Home

International Wool Textile Organisation’s Round Table gives wool a high resilence resolve through COVID

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
The International Wool Textile Organisation's annual Round Table event held in Nuremberg, Germany, found the wool industry had proven resilient in the face of COVID and supply chain disruptions.. 
Camera IconThe International Wool Textile Organisation's annual Round Table event held in Nuremberg, Germany, found the wool industry had proven resilient in the face of COVID and supply chain disruptions..  Credit: IWTO/IWTO

The International Wool Textile Organisation brought more than 80 key industry people together at its annual Round Table event held in Nuremberg, Germany, to discuss wool issues around the globe.

Hosted by the German Wool Federation and the Sudwolle Group, the event held on December 2 was back after a two-year hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Wool Textile Organisation represents the collective interests of the global wool industry.

Through scientific research, wool textile education, and knowledge sharing, the IWTO ensures a sustainable future for wool.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW
IWTO former board member Klaus Steger.
Camera IconIWTO former board member Klaus Steger. Credit: Karl Schoemaker/Karl Schoemaker

IWTO former board member Klaus Steger, who is the president of the German-based investment holding company ERWO, said the wool industry had proven resilient in the face of COVID and supply chain disruptions, and currently with inflation and energy shortages.

“COVID has contributed to a change of awareness to purchase something more valuable and long-lasting,” he said.

“Wool finally sits at the sweet spot of natural, sustainable, fashionable, and cool.

“Wool is also affordable, if you take into consideration the longer-term effects of a woollen garment compared with one made of other fibres.”

He said wool held 1.3 per cent of the today’s global fibre market.

“This includes both the finer wools used for apparel, and the coarser wools used across a range of applications such as bedding, blankets, rugs, carpets, air filters, insulation and more,” Mr Steger said.

“European wool is predominately the latter.”

Round Table speakers from France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom offered insight into the lucrative niche markets they had created offering traceable, European-produced wools.

IWTO market intelligence committee chair Isak Statts said with Europe’s present economic conditions, price was a factor that cannot be overlooked.

“High inflation and elevated uncertainty mean people are spending their money more carefully,” he said.

“But wool has a very unique market value proposition that can take us through.

“And to this end, wool businesses are working to activate demand for wool, in ways that resonate with consumers.”

The Woolmark Comapny regional manager of central and eastern Europe Francesco Margri.
Camera IconThe Woolmark Comapny regional manager of central and eastern Europe Francesco Margri. Credit: The Woolmark Company/The Woolmark Company

The Woolmark Company regional manager for central and eastern Europe Francesco Margri highlighted two brand collaborations, one with Sease and one with Hugo Boss.

“Both being examples of a “sartorial revolution” in which streetwear upgrades through a fresh use of formal fabrics while formal looks find versatility and comfort through new knitting technologies,” he said.

Other recent wool innovations through The Woolmark Company had shown how woollen apparell improved skin health, air quality and sleep in children and adults.

AWI’s fibre advocacy and eco credentials program manager Angus Ireland.
Camera IconAWI’s fibre advocacy and eco credentials program manager Angus Ireland. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Australian Wool Innovation fibre advocacy and eco credentials program manager Angus Ireland said wool had shown significant filtration qualities in face masks and was used in the air filters of the latest NASA space shuttle.

“Wool fibres can enhance performance and wool streetwear carries a powerful message to urbanites,” he said.

“There’s a world full of people on bikes and scooters,” IWTO secretary-general Dalena White said. “Our challenge today is how do we dress them in wool.”

The wool industry will continue its discussions at the 92nd Congress, from May 16 to 18 in Kyoto.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails