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Beyond the Bale : December 2011
December 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 11 OFF-FARM FAST FACTS l AWI is working to increase the use of Australian Merino wool in the maternal and babywear market. l Chinese babywear apparel giant Les Enphants has launched premium Merino wool product for the autumn/winter 2011 season. l AWI is successfully building on the contacts that it made during the tour of Australia by Chinese brands last year. AWI has been working with one of the largest maternal and children's apparel brands in China and south-east Asia, Les Enphants, to get apparel made from Australian Merino wool into its product ranges. The first result of this partnership came to fruition in October when Les Enphants launched a range of Merino wool products, packaged in a unique gift box, to be sold into the Chinese babywear market through high end retail outlets. Each gift box, featuring Woolmark branding, includes a baby cardigan, blanket and hat, all made from 100 per cent Australian extra fine Merino wool. The gift box was launched at a fashion show and exhibition held in October at Shanghai's Super Brand Mall, attended by media and consumers. The gift is being sold through Les Enphants outlets at high end department stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Les Enphants, which has recently become a Woolmark licensee, currently has 2000+ retail outlets across China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. AWI is continuing to work with Les Enphants to grow their Australian Merino wool program over the coming seasons. This partnership with Les Enphants is an example of the work being undertaken by AWI's new "Mothers and Babies" program which has been set up to drive demand for Merino wool in the maternal and babywear market. The program works in three main areas: funding scientific research into Merino's health benefits, innovative product development and creating awareness of the fibre's benefits. Merino wool is the ideal fibre for infants' and children's clothing as it has natural moisture management properties and assists with the regulation of body temperature. This inherent breathability and the active moisture management properties of the fibre also helps prevent the skin from becoming clammy, which can provide a more comfortable environment for better sleep. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said, "With the trend toward natural products and the emergence of the rapidly growing consumer demand for products consistent with a lifestyle of health and sustainability -- commonly known as the "LOHAS" consumer, the partnership with Les Enphants is timely. They are the market leader and are the ideal brand to bring the best Merino wool babywear product to the Chinese market". Interestingly, the partnership with Les Enphants is a consequence of the connections and goodwill generated between the two companies in September last year, when a young delegation from the brand travelled to Australia, along with other Chinese brands, to tour and be inspired by the Australian wool industry. The tour was organised by AWI to provide the brands with a creative impetus based on the Australian experience, and especially Australian wool (a similar concept for the tour by luxury Chinese brands to Australia in October of this year -- see page 8). "The tour last year succeeded in its aim of getting the companies' designers and marketers inspired by our country and woolgrowers' quality product," Stuart commented. "While it can sometimes take a while for new business relationships to result in wool products on retail shelves, this is a good example of a relationship bearing results." More information: www.merino.com www.phland.com.cn Chinese giant launches babywear A joint Woolmark/Les Enphants fashion show was held in October at Shanghai's Super Brand Mall to launch Merino wool babywear products from Les Enphants. Following collaboration with AWI, one of China's largest babywear brands, Les Enphants, has launched Merino wool babywear products.