Williams’ woollen wonders a snug fit for tourism
Williams woolgrowers have celebrated a woolly pre-Christmas season with the launch of the town’s newest concept store, which is stocked with farm-to-fashion woollen garments.
Local woolgrowers gathered around a Christmas tree made of Merino wool at the Williams Woolshed last Tuesday night to mark the launch of the Williams Wool Store.
The standalone concept store is located inside the Williams Woolshed and carries 184 lines of MerinoSnug — a brand derived from Australian Wool Network’s Direct Network Advantage program.
Each woollen garment can be traced back to the five local families whose Merino wool has been pooled together.
To the north of town, woolclip contributors included the Fowler, Macnamara and Rintoul families, while to the east was the Ford family and to the south, the Hogg family.
Australian Wool Network DNA program manager Cynthia Jarratt said growers’ wool had made a full circle to return to Williams.
Their wool was processed in China, dyed and made into yarn in New Zealand and manufactured in Melbourne before returning home to be sold.
“The Australian-made label was possible through AWN’s use of a whole garment knitting machine, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ms Jarratt said.
“This concept store is the first in Australia to carry exclusively AWN’s MerinoSnug brand.”
Each garment is attached with a Williams Wool QR scanning code.
It links customers to an audio/visual story of the region and its producers on their smartphone. Ms Jarratt said Williams was fortunate to host the first concept store located in the heart of a wool-producing region.
She said Williams’ tourism setting would help it thrive.
Williams farmer Glen Ford contributed 300 bales to the program.
He said there was a financial incentive of an extra $1.10/kg, plus the added benefit of promoting the Williams region.
“It is a real buzz to know our wool will be sold as garments rather than as a bulk commodity,” Mr Ford said.
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