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The old saying Australia was built on a sheep's back may have lost its impact but still today Australia produces around 60% of apparel wool (< 24.5 um) and 90% of fine apparel wool (<19.5 um) the Independent Review of Australian Wool Innovation showed.

Wool Australian Economy

"Merino wool is a fibre that is used in the premium and luxury market segments,” Rajesh Bahl, technical consultant, AWI. The fine apparel  wool fibre is around 1.5 per cent of the world's consumption of fibres by weight and 8 per cent by value. Of this, nearly 45 per cent wool by weight is used for apparel applications such as fine suiting, cardigans andpullovers, outerwear, undergarments, sportswear and outdoor wear.

Consumers are increasingly using sportswear and outdoorwear made of Merino wool for its natural attributes.

China has become the dominant buyer of Australian greasy wool as processing cost efficiencies are driven by lower labour costs. 74% of Australian wool is exported to China. Growing demand for high performance wool  Sports and outdoor fabric development has seen manufacturing volume grow 10% year on year and generated 1 million kg of demand.

“Wool is renewable and biodegradable. The moisture management, breathability, odour management properties of wool make it a performance fibre - a fibre of choice for sportswear applications. More and more sportswear and outdoorwear global brands are creating collections that feature wool, from mountaineering and snowboarding to sailing and yoga,” added Bahl.

On Monday, 09 July 2018 the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)  welcomed the release of the 'Independent Review of Australian Wool Innovation' (the Report) saying; 

"The significant contribution of the wool industry to the Australian economy, including a $4.3 billion contribution to exports in 2017/18 (up from $1.9 billion 2009/10) and the employment of 200,000 people. This has seen the gross value of the Australian wool clip double since AWI recommenced a focus on strategic targeted marketing investments to drive demand for wool."

Referring to the major changes in the Australian wool industry Bahl said, “The wool industry led by AWI, owner of The Woolmark Company, is pursuing a scientific approach towards growing wool and its sales, including sheep health, paddock management, shearing, testing and standardisation of raw wool, supplemented by digital technology at all levels.”

Australia Wool Exports

Australian Merino wool is a natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre, making it the perfect choice for those seeking clothing that has minimal impact on the environment. Merino farmers are committed to exceptionally high standards of animal welfare, sustainable farming for the benefit of future generations, and responsible use of land and water resources, added Bahl. (KD)

Source: Fibre2Fashion , Independent Review of Australian Wool Innovation

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