www.woolmark.com 95 Woolmark licensees and 16 partners from China attending a meeting in Shanghai to hear about the latest initiatives in wool.