A FASHION parade and celebration of local food, wine and art at the Williams Woolshed next Tuesday, August 7, will mark the beginning of branding of Williams Wool.
A director and film crew are flying in to record the event for the marketing division of Australian Wool Network (AWN), Australia’s biggest independent wool marketing and brokering company which is represented in WA by wool broker Dyson Jones.
The film crew will also shoot footage on local sheep properties, Fordco run by Glen Ford and his sons Steven and Darren, and Noel Fowler’s Rapanui, and more general footage of the Williams community over the next month to help with marketing the Williams Wool brand.
Both Mr Ford and Mr Fowler have committed wool this spring to Dyson Jones specifically for the Williams Wool DNA (Direct Network Advantage) program that will see MerinoSnug and Only Merino garments carrying Williams Wool DNA branding marketed at the Williams Woolshed, national retail outlets and online next year.
The footage will be used tell the background story of where the Williams Wool used in the garments came from.
It will be supplemented later with footage of Williams Wool being processed in China, returning to Victoria to be made into garments and transported to Williams Woolshed for sale, creating a visual representation of the entire supply chain.
The footage will become part of a Williams Wool DNA quick response (QR) code on tags attached to the garments.
By holding an iPhone over the QR code shoppers will be able to view the history of the wool the garment is made from and learn a little about Williams.
As previously reported in Farm Weekly, the Williams Wool DNA project, with Williams Woolshed’s involvement, is the first time the provenance of WA wool will be able to be traced from bale through the manufacturing process to finished garment at a retail outlet.
It is an extension of AWN’s wool DNA project launched in eastern Australia about four years ago which sources specific clients’ wool from various regions and takes it through an exclusive processing pipeline.
Kim Maylor, daughter of Glen Ford and a co-owner of Williams Woolshed with husband Simon and Sara and Ryan Duff, said they heard about the AWN wool DNA program and wanted to use it to help create a Williams Wool brand awareness.
“We know our customers are becoming more and more interested now in the provenance of the woollen garments we sell and we wanted to be able to complete the story with our own Williams Wool home-grown fashion pieces,” Ms Maylor said.
Husband Simon said everyone in Williams was invited to next Tuesday’s fashion parade and community event from 6.30pm in The Yarn, Williams Woolshed’s shearing shed which doubles as an events space.
“It will be a night basically promoting all things Williams – we’ve got local girls lined up to do the modelling, there’ll be complimentary tasting of locally-produced food and wines and local artists will be showing their work,” Mr Maylor said.
“Rod Miller, who is AWN’s wool DNA project manager, will be coming over from South Australia and he will be presenting some film and information on the project and how it’s gone in other areas of Australia,” he said.
“It (Williams Wool DNA project) has generated quite a lot of interest.
“While the Fords and Rapanui are the main ones (supplying wool for the project), there are a number of other local woolgrowers who have put a toe in the water and want to see how it goes.
“We think it’s a great opportunity to promote Williams and its woolgrowers.
“We hope to have enough wool by December to put it on the water (export to China for initial processing).
“By April next year we’re expecting to have garments for sale in our Williams Woolstore made from wool that was produced right here,” Mr Maylor said.
Dyson Jones State manager Peter Howie said he was keen for more Williams woolgrowers to join the project.
“Next year, when people buy one of the Williams Wool DNA garments in Sydney or Melbourne, they’ll also take home a snippet of Williams and the local wool growing community,” he said.
Woolgrowers interested in finding out more about the Williams Wool DNA program can contact Mr Howie at Dyson Jones on 9434 1699 or 0419 959 699.