Harbour launch raises the baa

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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The global Campaign for Wool reached Australian shores last week as part of a five-year plan to reinvigorate the fibre’s popularity around the world.

Backed by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the Prince Charles-endorsed campaign may be the most significant effort ever to entice wool onto the minds of designers, retailers and consumers.

It surely was a proud moment for host Governor General Quentin Bryce when she welcomed some 30 apparel labels and retailers to Sydney’s Admiralty House to reflect on Australia’s rich heritage of such a “wonderful natural fibre”.

What began with the inaugural British Campaign for Wool in February last year, when sheep grazed on the streets of Savile Row, was in turn, emulated to Sydney Harbour.

And the important message of the Sydney launch to “lift returns to wool producers” was clear when AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough said “Australia woolgrowers produce the finest wool in the world”.

“Wool is a remarkably versatile, renewable, natural fibre, and the world must awake to its benefits,” Mr McCullough said.

The launch included a runway presentation of designs, which celebrated wool, and was watched by retail and fashion industry heavyweights.

Local designers included Collette Dinnigan, Dion Lee, and Richard Noll and from France was the tailored-cut label of Martin Grant.

With many of Australia’s most successful designers throwing their support behind the campaign, and participation from Westfield and Country Road, the impact is expected to lift domestic demand for woollen apparel.

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