For the second year AWI and ISPO organised the "Wool Street" creating a Merino business environment for the visiting buyers and designers.
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By working with the leading manufacturers and brands in this expanding market, Australian Wool Innovation is helping to educate the world’s consumers about the many natural benefits of wool.
As a sign of Merino’s increased attention and importance, both the Outdoor Retailer Show in the U.S. and the ISPO show in Europe arranged seminars around the return of the Merino fibre into performance apparel. Both events are amongst the most significant global trade shows for the outdoor and sports apparel sector.
While next-to-skin Merino garments are commonly used in the market, new market segments are opening up for wool with sports brands now promoting Merino throughout all the apparel layers; base, mid and outer.
In addition to Merino gaining ground as a complement to soft and hard shell garments, Smartwool and Ortovox launched new outer jackets will wool fillings instead of the usual synthetic or down fillings.
Being one of the leading brands in Merino, with numerous awards to prove it, Ortovox has long focused on knowledge support to its customers.
"We work with the best and most professional retailers and we develop highly technical and advanced products. For us it is very important to make sure our retail partners have a good knowledge of our products and materials used. Merino is a very advanced fibre and we are keen to pass on the information on its properties and benefits to our customers," Ortovox Head of Communication Hendrik Reschke said.
Craft, a leading European brand in apparel for cross country, alpine, running and bike wear launched a new Merino seamless base layer range at ISPO.
Craft’s development of the seamless Merino collection has been done in cooperation with knitting and wool experts to make sure design, fit, function and comfort is up to Craft's performance standards.
"Being a supplier to numerous national ski teams and professional users we cannot settle with anything less than the best of the best," says Daniel Larsson, Sports Marketing Manager at Craft. "The Merino range is a perfect complement to our collection and we are now offering a complete range of base layers for all weather conditions and activity levels."
Australian Wool Innovation Global Category Manager Lars Ulvesund added, "Craft's development of a Merino collection is a clear sign that the properties and benefits of Merino as a technical fibre are being recognised in this important market.
"Australian wool producers have perfected the fibre over many years of breeding and now Merino really is up there amongst the top performance products in this field."
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