Industry visitors flock to Wool Resource Centre

7 October 2016

The Woolmark Company’s newly opened Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong has welcomed more than 70 global companies through its doors, plus two woolgrower groups, since officially opening in April.

Wool Resource Centre

The Wool Resource Centre is a multifunctional space which has quickly become a global hub for the textile and apparel industries seeking knowledge and support. It also presents new opportunities for the industry in the Asia region as well as for international brands visiting Hong Kong.

Visitors so far include fashion brands such as Hugo Boss, GAP, L.L.Bean and H&M, supply chain partners, fashion designers, schools/ universities and government bodies, from as far as Australia, Austria, Canada, China, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, the USA and Singapore, as well as Hong Kong - all keen to learn more about the wool industry, the benefits of the fibre, The Wool Lab, product innovations and Woolmark licensing.

“We went to the Wool Resource Centre initially out of curiosity, to better understand what we read about Woolmark in the magazines,” explained Hugo Boss Head of Operation Production Management, Daniele Rolando.

“The Woolmark library is an inspiring area where we met professionals in the field of wool. What was remarkable was the amount of research on dyeing and finishing done by [The Woolmark Company Technical Manager] Brenda Yang. I have also recommended my colleagues spend some time at the Wool Resource Centre, discovering the latest in wool innovation.”

The Woolmark Company Hong Kong Technical Manager, Brenda Yang, showing some wool innovations to Hugo Boss Head of Operation Production Management, Daniele Rolando, at the Wool Resource Centre.

Wool brokers Fox & Lillie and Elders have each taken groups to visit the Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong, discovering the latest in Merino innovations and product development and building relationships with The Woolmark Company’s Hong Kong representatives. With The Woolmark Company’s support, the group from Elders also visited spinners Novetex Zhuhai, whilst Fox & Lillie visited garment manufacturer Love Plus Hope, each gaining insight into what happens to their fleece after it leaves the farm gate.

Students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) were amongst the first group of students to visit. As part of a tour to both Hong Kong and the Wool Education Centre in China (established in 2014 by The Woolmark Company in partnership with leading wool textile company Nanshan), the group of 10 students not only learned about wool fabric production but also got an international perspective on fashion and where they sit as emerging designers.

“The Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong was very impressive,” said UTS School of Design lecturer and tour organiser Armando Chant.

“The sourcing library was particularly good, with examples of different fabrications and where industry and students can obtain them. The Wool Lab was available to view, which was brilliant in terms of seeing how wool is used across seasons, market areas and types, with many new innovations within it.

The Woolmark Company Country Manager for Hong Kong, Alex Lai, welcoming University of Technology Sydney design students to the Wool Resource Centre.

“We also received a talk from The Woolmark Company’s staff which was very informative and who explained the intricacies of how these innovations are developed and what young emerging designers could do.”

According to Mr Chant, tours like this are very important for designers, who are the future of the fashion and textile industries.

“The students loved the trip; the most frequent comment was how the experience had opened their eyes to new possibilities with wool, how they never knew how large the textile production industry was, and how there were so many opportunities for them as a young emerging designer.”

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