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Woolmark Relaunches ‘Cool Wool’ for Summer – Philippa Watkins

Visitors to Première Vision could’nt resist a smile at the (by now iconic) Woolmark image of a flock of stylishly ‘cool’ Merino sheep in Ray-Ban shades, which met them at the entrance.

The image really set the scene, for the re-launch of Cool Wool, drawing buyers and designers to the wealth of lightweight wools on show, and putting wool firmly back on the map as an elegant, yet functional fabric for spring garments, which keeps cool in hot weather. Merino wool’s natural breathable and thermal-management properties really do make it highly suitable for warmer climates.

This is all part of the efforts to bring wool back into favour, after many years when all promotional activity of woollen products had been stopped.  Wool, without promotion had a difficult time losing a lot of its market share, despite the many new developments which had brought finer softer merino wools in knitwear and wovens – which just proved how important marketing is.

Now ‘The Campaign for Wool’ www.campaignforwool.org is making up for lost time, and AWI (Australian Wool Innovation) is putting huge efforts into rebranding wool.  The Cool Wool relaunch is one such promotion to inform what wool can be. Another is the Woolmark Company’s new “Wool Lab” project, which is a seasonal guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns, which is proving to be an extremely effective tool, identifying inspirational wool trends for the fashion industry, including brands, retailers, manufacturers, spinners and weavers. It’s well worth getting your Ray-Bans on to have a look…..

VSO Opportunities for Textile & Design Lecturers

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that     works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. VSO’s high-impact approach involves bringing people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action and change lives to make the world a fairer place for all.

VSO has been working in Ethiopia since 1997. The work of VSO Ethiopia focuses on education, working through volunteering and partnership to empower individuals and communities to realise their potential for positive and lasting change. Currently they have two vacancies for textiles and garment teaching professionals to work in Ethiopia for 12-24 months. These roles are based in the major universities in Ethiopia. Each role requires a specialist with at least 2 years of experience teaching in a higher educational institute as well as post-graduate qualifications (or equivalent) in the subject taught.

These are voluntary placements and VSO will ask you to commit to 12-24 months in order to make a sustainable change and impact to development. In return VSO makes sure their volunteers are supported and their volunteer financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, medical and travel insurance cover, national insurance contributions, visas and work permits and guaranteed holidays.

Please see below short summaries of each of the individual roles:

Professor for Textile Technology (textile testing and finishing), Bahir Dar, 24 months
You’ll be based at the Bahir Dar Institute of Technology and the Institute of Textile, Garment and Fashion Design working with institute staff to contribute to the improvement of the education system and university-industry partnerships. You will work with staff to develop a new curriculum and all aspects of the teaching programme for the MSc, conduct research and write funding proposals. You will also do staff training to build capacity and support the change process. You’ll have a masters or equivalent in textile technology as well as experience of teaching and training. You’ll have experience of conducting research and ideally will have professional industry experience. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator and have a flexible and proactive attitude towards work. (To apply for this role please quote Job ref: ETH0534/0003/0001).

Professor of Garment Technology, Bahir Dar, 24 months
You’ll be based at the Bahir Dar Institute of Technology and the Institute of Textile, Garment and Fashion Design working with Institute staff to contribute to the improvement of the education system and university-industry partnerships. You will work with staff to develop a new curriculum and all aspects of the teaching programme for the MSc, conduct research and write funding proposals. You will also do staff training to build capacity and support the change process. You’ll have a masters or equivalent in garment technology as well as experience of teaching and training. You’ll have experience of conducting research and ideally will have professional industry experience. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator and have a flexible and proactive attitude towards work. (To apply for this role please quote Job ref: ETH0534/0002/0001).

Apply online at www.vso.org.uk/volunteer or email elizabeth.bowen@vso.org.uk for more information.