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Beyond the Bale : June 2013
15 off-fArm From the paddocks to the peaks oRTOVOX has partnered with AWI as it continues to provide innovative outdoor apparel to sports enthusiasts across the world. Having evolved from an avalanche rescue company more than three decades ago in Germany, ORTOVOX has become one of Europe’s leading innovators in outdoor apparel, with Merino wool central to its range of high performance apparel. “We have put our trust in Merino since 1995. That is 18 years of experience working with the most functional of all natural fibres,” ORTOVOX Head of Product Christoph Kirsch said. Not only does ORTOVOX have trust in the natural benefits of the fibre, it has researched its provenance right back to the farms from which it originates. Company representatives recently visited Tasmanian woolgrowers to help source the most suitable fine Merino wool for its extensive range of base, mid and outer-layer garments and to gain a firm understanding of the sheep to shop journey. A contingent from ORTOVOX visited five properties, including ‘Gala’, ‘Ashby’, ‘Maitland’ and ‘Dalmeny Park’ and ‘Stonehenge’. Family and farming histories were shared, sheep were shorn, fleeces thrown and the Tasmanian scenery was the perfect backdrop to show that Australia produces June 2013 BEyond thE BalE the finest Merino wool in the world. The group also visited the wool store of Roberts, which has played a role in implementing this partnership and supply chain with The Merino Company – that has secured a contract to supply ORTOVOX with garments for the next three years. “It is very important to us to see where Merino wool is grown, to meet with the people who manage the land and the animals behind the fibre,” Mr Kirsch said. “We want to be able to share the great story of wool with our consumers and Australian Merino wool has a great story to tell. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said partnering with ORTOVOX was a perfect fit. “Both companies have a focus on quality and performance standards, both share a love of Merino wool and its versatility,” Mr McCullough said. “We welcome the company as a Woolmark licensee and very much look forward to working in wool with ORTOVOX.” More information: www.ortovox.com mick fanning models the fleece jacket as part of the mf ram series. different from what it was just a few years ago,” Mr Ulvesund said. "It’s a new generation. “Brands and retailers we approach and meet today are young, technical and innovative and they see the potential in wool and in AWI. In many cases they need assistance in product development, manufacturing and supply, education and marketing.” While Mr Ulvesund believes that knitted jersey products such as those in the MF Ram Series will most likely remain at the core of the business – and in fact provided the first steps for getting wool into the sports performance markets – it has also led to the development of several other product groups into the sports industry. “Through innovative developments we are now able to introduce Merino wool- lined soft and hard shell jackets, wool- filled puff ski jackets, seamless knitwear and woven fabrics for hiking trousers. “It is a great strength for us to be able to offer wool in base-, mid- and outer- layers as leading brands prefer to market a consistent fibre story through all three layers.” More information: www.ripcurl.com.au ortovoX Head of Product sportswear thomas moe (left) tries his hand at shearing at ‘maitland’ under the eye of David Bowerman. fAst fActs l Pioneering mountaineering brand oRtoVoX has partnered with AWI to become a Woolmark licensee. l A group from oRtoVoX visited wool-growing properties of tasmania to trace the history of the fibre used in oRtoVoX products and understand the sheep to shop process. l AWI and oRtoVoX can now work together with Australian woolgrowers to continue to deliver high-quality and innovative outdoor apparel.