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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
10 SELLING MORE WOOL FAST FACTS l A significant amount of wool apparel was on show at the autumn/winter 2010-11 trade fairs for sporting and outdoor goods in Europe and the US. l Australian Merino is highly regarded and appreciated by the sports industry as a premium natural performance fibre. Wool steps up to the plate Merino wool has increased in prominence at the world's largest sporting goods trade show, ISPO, in Munich, Germany. The image at the top right of this page from ski garment manufacturer Mover is a reflection of the growing knowledge and appreciation for Merino wool in the sports and outdoor sectors. The move to wool has also been seen at recent winter trade fairs in the US, where Merino wool featured heavily in the ranges of top outdoor retailers. AWI global manager sports/outdoor Lars Ulvesund, who attended ISPO and the Outdoor Retailer fair in Salt Lake City and the Snow Show in Denver, says the expanding sports and activewear market is an area of market growth for Australian Merino wool. "We are in a very competitive market here but the natural advantages of Merino wool, such as breathability, next-to-skin comfort and technical performance, are increasingly being recognised in this important garment sector," Lars says. "We are looking at younger consumers in this market and, in most cases, wool is a novel experience for them. They see wool as a revolutionary 'new' product, but are also aware of its natural origin and authenticity." Market leader The North Face is not only using Merino wool in its apparel, it is also using pure Merino in one of its latest backpacks, which the company says has been 'road-tested by sheep'. Other companies such as Spanish company Buff are using Merino wool in headwear, while customers of Swedish company Isbjörn have been thrilled with the performance and softness of Merino wool in children's and infants' clothing. The Swiss brand Apani is heavily promoting its new Merino collection. AWI's MerinoPerformTM Advantage collection, which is the second generation Sportwool fabric technology developed about a decade ago, is leading AWI's marketing efforts to get Merino heavily featured in the activewear ranges of the world's sports and outdoor brands. More information: www.wool.com/merinoperform ISPOVISION HALL B1/306 SKIER COPYRIGHT : DOMINIQUE PERRET PHOTOGRAPHY : LORIS VON SIEBENTHAL This image, from ski apparel manufacturer Mover, reflects the growing appreciation for Merino wool in the outdoor sector. Petra Gutmann, Apani, Switzerland: "Our collection combines purist design with high- quality natural fibres and modern functionality, and a lot of our customers ask for Merino products. They are convinced of the quality and technology. Our Merino next-to-skin garments use very fine Merino wool." The Spanish company Buff showed their new range of Merino multi-functional headwear in the US and Europe. Camilla Schmidt, Isbjörn, Europe: "We have been using the MerinoPerformTM Advantage fabrics for kids and this year we have extended the range to babywear. Having Merino next to the skin and the functionality you get with that makes it a perfect product both for kids and babies. The customers love it." Sonny Puryear, AWI USA, holding The North Face 'tree hugger' backpack made from 100 per cent Merino. The North Face also showed many next-to- skin garments in Merino. May 2010 BEYOND THE BALE