Acclaimed by delegates as the best attended and most instructive International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) Congress in recent years, wool growers and processors from around the world were able to hear retailers at the leading edge of New York fashion and lifestyle pay tribute to wool as a natural and renewable component of the downstream industry's sustainable agenda.
Retailers and designers noted that many consumers with more-than-average disposable income were increasingly able to make an ethical choice, and choose wool as part of a commitment to environmental excellence.
Peter Ackroyd, IWTO president, said: "It was pleasing to hear so many upbeat and optimistic presentations about the return of wool in floor coverings, furnishings and fashion. Several keynote speakers at the congress underlined the absolute necessity to embrace social media and networking to pass on wool's unrivalled message to younger consumers."
Joseph Abboud, in his opening address to the congress, said, "I have always prioritized wool in my collections, and vividly remember my first visits to Scotland to discover the hues and rustic tones of the Scottish glens. Wool will continue to play an essential part of all my collections here in New York."
Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) executive director, noted, "The congress has been excellent and I am particularly pleased with the interaction between wool growers, processors, fashion houses, carpet manufacturers and retailers during the three days of the event.
"The participation of numerous American wool apparel companies was rewarding and hopefully their involvement and the congress has stimulated all in the manufacturing pipeline to create a stronger footprint of wool usage in North America."
Over 250 contented delegates attended the 81st IWTO Congress from May 7-9.
The event at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York was hosted by ASI.