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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
20 OFF-FARM 20 Acritical part of AWI strategy is to develop new markets for Merino wool – especially those markets that highly value Merino wool’s natural attributes, and in which consumers are prepared to pay premium prices. The market for baby and infant wear is an important example of such a lucrative market, and AWI’s “Mothers & Babies” program is helping to drive demand for Merino wool in this market. The AWI program funds product development, marketing and scientific research into Merino wool’s attributes. There is very little Merino wool used in this market at present, compared to the very large number of babies born each year. But there is a huge potential for growth in demand for Merino, plus it is an all-year-round market. There is also a strong trend in this market towards natural and environmentally friendly products. Below are some partners AWI has been working closely with and which are enjoying success in this growing market. BUGABOO: STYLISH WOOL ACCESSORIES FOR STROLLERS Using materials certified by The Woolmark Company, Bugaboo International, the Dutch design company driven by a passion for innovation and known for its performance strollers, has launched a natural, comfortable and stylish collection of wool accessories for strollers: This season Bugaboo introduces the long-awaited Bugaboo Wool Blanket. The soft blanket is made of 100 per cent extra-fine Merino wool and is available in three colours: grey melange, rose and ivory. The blanket has an easy-care finish that makes it machine washable and suitable for tumble drying. The easy-to-wash Bugaboo Wool Seat Liner with reversible use has 100 per cent wool on one side and a grey melange knitted cotton jersey on the other. The Bugaboo Wool Mattress Cover offers true comfort for babies with its cover top consisting of grey melange 100 per cent extra- fine Merino wool. The one-size-fits-all mattress cover can be used in all Bugaboo strollers that have a carry cot. The Bugaboo Wool Seat Liner and Blanket are available in stores worldwide now; the Mattress Cover will be available from February 2014. Bugaboo products are available in 50 countries across the world including Australia. More information: www.merino.com/bugaboo www.bugaboo.com/525 EWENIQUE: AUSSIE COMPANY EXPANDING INTO CHINA Ewenique is an Australian business that specialises in making a range of baby sleepwear using 100 per cent Australian Merino wool, with all garments made in Australia. A partner with AWI since 2010, Ewenique owner and designer Monique Harper said this partnership had allowed for business expansion. “Last year we began to realise that there was an export market for our range and we decided to focus on the Chinese market first and so we exhibited at two major trade shows in Shanghai earlier this year,” Ms Harper said. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive with praise for both the quality of the wool and the garments themselves. The fact that they were made in Australia was seen as a strong plus as this is seen as a guaranteed high quality product.” As a result of the two trade shows, Ewenique has negotiated two major distribution agreements in China: one with a major online retailer and the other being a retail chain with outlets throughout China. More information: www.ewenique.com.au FAST FACTS l AWI’s Mothers & Babies program continues to drive demand for Merino wool within the baby wear market. l The fibre’s natural attributes make it well placed to become an integral part of each new parent’s health regime for their newborns and infants. l AWI has been working closely with various partners that are enjoying success in this growing market. BABY AND INFANT WEAR: A GROWING MARKET December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Naifactory / Javier Ferrer Vidal