Leading fashion designers congregated at the Britomart Country in Auckland earlier today to officially kick off New Zealand’s inaugural Wool Week, which runs until June 2.
New Zealand Wool Week supports HRH the Prince of Wales international campaign for wool – a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre – in the fight against synthetic materials.
Wool advocate and ambassador, Zambesi designer Elizabeth Findlay said growing up in Dunedin “where they have a real winter” made her appreciate at an early age the wonderful nature of wool – “… you just had to have wool in your wardrobe”.
In her late teens Findlay also had the honour of modelling for the New Zealand Wool Board when they showed in the South Island. When Zambesi showed at London Fashion Week in 1999, supported by the New Zealand Wool Board, the collection was wool-based.
“Zambesi collections have always been inspired by fabric, and this has always included a selection of beautiful high quality wool and wool-based fabrics,” she said. “I love using wool for so many reasons. As a fabric to work with it, it never fails to inspire me … it’s unique, there’s nothing quite like wool.”
Zambesi’s current Winter 14 collection is heavily weighted in its use of wool from heavy felt, traditional suiting, merino jersey and limited edition wool from Corriedale sheep farmed in North Canterbury.
“Technology aside, there is an undeniable attraction to wool for Zambesi because of the time-proven history and success of wool as a staple cloth over centuries,” Findlay said. “All over the country fashion retailers including Zambesi will be celebrating the use of wool and promoting the importance of continued support of wool. In this day and age it’s important to remember to value quality, sustainability and longevity. Long live wool!”
Findlay’s words were met with much applause by the assembled crowd that included Tony Milich of Sabatini (which has just launched its first homeware line made of wool), Tanya Carlson, Adrian Hailwood, Liz Mitchell, Kylie Davis, Andrea Moore and Liam designer Emily Miller-Sharma, and Dame Pieter Stewart.