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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
24 OFF FARM EDUCATION PROGRAM INSPIRES BUDDING TURKISH DESIGNERS Students from the Istanbul Fashion Academy visiting one of the world’s largest wool fabric producing companies in the world to learn about Merino wool fabric and apparel production. Not your average field trip, a group of students from the Istanbul Moda Akademisi (IMA) visited one of the world’s largest wool fabric producing companies in the world to take a behind-the-scenes look at the process – from spinning and weaving to dyeing and fabric finishing – that transforms Merino wool into luxurious fashion apparel. Co-organised by AWI, the students visited Altınyıldız’s factory at Çerkezköy, 100km north- west of Istanbul in Turkey, to not only further develop their education with Merino wool, but FAST FACTS • A group of students from the Istanbul Fashion Academy visited the Altınyıldız factory in Turkey to gain insights into the production process that transforms Merino wool fibre into finished product. • The project is part of a broader training and education program run by AWI, which aims to increase supply chain engagement with university level students worldwide. • Through partnerships with and visits to top Turkish manufacturers, the project hopes to inspire the students to work with Australian Merino wool. also be inspired to continue to work with the natural fibre after they graduate. Active in the wool fabric industry since 1952, Altınyıldız – which is a Woolmark licensee – produces close to 10 million meters of fabric each year. The company also entered the ready-to-wear sector in 1995, and by 2014 was producing about 1.2 million units. Accompanied by specialist staff from Altinyildiz, the students’ visit was part of a broader training and education program run by AWI, which aims to increase supply chain engagement with university level students worldwide. As the future designers, creators and decision makers of the fashion and textile industry, students within the program are educated, at this early stage in their career, about Merino wool’s provenance, benefits and possibilities, along with its subsequent place in contemporary fashion and textiles. “Through partnerships with and visits to top Turkish manufacturers, this educational project aimed to inspire these young designers to treasure the fibre for its luxurious qualities and natural advantages, leading them to choose and promote Merino wool in future endeavours,” AWI’s Business Development and Licensing Coordinator in Turkey, Gülay Gökbayrak said. “It further aims to broaden their understanding of professional opportunities within the fashion and textiles industry.” Student Gökçe Kömürcü said of the visit, “It was good to see wool transformed from raw material to fabric and from fabric to finished clothing”. Classmate Şule Gül echoed this sentiment, saying “I was really impressed by the transformation from top to fabric. I really enjoyed this experience”. For the prestigious Turkish manufacturers, the educational program offers the opportunity to showcase their production process and fabric collections, creating new relationships with some of the best up-and- coming talent in the region. “As an Altınyıldız company, we are pleased to be a part of this program with The Woolmark Company,” explains Altınyıldız Corporate Communications and Human Resources Specialist, Ekin Gül. “Through this program we get a chance to have contact with students and lecturers within the sector. For us, it is very worthwhile to meet with students and let them know our product before they graduate. It is also important for them to have an opportunity to see the production, to see the processes in terms of cause and effect relationships and engage with materials.”
In the Shops - March 2016