The textile and garment industry has long been Vietnam’s key economic sector employing more than 2.7 million people in the country, equivalent to 25 per cent of the industrial workforce.
Accounting for 17pc of world apparel exports in 2017, Vietnam’s textile exports have steadily grown to USD$31.1 billion in 2017 from the modest USD$1.35 billion in 1998, listing the country among the world’s top five textile exporters.
So it’s easy to see why it has been recognised as an emerging key market for Australian Merino wool.
The Woolmark Company has been working within the Vietnamese market for five years, watching the country’s growing interest in the use of natural fibres and its potential for production of quality wool product.
Recently, The Woolmark Company hosted the Merino Wool Awareness Day in Hanoi, Vietnam, with more than 100 industry professionals attending including international and local experts, experienced designers, suppliers and manufacturers in the textile and garment industry.
The event highlighted the benefits of Merino wool and provided guidance on how to access and process the fibre in innovative ways, as well as giving domestic companies an opportunity to showcase their wool products and connect with more than 80 supply chain brands in Vietnam.
Participants learnt valuable lessons from experienced experts from leading brands in Vietnam and across the world such as Canifa, Ivy Moda, Fixxed Studios and Appeal Korea.
Ms Ngoc of Canifa, a large Vietnam-based retailer, said she believes that their relationship with the Australian wool industry will continue growing in the future.
“Sustainable fashion has been and will be the trend as customer perception increases,” Ms Ngoc said.
“Australian Merino wool suits Canifa’s business strategy and brand positioning.
“Our customers particularly trust in our quality and our knitwear products is our strength product line, the Australian Merino wool meets both these criterias.”
John Roberts, General Manager Eastern Hemisphere of The Woolmark Company, said they consider Vietnam a valuable potential market and said they had been working hard towards developing a sustainable supply chain in Vietnam.
“We launched the ‘Out of Vietnam’ project in June 2012, aimed at developing new manufacturing supply chains for wool products,” Mr Roberts said.
“We have now established collaborations with more than 80 partners in the country.
“Our heritage in wool research and development together with Vietnam’s solid background in the textile industry make a perfect combination that promises high quality and sustainable ‘Grown in Australia – Made in Vietnam’ wool products, as well as a strengthening partnership between the two economies.”