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AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, is continually seeking new markets for Australian wool and in order for these markets to open up, The Woolmark Company pursues and develops innovations that adapt and enhance the performance benefits of wool.
The Woolmark Performance Challenge has been created by The Woolmark Company in collaboration with sportswear giant adidas, to attract the best young textile innovators to use Australian Merino wool.
Open to tertiary students worldwide, the Woolmark Performance Challenge provides an opportunity to apply the unique benefits of Australian Merino wool to new product applications in the sports and performance market. Alicia Ferreira de Sousa from L’École de la Maille de Paris was announced the winner of the inaugural Woolmark Performance Challenge.
Alicia was praised by the judges for her entry.
Tillmann Studrucker the Senior Design Director at adidas commented: “It is incredible how many great innovations we saw from students in this open collaboration between adidas and The Woolmark Company. It was not easy to nominate the final winner. In the end, we went for the person who shared the number one principle of our founder Adi Dassler - ‘only the best for the athlete’ - helping them to perform better in their sport using the benefits of wool. I want to thank everyone involved in making this competition a success and for giving these students a platform to show their talent.”
Alicia will receive a cash prize, a three-month internship with adidas, the opportunity to sell the winning idea along with ongoing industry and training support from The Woolmark Company.
“My main goal was to make a textile that connects and communicates with the body; and Merino wool supports the wearer’s needs in any situation or environment to enhance performance,” said Alicia.
More than 500 students from 58 universities across Europe and North America registered to take part in the Challenge. The 10 finalists were chosen from universities from France, USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
“The rapid growth in demand for technical textiles has significantly boosted wool’s prominence in the sportswear industry and the fibre’s naturally inherent qualities - such as effective odour control, superb breathability and moisture management properties - cannot be matched by any man-made fibre,” said AWI’s CEO Stuart McCullough.
“The adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge not only allows wool to enter a new phase in product development, but provides an excellent opportunity for Alicia, and I congratulate her on this exciting win.”
For more information go to www.woolmarkchallenge.com
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