Apr 4, 2017
Wool is now often used in high-end fashion products, says Woolmark CEO
Apr 4, 2017
The global wool industry has changed considerably in recent years as more wool is being grown and a lot more wool is now available in the retail market, according to Stuart McCullough, CEO of The Woolmark Company. The scenario has changed at both ends of the supply chain.
"In the last decade, the (wool) price has gone up and that has been the biggest change. Farmers are now becoming profitable. This is a big and important change as they are now making money; that’s because a decade ago they were not making any. They are keeping the industry alive," McCullough told Fibre2Fashion.
Talking about the scope of the Indian wool industry, he said, "India is a bit different because it is a very hot market. It is still very important to us because there are lots of deconstructed wool garments on the market now, and we can capitalise on that. More deconstructed garments are being manufactured now (compared to earlier). It is a good opportunity there. It is a completely different market compared to Europe and North America, and there is good population and affluence as well. The climate is also favourable. There are tailored garments in the market too; so that is also an opportunity."
As for the Australian wool industry, McCullough said that its limitations are sales. The Woolmark Company wants to sell more garments and is therefore now marketing around the world.
When asked about the future plans of The Woolmark Company, he said, "We will be working on some different programmes that look into product development. We are actively investing in product development. That is one. Second, we want to become more digitally abreast (of others). Certainly, we have got a digital strategy in place, which gives us digital force. Social media is an important component, and so the other thing is to increase our digital presence in the next 12 months. Over the next year, we want to talk about biodegradability of wool." McCullough added that his organisation is using marketing for promoting Australian merino wool across the globe. The International Woolmark Prize (IWP) is a marketing strategy for it and is used as a platform for profiling its product and the brand.
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