Campaign continues to tell story of wool

11 April 2012

The story of wool continues to be told right across the world, this time with key players of Australia meeting in March to launch the Campaign for Wool for 2012.

Wool ModernThe Australian launch provided a melting pot of the wool industry, with woolgrowers, fashion designers and retailers gathering to offer ideas about the further promotion of the fibre.

The Woolmark Company’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry said the collaboration and communication between those involved in the entire wool production pipeline was what continued to make this global campaign a success, both internationally and within Australia.

“We have a wonderful story to tell, and since Campaign for Wool’s launch in 2010 we, as a united body, have been able to do so,” Mr Langtry said.

“The Campaign for Wool has revolved around pushing Merino’s unique properties and promoting itself as a sustainable part of the fashion landscape with none of the landfill waste associated with man-made fibres.

“To sell most products you have to find some way to value-add, but that’s not necessary with Merino wool – it has intrinsic value.”

And it is this inherent value which has caught the eye of designer greats such as Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith to help the push for wool and continue the campaign’s success.

“Other key players in the fashion industry have also jumped on board, which is great news for our wool producers,” Mr Langtry said.

The Australian leg of Wool Modern’s global schedule – held at Sydney’s historic Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay - included pieces from local designers including Collette Dinnigan, Willow, Romance Was Born, Josh Goot, ELLERY, Jenny Kee and Akira. Three of Australia’s most talked about interior designers Sarah King, Emma Elizabeth and Henry Wilson also joined the exhibition’s credits.

Other retailers providing extensive support to the Campaign for Wool include Sportscraft, Kookai, Country Road, Gorman, EMU Australia, MJ Bale and Decjuba.

Wool Modern celebrated the aesthetic, environmental and technical benefits of wool with stunning fashion pieces nested alongside wool-focused installations. The exhibition offered an exclusive look at the wool archives from fashion designers including Theirry Mugler and Sonia Rykiel, with innovative new pieces from renowned designers and brands including Giles Deacon, Mark Fast, Erdem, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and David Koma among others.

Wool Modern curator Charlotte Lurot said the exhibition was commissioned specifically for the Campaign for Wool and offered a showcasing of the fibre in the 21st century.

“The exhibition focussed on the modern, innovative and avant-garde use of wool throughout the creative industries across both apparel and interior uses,” Ms Lurot said.

 The Campaign for Wool was globally launched in 2010 and is spearheaded by HRH the Prince of Wales. Australia’s key event for 2012 was the Wool Modern exhibition held inSydney from April 24 to May 1. The exhibition coincided with Wool Week which ran from April 23-29.

The Wool Modern exhibition will continue its world tour by travelling to Shanghai in October with special Chinese commissions.

In celebration of Wool Week retailers from across Australia united, with Sydney’s historic Queen Victoria Building (QVB) providing the heart of the festivities.

The first day saw shoppers enjoy the sight of sheep walking through the building and being shorn in the urban farmyard which was set up in the forecourt of the QVB, while models wearing garments from retailers including Country Road, Karen Millen, Saba and Sportscraft showed the finished product.

Melbourne-based brand Obus created knitted installations in its store in Flinders Lane with knitters using different wools and methods to create a woollen feature and Little Red’s Craft Cupboard hosted a beanie knitting competition in-store.

Carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst covered 300 of its stores nationwide in Campaign for Wool signage, while bedding company Bambi spread the message throughout their retailers Harvey Norman and Snooze outlets.

Information about how retailers and business owners can get involved in the campaign is available on the Campaign for Wool website. By registering your support towards the Campaign for Wool you are joining a global initiative.

For Vogue online coverage of the Wool Modern event click here.