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Beyond the Bale : June 2019
WOOL4SCHOOL EXPANDS INTO UK AND ITALY Now in its eighth year, AWI’s Wool4School design competition invites students to think about the versatility of wool fabrics as part of a creative design of their own. The competition’s success has seen it expand from Australia and Hong Kong into Italy and across the UK. First launched in Australia in 2012, Wool4School is an annual design competition for school students to learn the fundamentals of fashion design and explore the benefits and versatility of wool and the fabric it creates. “The aim of the design competition is to teach school-aged students the benefits of Australian wool so that these future designers and consumers understand wool’s benefits and are more likely to use Australian wool as their fibre of choice,” said AWI Project Manager for Education Extension, Ashley Hollis. On the back of the success of Wool4School in Australia, the competition was launched in Hong Kong in 2015 and England in 2017. It was last year extended to all parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and introduced to Italy. Wool4School has now involved nearly 100,000 students globally. The students in the inaugural UK and Italy competitions were asked to design a multi-functional outfit made from at least 80% wool. The winners were recently announced (see right). 2019 AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION Australian students that have registered to enter the 2019 edition of the Wool4School competition are reminded that submissions close on 25 July. This year, students are asked to design an outfit that embraces the use of technology to enhance garment performance or function, such as wool footwear that tracks your run. There are once again a host of amazing prizes on offer. The winners will be announced on 22 August. MORE INFORMATION www.wool4school.com UNITED KINGDOM Harlow College student Elise Bailey is the inaugural Wool4School UK winner. Incorporating the performance benefits of Merino wool, Elise designed a survivalist jacket, trousers, gloves and a hat, with solar panels inbuilt into the jacket sleeves. “During my research for this competition I looked at different ways in which wool can be used. I was amazed by how versatile wool is and I learnt how many possible uses it has in clothing, which I didn’t know about before this competition,” Elise said “Having done mountain walking from childhood I have a strong knowledge of outdoor gear and what is necessary to aid survival in more extreme conditions. This is where I decided to incorporate solar panels that would heat up a jacket. I liked the idea of solar panels because they are eco-friendly.” Elise wins a short course at the prestigious London College of Fashion. Following the success of this year’s competition, next year’s competition will expand in the UK from sixth form students aged 16-18 to include students at the younger GCSE level. ITALY Wool4School was launched for the first time in Italy in October 2018 and was open to Italian school students aged 16-19 attending the last three years of upper secondary school in Lombardia and Piemonte. Inaugural winner Romchel Fuentes, studying at IIS Caterina Da Siena in Milan, designed a jacket that could be converted into a backpack, a shoulder bag that could be converted into a hat, and some soft Merino denim jeans. The transformation of the first two multifunctional garments takes place through a series of intuitive zips and laces. Romchel said she was especially delighted to win the competition because the panel of judges comprised notable fashion professionals. She wins an internship at prominent fabric manufacturer Vitale Barberis Canonico. Special congratulations also went to Omar Valentino of IIS Eugenio Montale in Milan, who designed a stylish jacket with a collar and lapels that can be pulled up to transform it into a windbreaker when needed on a sailboat. The apparel also includes an inflatable safety device and a GPS tracker. Inaugural Wool4School UK winner Elise Bailey with her winning designs. Inaugural Wool4School Italy winner Romchel Fuentes with her winning designs. 24 OFF FARM