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Beyond the Bale : December 2011
FAST FACTS l AWI has launched Wool4Skool 2012 -- a competition that aims to build an awareness of the natural benefits of wool among school students. l Students are required to submit fashion design sketches of their interpretation of "Modern Australia". l All participating schools will receive a fabric pack of wool textiles and technical information. Following on from the success of AWI's inaugural Wool4Skool competition, AWI has launched a new Wool4Skool competition to continue to build knowledge about wool among school students. The 2012 Wool4Skool design competition for years 9 and 10 design and technology textile students offers a real-life fashion design project, planned carefully to fit within the Design and Technology curriculum in every state. Students are required to submit garment design sketches of their interpretation of "Modern Australia". It's a broad brief with plenty of freedom for students to express their ideas. Inspiration can be whatever Modern Australia means to them: music, sport, school, family, the beach, the country or urban life. Their choice is as wide as their Australia. Students submit sketches for garments designed to incorporate the benefits of Merino wool -- the fibre of the nation. The sketches will be accompanied by a mood board and a written statement of the inspiration, textiles and innovation used within the design. The project has been designed across an eight lesson plan for teachers to easily implement in the classroom. With entries not closing until July, students have plenty of time to gain inspiration and understanding of wool, and teachers have plenty of time to implement the project. The winning entry will be made into a garment by one of Australia's top fashion designers, RM Williams Chief Designer Jonathan Ward. The winning garment will be featured in a fashion shoot for Girlfriend magazine and the winning student will meet Jonathan in his studio for a mini- masterclass in design and also win a cash prize of $2500. The competition also recognises the critical role teachers play in inspiring and developing the skills and interests of budding designers. Wool4Skool 2012 will therefore also provide a cash prize of $2500 to the teacher who best incorporates Wool4Skool into their day-to-day class activity. All participating schools will receive a fabric pack of wool textiles and technical information to learn about innovations in modern knitted and woven wool fabrics. All students who complete an entry will be recognised with a certificate. The project has been implemented from AWI by communications manager Marius Cuming and marketing project coordinator Renee Trad. "We learnt a lot from last year's venture into this area and have put together a great team of experts of passionate teachers, designers, writers, project managers and woolgrowers," Marius said. "Contacting teachers directly about the competition, producing a clear lesson plan and rewarding teachers as well as students is a powerful mix." More information: l Competition details for students and teachers are available at: www.wool4skool.com.au l Woolgrowers who would like to promote Wool4Skool in their local school or region are urged to contact AWI, their state farming organisation or woolgrower network for promotional posters and flyers. December 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 13 OFF-FARM on a single buyer (China) of Australian wool, and the increased manufacturing costs in China that could result in a downturn in China's manufacturing base. "While we are very happy for Australian wool to be is high demand from China processors, three quarters of Australia's total wool clip is exported there. So it's prudent to explore other markets and not put too many of our eggs in the one basket," Jimmy says. "Plus, pressure is building on wool processors in China as a result of rapid rises in manufacturing wages, which is partly a reflection of intense competition for access to the tight Chinese skilled labour supply. "Indeed, the Chairman of the Chinese Sunshine Group explained at the recent Nanjing Wool Market Conference how the combination of the 50 per cent rise in raw wool input costs (50 per cent of total fabric costs), and 20 per cent year-on-year wage cost increases, had increased their costs to produce fabric by 35 per cent year-on-year. Some of these costs would have to be passed on to retailers, affecting volume demand." AWI is liaising with manufacturers in growth processing markets, such as the countries of the former USSR including Russia, the Ukraine, and especially Belarus. Belarus has a low cost textile manufacturing industry with qualified and disciplined personnel, close to the lucrative European (including Russian) retail markets. Many contacts are already established between manufacturers from former USSR countries and Australian wool exporters, and suppliers of part- manufactured products from China, Turkey and Italy. AWI is also investigating opportunities for new processing markets in other regions, such as south-east Asia (such as Vietnam and Cambodia) where AWI is putting in place an "Out of Vietnam" project similar to AWI's "Out of Bangladesh" project, and Central and South America, which already has a large textile infrastructure and is close to the lucrative USA retail market. Wool4Skool 2012 launched The Wool4Skool competition involves students submitting sketches for garments designed to incorporate the benefits of Merino wool.