The Woolmark Company on Tuesday announced its 2020 International Woolmark Prize finalists, which will now create and present six fully traceable merino wool looks to a panel of industry experts and leading creatives to determine the winners.
The 10 finalists for the 2020 International Woolmark Prize are A-Cold-Wall, U.K.; Blindness, South Korea; Bude, U.S.; Botter, The Netherlands; Feng Chen Wang, U.K./China; GmbH, Germany; Ludovic de Saint Sernin, France; Matthew Adams Dolan, U.S.; Namacheko, Sweden, and Richard Malone, Ireland/U.K.
The 10 designers are now on a path toward the International Woolmark Prize final in February, with support from the Woolmark Co.’s Innovation Academy–a fast-track mentoring and education program that helps brands implement best practices to address environmental and social issues, along with sustainable business growth.
This year, the Woolmark Co. has partnered with Provenance, a platform that enables businesses to outline the origin, journey and impact behind products. Enabled by blockchain, mobile and open data, Provenance software helps brands gather and share key product information and stories in a way that’s secure, trustworthy and accessible, bringing the supply chain to the shopper, online and in store.
“Traceability is the first step to promoting a best-practice approach, Woolmark Co. CEO Stuart McCullough told Sourcing Journal. “We see the International Woolmark Prize as an initiative for industry leaders and to be a leading taste maker you need to be exposed to the right tools.
“For this year’s award, we are able to assist the finalists in developing supply chain integrity and detailing the chain of custody in the creation of their collections,” McCullough added. “By empowering these designers and giving them a platform to present traceable collections, we encourage best practice from all those working in and for the wool supply chain.”
One overall winner will receive 200,000 Australian dollars ($135,000) and one designer will receive $100,000 Australian dollars ($65,000) for demonstrating outstanding innovation in product or manufacturing. Finalist collections will be available for commercialization in September 2020 via the International Woolmark Prize retail network that includes Mytheresa.com, Matchesfashion.com, Takashimaya, Lane Crawford and David Jones.
“Each finalist has the flexibility to communicate their traceability story in their own way which reflects their brand and what is most important to their customers,” McCullough said. “Additionally, the younger generation of designers are approaching supply chain integrity in a more considered way so traceability is engrained in how they operate and their brand DNA.”
Finalists will receive full access to the Common Objective portal, personalized mentoring and access to their 16,000-strong community. The finalists have committed to producing a Common Objective sustainability road map and policies for their brand to be presented at the final event.
Common Objective is a business network for the fashion industry that matches members with the connections and resources they need to succeed.
“We see traceability and supply chain integrity as a way to empower brands and customers to make better choices,” McCullough added. “By ensuring these emerging designers are equipped with the knowledge, support and access to the most advanced supply chain partners, the International Woolmark Prize continues to push the agenda for best practice.”