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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
• Brooklyn-based company Thursday Finest is turning the traditional manufacturing process upside-down, using next-generation knitting machines to make custom order on-demand wool products direct from its New York studio. AWI partnered with Thursday Finest, assisting with product development. • With AWI’s assistance, San Francisco-based apparel company Taylor Stitch has combined the natural benefits of Australian Merino wool with the latest technical innovations to create a range of clothing – CIVIC – designed for the urban commuter. • As the largest UK retailer of wool products, Marks & Spencer is a key brand with which AWI works collaboratively to help promote wool products. Collaboration between the two companies continued during the UK autumn/winter season, through which M&S promoted its wool range in 142 of its UK stores, its website, newsletter to customers and advertising campaign in national magazines and newspapers. • AWI developed a close relationship with British menswear brand Charles Tyrwhitt. AWI provided the brand’s technical and design teams with presentations of the Wool Appreciation Course and The Wool Lab sourcing guide. Charles Tyrwhitt used Woolmark tickets/labels on 60 different styles of knitwear and 20 styles of suits in 2017. AWI also assisted the brand to introduce Woolmark branding into the company’s promotional materials such as point of sale collateral and product catalogue. • AWI’s UK office joined The Communication Store’s Press Day in November 2017 to promote Australian wool and product development initiatives, with more than 340 attendees from womenswear and menswear consumer press including Vogue, Men’s Health, Financial Times, Fantastic Man and Monocle, as well as bloggers, influencers, national newspapers, online journalists and freelance stylists. • AWI collaborated with Harper’s BAZAAR UK fashion magazine and leading department store Harvey Nichols to promote the best Merino wool fashion for the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season. All the wool and wool-rich items of clothes that featured in a special Harper’s BAZAAR photoshoot were available to buy at Harvey Nichols, both in stores and online. A double page spread in Harper’s BAZAAR UK fashion magazine and an email promotion from UK department store Harvey Nichols featuring Merino wool apparel. An example of the new Woolmark-certified wool/polyester blend uniforms launched by US company 5.11 Tactical at the Shot Show trade show in Las Vegas. • An initiative by AWI with North American company 5.11 Tactical aims to regain a significant market share for wool in the uniforms sector. 5 .11 Tactical’s uniform line is suitable for service personnel such as police and first responders. AWI helped the company create a wool/polyester blend Class A (formal) uniform collection made using Flex-Tac® fabric, a specialised proprietary blend engineered to provide extreme durability and performance. • AWI announced it had secured a collaboration with renowned US fashion label 3.1 Phillip Lim to develop a fall collection and advertising campaign. Designer Phillip Lim has sourced a selection of innovative fabrics and yarns to produce 24 key womenswear pieces designed with Australian Merino wool. The capsule also includes Lim’s first production of a wool puffer coat, which will be featured in the campaign. Lim and AWI will host in- store events at select Saks Fifth Avenue and Lane Crawford locations, timed with the capsule’s delivery in October. The collection will also be stocked in other key international retailers including Harrods, Selfridges, Net-A -Porter, Shopbop and Ssense. • AWI partnered with MINI to produce a Merino wool travel collection, developed by three Woolmark design partners. The MINI x Woolmark travel collection was unveiled at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence in June and will be rolled out by Mini to consumers later this year. • AWI was a key sponsor of the annual Fashion Week conference, organised by the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association, held in October 2017. The superiority of Australian wool was explained to the 750 attendees that represented a wide range of businesses. • AWI partnered with leading Turkish menswear brand Hemington to produce a Woolmark-certified extrafine Merino wool collection comprising a mix of men’s sweaters, turtlenecks and cardigans. To further support the collection’s launch, Hemington and Turkish lifestyle magazine Atlas travelled to Australia and visited ‘Grathyln’ in Mudgee, NSW, where the companies saw how Merino wool is produced; they then featured the sheep and farmers in articles and consumer education via point-of-sale materials and the Hemington website. REPORT OF 2017/18 OPERATIONS – MARKETING 13
AWI Annual Report 2016-17