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The Way Forward

The Woolmark Company: Wool & Performance

The casualization of the apparel industry has accelerated due to COVID lockdowns with an intensified trend for everyday clothing to incorporate a hybrid of both activewear and casual styles. The Woolmark Company's first edition of The Wool Lab Digital, the brand-new online platform for its respected fabric and yarn sourcing guide, has been developed in response to the latest trends in today's market environment.

Merino wool is nature’s ultimate high performance fibre, suitable for a range of sports and outdoor markets. In almost every activity at every level, and in every climatic condition, sportspeople are benefitting from the extraordinary properties of Merino wool.

Soft next to the skin and breathable, it keeps you warm when the climate is cold yet releases body heat and moisture when it’s hot. Merino’s natural elasticity keeps clothing in resilient good shape, and it’s even odour-resistant too, all of which makes it the perfect choice for lower impact activities such as yoga, to higher impact activities such as running, and adventure activities such as climbing. It helps people perform at their peak, from sea-level to mountain top.

The apparel industry has experienced a global trend towards casualisation during the past few decades. Busy lifestyles and changing workplace fashions have reduced the need for consumers to have multiple wardrobes – and there is an increasing desire for individualisation. This trend has been intensified by the COVID and people’s absence from office workplaces.

The introduction of sporting elements into casual clothing brings with it function, performance and technology, such as in seamless knitwear. And while we live in an era of technical innovations, people still want to be connected to nature.

In stark contrast with synthetic fibres, Merino wool is a natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre, making it the perfect choice for those seeking clothing that has a minimal impact on the environment.

Furthermore, unlike synthetics, wool does not contribute to microplastic pollution in our oceans or on our land. Wool is also the most reused and recyclable fibre on the planet of the major apparel fibres.

In response to both evolving market trends and the need for the textile industry to be agile because of COVID, The Woolmark Company will launch in February the first edition of The Wool Lab Digital, a brand-new online platform for its respected wool fabric and yarn sourcing guide.

While its structure and functionality has been adapted to the times we are living in, the core of The Wool Lab remains the same; it is a guide to the best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns, created in collaboration with the most innovative and quality-oriented spinners, knitters and weavers from across the world.

The Woolmark Company has quickly adjusted to the market changes imposed by the global pandemic and, through The Wool Lab Digital, provides a robust solution that continues to connect and support the global supply chain, by providing a digital showcase for suppliers and a leading sourcing service for buyers.

The Wool Lab Digital will be freely accessible to everyone in a dedicated area of www.woolmark.com. By simply registering, users will be able to look through the guide and choose a selection of wool fabrics and yarns in which they are interested. Users will immediately receive an email with the details of their chosen swatches along with the contact information of the applicable manufacturers that the user can contact to request samples.

As well as being in a new online format, The Wool Lab Digital has identified the market trends and product innovations that are most relevant to the current unique global situation. Whilst wool demonstrates its natural versatility as a fibre, technical fabric innovations are the central theme of The Wool Lab Digital which will generate business opportunities for the industry.

Through these identified trends, Merino wool reaffirms its position as the ultimate ingredient for both active and urban wear, but also for leisure wear. Thanks to the fibre’s natural qualities and infinite versatility, innovative manufacturing techniques have been applied to wool for use in high-performance sport garments but also more casual environments.

The Wool Lab Digital will launch in February.

Learn more at www.woolmark.com

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