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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
SUPPLY CHAIN COMES TOGETHER While the vibrant textile hub of Hong Kong is a long way physically and often culturally from the wool-growing properties of Australia, there is a close and enduring relationship between the Asian territory’s fashion design graduates and a group of woolgrowers from the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Recognising the value of encouraging young fashion designers to use wool, the Flinders Merino woolgrower group for the eighth year running has sponsored an award at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s (HKPU) Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC). Chloe Dutschke, who jillaroos at Flinders woolgrowers Warren and Jane Luckcraft’s ‘Bendleby Ranges’ property, along with woolgrowers John and June Parnell of ‘Glenroy Estate’, had the opportunity in June to visit Hong Kong and present the award to the winning student at the graduate fashion show. More than 2,000 textile company representatives, designers, media and bloggers attended the fashion show and presentation. The aim of the Flinders Merino ‘Australia Study Tour Scholarship’ – and an AWI-sponsored ‘Best Use of Australian Merino Study Tour Scholarship’ – is to nurture the use of Australian wool within the collections of the university’s graduating fashion students, encouraging them to continue to use wool in their designs as they progress through their careers. The winners of both awards receive an invitation to visit Australia to learn more about Merino wool and the supply chain, including a visit to the Flinders Merino wool-growing properties. “It was great to meet the winners in Hong Kong and I look forward to seeing them again and being a familiar face when they come over to South Australia to see how wool is grown and experience a bit of our life out here,” Chloe said. While in Hong Kong, Chloe, John and June also visited AWI’s new Wool Resource Centre to learn more about the work that AWI undertakes to grow demand for Australian wool in this crucial region for global textiles and fashion. AWI also arranged for Chloe to visit one of the major woollen yarn spinners in Hong Kong, Novetex, and the workshops and studios at the PMQ creative hub for local designers. “At the Wool Resource Centre, we saw first- hand the fabric samples and materials that AWI showcases to the textile trade and brands, and learnt all about the R&D and marketing the organisation does on behalf of woolgrowers,” Chloe said. “And at Novetex I was impressed by the huge scale of operations that manufacturing companies have in the region.” 22-year-old Chloe, who grew up in the Clare Valley and has a Bachelor of Animal Science from the University of Adelaide, this year also became a Young Farming Champion, sponsored by AWI. The program, run by Art4Agriculture, aims to create an Australia-wide network of enthusiastic young professionals to promote Australian agriculture as a dynamic, innovative, rewarding and vibrant industry. “Although I am not from a farming background, I have always had a love for animals which has led me on an amazing journey and got me a job that I love, on a sheep station, where I am developing my newly discovered passion for wool production,” Chloe said. “My first day on the job was during shearing and crutching time, the busiest times for a sheep producer, and as I stood at the table skirting the wool, running my fingers along the fleece, I really began to appreciate the wondrous fibre that wool is. “I am super excited to continue educating myself as much as possible about this remarkable fibre, and pass on that knowledge to the public and other youngsters considering the many different career options within the wool industry.” MORE INFORMATION www.facebook.com/flindersmerino www.polyu.edu.hk/itc www.art4agriculture.com.au/yfc Chloe Dutschke and John and June Parnell with AWI/TWC staff members at TWC’s new Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong. Chloe Dutschke and John Parnell representing Flinders Merino at the Hong Kong PolyU Fashion Show 2016 with award winner Sze Tsz-Ki and model wearing a winning design. Chloe Dutschke working at ‘Bendleby Ranges’ in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. PHOTO: Gabrielle Hall, Plains Producer. OFF FARM 17
In the Shops - September 2016