IWTO Congress in Biella, Italy was record breaking

IWTO Congress in Biella, Italy was record breaking

IWTO, the International Wool Textile Organisation welcomed at its 82nd IWTO Congress in Biella, Italy (June 12 -14, 2013) 330 delegates and 63 partners from 28 countries to discover wool’s extraordinary properties and environmental credentials

Technical Committees and other forum, the environmental credentials and the sheer uniqueness of wool were in the focus of all discussions. The entire congress was destined to make real progress on these essential maters that set wool apart from other fibres.

IWTO has been devoting considerable time and effort in the past two years to get the green message right. President Peter Ackroyd stated urged delegates in his opening address “to highlight the immense value of wool’s environmental credentials to manufacturers downstream through skilful use of “ingredient branding”. This type of quality assurance is a perfect match to luxury branding in an age where LOHAS (Li9festyles of Health and Sustainability) consumers increasingly examine the provenance of fashion and interior products”.

The last day of the congress, sponsored by the Woolmark Company under the motto “Excellence in manufacturing, heritage for the future” and discussed under the banner “From Farm to Fashion” by a panel of leading industrialists from Italy’s impressive fashion industry. Among the panellists we found Nino Cerruti, President of Lanificio F. Ili Cerruti, Domenico De Masi, Sociologist, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, President and CEO of the Lora Piana Group (recently acquired by French luxury conglomerate LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët and Hennessey), Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, Stuart McCullough, CEO of The Woolmark Company, Franca Sozzani, Director of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue and Paolo Zegna, President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, all endorsing effective ingredient branding and unassailable environmental credentials. The fundamental importance of the industry being “on message” was central to the debate, especially in the context of the very high profile Campaign for Wool, whose Patron is the world’s leading environmentalist, HRH The Prince of Wales.

The congress was also the sight for launching a major work “The IWTO Guidelines for Wool Sheep Welfare”, carried out during the past year by the Sustainable Practices Working Group, shortly available on the association’s website. It is a concise summation of good practice principles for ethical wool sheep production endorsed by the Animal Welfare representatives of relevant international and European governmental and non-governmental organisation.

IWTO is the only international and genuinely independent organisation, headquartered in Brussels (B), custodian of world wool trade regulations. The mission of IWTO is to represent and support the wool industry members by advocating the use of wool in all possible end-uses whilst providing a forum to network and a platform to discuss wool industry strategy and with respect of the supply chain from farm to consumer.


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