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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
National Geographic adventurer Pete McBride who featured in the promotion that highlighted some of the best commercially available Merino wool sports apparel. • AWI partnered with National Geographic to showcase the performance benefits of Merino wool to consumers and increase demand for the fibre. As part of the initiative, National Geographic adventurer Pete McBride from the mountains of Colorado discussed his favourite Merino wool clothing that keep him in peak performance. McBride’s story appeared in the January 2018 print edition of the UK’s National Geographic Traveller – as well as being published in the Chinese edition. The feature also highlighted the best commercially available Merino wool performance apparel, encouraging adventurous readers to tackle the great outdoors in Merino wool apparel from major brands Helly Hansen, Ibex, Ortovox, Devold and Rab. The partnership also contains a digital component on www.nationalgeographic.com with international reach, providing direct web links for commercially available product. • AWI launched a new annual product innovation competition called the Woolmark Performance Challenge, in partnership with leading sports brand adidas. Open to tertiary students, it provides an unrivalled opportunity to apply the unique science and performance benefits of Australian Merino wool to innovative new product applications in the sports and performance market. It is not only a unique learning experience for students, but also provides the winner with a financial reward, potential for further collaboration and a 3-month paid internship with adidas. 510 students from 58 universities were engaged in the inaugural year. • Products using the water and wind resistant OptimTM Protect fabric, made from 100% Merino wool and without any chemical treatments, are now available to more consumers across the world, having been commercialised this year by brands including Taylor Stich/CIVIC (USA), ICICLE (China) and RÖJK Superwear (Sweden). The OptimTM Protect fabric is one of many innovative and high- value woven Merino wool fabrics that have been developed by the Wool Development Centre, which was set up in 2013 by AWI along with one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group. Swedish outdoor company RÖJK Superwear's Badland jacket won three awards presented in January 2018 at the ISPO sports and outdoor trade show in Munich. • Outdoor apparel company Devold of Norway is the latest international company to feature Australian woolgrowers in its marketing to consumers. The Woolmark licensee has introduced a new strategy – known as Sheep to Shop – that ensures uncompromising quality through its supply chain. • Russia’s leading outdoor brand Red Fox is promoting the inherent benefits of Merino wool – a fibre trusted by the brand’s co-owner who wore it whilst climbing Mount Everest. Producing a range of menswear and womenswear Merino wool base- layers and accessories, Red Fox has recently partnered with AWI to further promote the fibre’s origins and benefits. • AWI entered into a marketing partnership with Helly Hansen, working with the iconic brand to help promote the great story of Merino wool and increase demand for innovative products. This year, Spanish Volvo Ocean Race team MAPFRE were decked out in Merino wool base-layers by Helly Hansen as they battled it out in all weather conditions in this iconic round-the-world race. • AWI teamed up with major Indian sportswear company Zeven to develop polo shirts made from 80% Merino wool as travel gear for the Royal Challengers Bangalore Indian Premier League cricket team. Some of the biggest names in cricket donned the Merino wool polo shirts including captain Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Australia’s own Shane Watson. • Merino wool products in a new collection from leading US snowboarding brand Burton were made available to purchase worldwide for northern hemisphere consumers. AWI assisted Burton with product development, retail education and marketing the products to drive sales. The collection was not only available in Burton’s home country of the US. Milan played host to the European launch of the collection, with AWI collaborating with Burton for a special retail event in Burton’s Milan store. Snowboarding star Anna Gasser from Austria wearing the Merino wool base-layer top of US brand Burton, available online and in northern hemisphere retail stores. REPORT OF 2017/18 OPERATIONS – MARKETING 19
AWI Annual Report 2016-17