The event “FROM FARM TO FASHION. The wool supply chain and the consumer”, held within the 82nd edition of the IWTO Congress, between 12th -14th June 2013 in Biella, closed its doors successfully, attracting over 400 participants from approximately 30 countries. The final day of the congress presented a discussion panel providing hints about how the wool industry should reorganize itself in order to get the best from the modern consumer market.

Among the speakers on the final day were: Giuseppe Angiolini (president, Camera Italiana; buyer, president and owner, Sugar), Alberto Baldan (CEO, La Rinascente), Ennio Capasa (creative director, Costume National), Nino Cerruti (president, Lanificio F.lli Cerruti), Domenico De Masi (sociologist), Pier Luigi Loro Piana (president and CEO, Loro Piana Group) Raffaello Napoleone (CEO, Pitti Immagine), Stuart McCullough (CEO, The Woolmark Company), Andrea Panconesi (CEO, Luisa Via Roma) and Paolo Zegna (President, Ermenegildo Zegna Group).

The starting point for the discussion was a description of the changed identity of the modern consumer who, according to the sociologist, can be now considered as both producer and consumer. Area Studi Diomedea presented a study on the consumer’s identity “The raw material, fashion and the consumer", which was carried out among medium-high and high-end Italian retailers. The study investigates the relationship between consumers and what they have in common.

Piercarlo Zedda, vice president, IWTO, showed great satisfaction for the event: “The sessions we presented determined the success of the initiative. Fundamental to its success was the presentation of animal welfare within the sustainability part. IWTO have agreed that they will be stakeholders in every aspect related to this delicate and intrinsic element of the global wool production segment.”

Claudio Lacchio, head of the IWTO Italian delegation, recognised how the experience represents the opportunity for starting a new collaboration: “Organizing this congress in Biella gave us the possibility to show internationally, peculiar characteristics of the Italian textile system, such as creativity, innovation and know-how, which also determined the success of this Congress”.