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Beyond the Bale : September 2015
With a heritage dating back to 1946, Rodd & Gunn has had a long and healthy relationship with wool. And so it is a natural progression for the menswear apparel brand to align itself with the iconic Woolmark brand, becoming a Woolmark and Woolmark Blend licensee and affirming its commitment to source quality fabrics and yarns. "All our woollen yarns are spun in either Italy or Austria, using a variety of wool types depending on the garments," explains Rodd & Gunn General Manager of Design, John Prikryl. "We produce heavy gauge knits in Merino and lambswool as well as blends with RODD & GUNN JOINS WOOLMARK PROGRAM other noble fibres. Sourcing fabrics from Biella, our suiting range focuses on wool with a micron of around 15 to 18, allowing us to achieve our Super 100's through to Super 130's." With more than 85 stores and concessions across Australia and New Zealand, Rodd & Gunn's eyes are now on the North American market through more than 200 independent retailers. Leading department store Nordstrom has welcomed the label into a handful of its Canadian stores and Nordstrom.com, and the label will soon open in its USA stores. The entrance into the North American market means that Australian wool is not only a focus for Rodd & Gunn during the southern hemisphere's winter months, but according to Mr Prikryl is now, more than ever, a year- round obsession. The lifestyle lived by North Americans is similar to that of Australians and reflects the design philosophy of the brand to create masculine, practical clothes to suit the modern, outdoor lifestyle -- and wool's natural properties fit the bill. "Much like the food industry, consumers should have a thorough understanding of what they are buying so they can make informed decisions. I believe that as a consumer you are better off buying a quality garment made from the best raw materials that will last you longer, rather than buying another throwaway fashion item that lasts only a few months. We're conscious of making our product fresh and stylish, but the first consideration is quality." A subsidiary of AWI, The Woolmark Company owns the iconic Woolmark logo and positions Australian wool as the premier ingredient in luxury apparel. Its licensing program allows licensees to use the Woolmark, Woolmark Blend, or Wool Blend logo, depending on the fibre content of their wool products, providing a unique, global fibre quality assurance scheme for manufacturers and consumers alike. With plans to rollout Woolmark swing tickets by spring, Mr Prikryl says he is looking forward to communicating the Woolmark message to Rodd & Gunn's loyal customers. "I'm exceptionally excited to have become a Woolmark licensee and can't wait to get the message out to more people. The driving factor to become Woolmark accredited was to promote the benefits of wool and educate our customers that wool is one of nature's greatest fibres and we're proud of it." MORE INFORMATION www.roddandgunn.com • Premium menswear brand Rodd & Gunn has become a Woolmark and Woolmark Blend licensee. • Rodd & Gunn places a large focus on natural fibres, with Merino wool an integral part of each collection. • Putting more wool on the shelf, the brand is targeting the North American market, with product commercially available in the USA and Canada. A Woolmark-certified look from Rodd & Gunn's Autumn/Winter 2015 collection.