Merino wool is increasingly being used as the key ingredient in footwear, with the high performance fibre giving consumers the natural edge over its synthetic rivals.
AWI’s (Australian Wool Innovation) technical team has been working to create shoes that not only allow the foot to breathe, wick away moisture and are resistant to odour, but importantly are comfortable to wear. For example, by combining yarns together and using three dimensional knitting, the entire upper of the shoe can be seamless, free of cutting and sewing.
adidas, Baabuk, Giesswein, Le Mounton and Z Zegna are just some of the popular brands on the market today. The most recent brand to hit the ground running is Neeman’s – the first brand to come out of India to include Merino wool in footwear.
Designed in London, the shoes are made from some of the finest Merino wool from Australia, with the insoles made from plantbased castor bean oil and recycled rubber, which offers comfort through all seasons in India. The sock-free, odour resistant, flexible and lightweight shoes inherit all the ecocredentials of Merino wool.
“Neeman’s has created a path-breaking collection of shoes by using Merino wool from Australia, which is superfine and lightweight, moisture-wicking and breathable, naturally odour resistant and keeps skin cool and dry even in extreme temperatures.”
Beyond the Bale, Running with Wool , Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 33.
Acknowledging the shrinking size of Australia’s sheep flock throughout the past 20 years, Anthony Close from Victoria said his focus of his Nuffield studies will be researching the range of factors that have caused this reduction, comparing the industry with those overseas to gain a better understanding of what makes progressive industries grow and prosper.
“In 1992 the national sheep flock was 150 million head, and produced 4.75 million bales of wool. In 2018, the flock is 70 million head, and will produce two million bales,” he said.
“Wool prices are at historically record levels at the moment and there is a lot of confidence in the industry, despite the current lack of rainfall in many areas, so I hope my research will identify ways that the Merino can once again become a prominent feature of the Australian farming landscape.”
MORE INFORMATION: Information on previous AWI Nuffield woolgrower scholars and their reports are available at www.wool.com/nuffield.
Beyond the Bale, Nuffield Studies Aim to Boost Merino Flocks , Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 73.
Australian woolgrowers have been awarded with the inaugural Eco Stewardship Award at this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards held as the conclusion of Milan Fashion Week. The award recognises the commitment to the environment demonstrated by the tens of thousands of woolgrowers across the country.
Every day, woolgrowers across the country are caring for their animals and the land in a passionate and sustainable way, ensuring that when you are wearing wool, you are also caring for the environment. Woolgrowers have always known this is the case – and it is fantastic that this has been recognised by the fashion industry.”
MORE INFORMATION www.eco-age.com/ green-carpet-fashion-awards.
Beyond the Bale, Australian Wool Growing Receives Eco Award, Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 14.
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