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Beyond the Bale : Jun - July 08
An old look for new Merino fAshions Vintage Merino, an innovation in fabric technology developed with funding from AWI, was introduced to more than 300 executives from the retail world at a showing in Hong Kong. One of AWI’s business-to-business partners, Clariant, allocated space on its site at the recent Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong for AWI to display Merino wool fabrics printed by Clariant using the vintage technology. In two days, representatives of companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Adidas, Donna Karan, Nike, Levi’s, New Balance, Macy’s, Polo Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, Pacific Brands and Quiksilver, and numerous supply chain groups, attended the site, where they were given information on the process. The editor of Fashion Technology Magazine interviewed AWI at the forum to include Vintage Merino in a feature on fabrics with ‘old look, new feeling’. “Traditionally, enzyme wash or stone wash is required to create such a vintage look for garments, but the time- consuming and costly process doesn’t perform well in terms of colour fastness,” explains Alex Lai, AWI’s business development manager for Greater China, based in the Hong Kong office. “With the latest fashion trends towards ‘casualisation’ in the US, woollen products with a fashionably old look are highly requested.” Not only does Vintage Merino provide a washed-down effect, it retains a quality hand feel, creating an ‘old’ look with a ‘new’ feeling. More information: www.merinoinnovation.com A ustralian and international wool industry specialists recently ran a training session for early stage processors in the global hub of wool combing – Zhangjiagang, in Jiangsu province, China. This session was a follow-up to a similar event held in September 2007, and is part of a series of education programs being delivered by AWI and The Woolmark Company. The latest session involved representatives from Australian wool exporters and wool brokers, Germany- based social and environmental risk management company Global Sustainable Management, the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) and the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), along with AWI. The 2008 training was more targeted than the previous session, with a focus on wool-quality issues. It covered progress on the development of dark and medullated fibre detection, International Wool Test Organisation (IWTO) test certificate changes relating to clip preparation status, improving fibre selection, effluent management and other environmental issues for early stage processing. In addition, information about mulesing and an understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirements in major export markets such as North America and Europe were provided. The training was attended by 80 participants from some of the largest wool processors in the world. The content was aimed at the specialised, manager level and ranged from hands-on greasy wool issues through to chemical residue compliance requirements in Europe, where some of the toughest standards apply. AWI program manager for knowledge services Ben Lyons says improved and continuing communication with China’s early stage processors on a range of issues is helping to lift standards in the key wool export market and processing hub that China has become. “Early stage processing is a key strategic area for us, and potentially has the most immediate impact on the woolgrower’s back pocket,” Mr Lyons says. “AWI has a strong presence in Shanghai and the Yangtse Delta region, and we need to continue working with these customers to improve their sustainability and profitability as businesses. “These seminars are a low-cost and effective means to get key messages about the fibre to the processors.” Mr Lyons says participant feedback was positive. Effluent management was a popular topic, with news that local environmental agencies are becoming stricter on water pollution and environmental controls. “We want to make sure all of these mills have access to the information and technologies for effluent treatment that exist. It also allows them to be better able to engage with their own regulatory bodies, which is important. “It is all part of a wider strategy to keep Australian Merino wool in demand in terms of quality and environmental compliance.” ú More information: www.merinoinnovation.com Training strengthens China’s wool role To lift standards in the key wool export and processing hub that China has become, Awi is running training sessions for early stage processors focusing on wool quality 16 GLOBAL beyond The bAle AWEX CEO Mark Grave (centre) conducting training for early stage processors in China earlier this year. AWI’s technical manager for the Asia region, Alastair McIntyre discusses Vintage Merino with an attendee at the Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong.
Jun - Jul 08 Supplement
Aug - Sep 08