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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
To encourage young Australian textile and fashion entrepreneurs into the wool industry, AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company has partnered with Monash University to create a wool industry specific study path for students. The Woolmark Company Prato Study Scholarship provides an opportunity for two Monash University students each year to undertake a study tour via Monash University’s Prato Centre in northern Italy. As part of their program, scholarship recipients visit the Textile Museum in Prato and experience a tailored tour of the textile industry led by representatives from The Woolmark Company’s Milan office. The scholarship incorporates the opportunity for recipients to meet with industry leaders, attend trade shows and network with specialist curators, designers and manufacturers in the wool and textile industries. Prior to their departure for Italy, scholarship recipients are also invited to visit woolgrowers in Victoria to understand the initial stage in the wool pipeline. A special feature of this scholarship is that it is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students from Monash University’s faculties of Art, Design and Architecture; and Arts and the Business School, so there is the opportunity for students to engage with the textile industry from different perspectives. “Education programs are central to the work of The Woolmark Company. By supporting Monash students to have an overseas study experience in Italy and by introducing them to our extensive network of leading industry partners, we hope to stimulate their interest, as future professionals and consumers, and highlight the pivotal role the Australian wool industry plays in the global textile and fashion industries,” said AWI General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension, Julie Davies. Zoe Alexiades (Bachelor of Communication Design) and Lorena Stents (Bachelor of Law and Commerce) were awarded the 2018 scholarship and visited a wool-growing property in Geelong, Victoria, before traveling to Italy to undertake their studies at Monash University’s Prato Centre. ZOE ALEXIADES Zoe said that the visit to the wool-growing property allowed her to understand the first stage of the long process from farm to fashion and gave her a new appreciation of the wool industry and the benefits of wool. STUDENT EDUCATION FROM MELBOURNE TO THE MILLS OF ITALY “I found the industry components of the scholarship absolutely invaluable. Visiting the farm and wool shed, as well as the wool store and ABMT Textiles in Victoria, all prior to going overseas gave us a basic, but solid level of knowledge to go off, before heading to Prato and then Milan,” Zoe said. Through her studies at Prato, Zoe learnt further about the rich history of the textile industry and in particular the Zenga Baruffa Group’s work with wool and the textile industry. “I have been able to see an entirely new side and perspective of the fashion and textile industries I never would have known about if it weren’t for this opportunity,” she said. “Although I have always been interested in natural materials, such as wool, cotton, silk and linen, I feel as though now I am better informed and have an insight that perhaps not many others do. This will affect the way I design and also the way I purchase and consume, as I am very conscious of sustainability and ensuring my own clothing and designs don’t end up in landfill, creating further issues and pollution on our earth.” LORENA STENTS Lorena too, found the study tour experience invaluable, explaining that innovation in the wool industry, both on farm and in the textile mills, was evolving. “I was interested to learn that the wool and textile industries are moving more and more into the market for activewear, as we were able to sample new fabrics for different sporting pursuits,” Lorena said. “The innovation was evident when we were sampling the fabrics, as we touched fabrics that were sensitive to the body temperature, and even fabrics that changed colour depending on temperature. These fabrics are intended to be used by those exercising outdoors in extreme conditions to facilitate easier monitoring of body temperature. “This is an example of the innovation needed to maintain market competitiveness in the 21st century, and to continue to engage the next generation of consumers. This innovation was also evident when we visited the woolgrowers in Geelong. We learned that the woolgrowers need to be adaptable to new changes and standards being implemented, which requires them to be proactive with the welfare of the sheep.” Monash University students Zoe Alexiades (left) and Lorena Stents (centre) on an industry tour visiting the Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia textile factory in Italy, accompanied by Sarah Monterossi (right) of The Woolmark Company’s Milan office. OFF FARM 27
In the Shops - March 2019