Woolmark in £23m marketing campaign

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WOOLMARK, the quality assurance scheme for fleece, will today unveil a 50 per cent rise in its marketing budget to £23 million to promote garments in fast-growing markets such as China.

Stuart McCullough, chief executive of Australian Wool Innovation, which owns the Woolmark Company, told The Scotsman that China represents an unprecedented opportunity for the industry.

Up to 95 per cent of the world’s woollen clothes are made using Australian fleeces, including items spun at mills in Scotland and other parts of the UK, although specialist products, such as Harris Tweed, use local wool.

McCullough said: “We’ve already helped Scottish firms like Johnstons of Elgin to sell their products in the Chinese market, which is massive.”

Woolmark is also reviving its international prize this year, with Victoria Beckham, left, Diane Von Furstenberg and Donatella Versace among the judges. In 1954, the competition helped to launch the careers of young designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.