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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
24 OFF FARM Trade shows are golden opportunities for AWI’s subsidiary, The Woolmark Company, to develop business-to-business relationships with the world’s leading textile and apparel companies. The shows are like a mecca for leading product developers, brand buying and sourcing teams, designers, manufacturers and retailers from across the world. “International trade shows are vital to showcase and promote Australian wool, new product developments, and AWI’s The Wool Lab sourcing guide,” explained AWI General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension, Julie Davies. “Our presence at trade shows provides an important source of leads for continual business development as well as the opportunity to support our trade partners. “We use these shows to affirm The Woolmark Company’s role as a leading authority in the fashion, sports and textile industries, through face to face meetings, displays, seminars, media coverage, partner feedback, and importantly post-trade show follow up. “Also of great interest on our stand is the ‘virtual reality farm tour’, where visitors can wear virtual reality headsets and be ‘transported’ to an Australian sheep farm to visually experience first-hand the source of Merino wool.” Julie explained that June to October is a crucial time in the yearly fashion cycle. It is during this time that retailers and brands in the northern hemisphere collect product ideas for their following year’s autumn/ winter collections. It takes up to 12 months for brands to design collections, manufacture fabrics and garments, and then stock them in stores. “The Woolmark Company has a ‘window of opportunity’ each year to convince brands and retailers to stock wool for a particular season – it’s important to get the timing right. There would be no point in us doing our trade marketing a month after they had already made their buying decisions,” Julie said. For the northern hemisphere’s 2018/19 autumn/winter season collections, The Woolmark Company is therefore exhibiting at the following large and influential trade shows in 2017, ie marketing at precisely the time the retailers are considering what products to put in their seasonal collections: • Pitti Uomo men’s apparel fabric show, Florence (June) • Pitti Filati yarn and knitwear show, Florence (June) • Milano Unica apparel fabric show, Milan (July) • SpinExpo yarn and knitwear show, Shanghai (August) • Première Vision apparel fabric show, Paris (September) • Intertextile show for apparel fabrics, Shanghai (October). AWI exhibits at the world’s most important international textile trade shows to inspire the world’s leading manufacturers, brands and retailers to include wool in their upcoming collections. TRADE SHOW PRESENCE HELPS BUILD DEMAND FOR WOOL AWI attended or exhibited at 18 international trade shows in 2016/17 showcasing The Wool Lab (pictured above, and decribed in the column to the right), new product development, and the source of wool on an Australian sheep farm via virtual reality headsets (pictured top). In the weeks following trade shows, workshops are also held by The Woolmark Company’s global offices individually with retailers and brands. Training of retail decision makers, such as the company’s buyers, merchandisers, designers and technologists, is undertaken to both stimulate interest and build their confidence to invest in wool product lines. “Education and training of supply chain participants ensures wool remains a competitive processing sector against other fibres; and inspires designers, brands and retailers to use wool in their product ranges,” Julie said. “Activities are aimed at leveraging the intrinsic properties of wool to grow profitable demand for wool products for the benefit of Australian woolgrowers.”
In the Shops - September 2017