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Beyond the Bale : February 2010
For the past 3000 years, the 'silk road' trade routes have enabled traders and merchants to traffic their goods through Asia and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. While modern consumables have now replaced silk as the main wares that are transported along these routes, AWI is making sure that another fine fabric, Merino wool, is prominent among the goods that are bought, sold and traded. At the eastern end of these old trade routes, the city of Shanghai in China has established itself as the textile and fashion centre of the burgeoning Chinese economy. So it is to cosmopolitan Shanghai that the modern textile and apparel companies must travel to do business. SPINEXPO TRADE FAIR It was there in September that the major international textile trade fair SpinExpo was held. AWI was one of the 185 international exhibitors from 17 countries that attended. The company was there to sell the merits of Merino wool to knitwear processors, manufacturers, designers and retailers. AWI's general manager of key accounts and innovation Jimmy Jackson, AWI's own equivalent of Marco Polo, says the trade show is becoming increasingly international. "These are great events to meet face- to-face and develop business-to-business relationships with the world's major apparel brands and retailers," Jimmy says. "It's important to get the textile industry seeing and talking about the new wool of today. "Supported by AWI's China office, which is based in Shanghai, we exhibited our 2010-11 Merino TouchTM, Merino CasualTM and Merino PerformTM collections at SpinExpo. "In addition, we held some well- attended 'Woolmark seminars' about our knitwear collections, the colour trend forecasts, and Woolmark specifications." The AWI stand, which highlighted the natural attributes of wool, had more than 300 visitors, with 20 per cent requesting follow-up information, advice or visits. AWI staff are now following up on the contacts made at SpinExpo, conducting workshops and helping companies in their marketing of wool apparel. HONG KONG KNITWEAR STUDY TOUR To coincide with SpinExpo, AWI's Hong Kong office, in conjunction with Hong Kong's Knitwear, Innovation and Design Society (KIDS), organised a study tour of wool supply chain partners in the Jiangsu/Zhejiang regions for 28 key staff from 14 Hong Kong and Chinese knitwear companies. The aim was to educate staff about the Merino wool supply chain and wool processing. The study tour visited six top makers, spinners, weavers and knitters in the region, then ended their tour by visiting SpinExpo and learning about AWI's Merino TouchTM and Merino CasualTM knitwear collections. Ms Bernia Chan, the director of Fenix HK Ltd, who was on the study tour said she found the trip very useful: "Through this visit, I've learned a lot more about the properties of wool; it's a sophisticated product, not only to provide warmth but also for lots of other applications." Chairman of KIDS, Mr Lawrence Leung summed up the tour: "It was overall very good and it enabled us to better understand the new technologies and up-to-date market news in our industry." More information: www.spinexpo.com www.wool.com/market Taking the 'wool road' to Shanghai FAST FACTS l AWI exhibited at the SpinExpo international trade show in Shanghai to market Merino wool to the world's leading textile and clothing companies. l AWI organised a study tour for key Hong Kong knitters to the Shanghai region, to educate them about Merino wool. 8 SELLING MORE WOOL February 2010 BEYOND THE BALE The AWI stand at the SpinExpo trade show in Shanghai attracted delegates from around the world interested in learning about the merits of Merino wool.
September November 2009