Woolly prob­lem

Shepparton News - Country News - - WOMEN IN AG FORUM -

A drought-driven jump in the price of wool from Aus­tralia — the world’s top ex­porter of high­qual­ity fleeces — is rat­tling through the global clothing sup­ply chain, with some mills pass­ing along costs and re­tail­ers cut­ting down on wool or rais­ing prices.

Ital­ian cloth-maker Botto Giuseppe, which sup­plies lux­ury brands Gior­gio Ar­mani S.p.A and Max Mara, says it has in­creased prices on av­er­age by seven to eight per cent in the past year on wool fab­ric, while high-end Swiss-based sports­wear la­bel Mover has put up the re­tail price of its Merino wool T-shirts by 15 per cent.

‘‘The wool price has in­creased con­sis­tently over the past three years,’’ Botto Giuseppe chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Sil­vio Botto Poala said.

‘‘But the big jump has been in the past year.’’

Mean­while, Swedish fast fash­ion com­pany H&M has cut down on the amount of wool it uses in pro­duc­tion, thus avoid­ing price rises on items like wool-blend sweaters and coats.

Botto Giuseppe had in­creased the price of wool flan­nel fab­ric used for suits to 19.50 eu­ros per me­tre com­pared to 18 eu­ros a year ago, Mr Botto Poala said.

And Pure Merino wool T-shirts from Swiss ski­wear la­bel Mover re­tail for 75 eu­ros com­pared to 65 eu­ros last year, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ni­co­las Rochat said.

Pendle­ton, a sixth-gen­er­a­tionowned Ore­gon-based tex­tile com­pany known for its plaid woollen shirts, said it would put up some of its prices next year due to higher wool prices.

Ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­tur­ers and farm­ers, wool has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar for use in sports­wear due to its tem­per­a­ture reg­u­lat­ing prop­er­ties and a surge in de­mand for sus­tain­able fab­rics, par­tic­u­larly from younger con­sumers.

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