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9 July 2014 | Anna Scott
Luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna has acquired an Australian wool farm with 12,500 Merino sheep and 1,000 cattle to integrate its supply chain.
The purchase of Achill, a farm in New South Wales, means Zegna has taken direct responsibility for the production phase of one of its primary raw materials.
The fashion house transforms and consumes the equivalent of 1.5 million kilogrammes per year of the highest grade wool available, after touching, evaluating and testing each bale lot for fineness, quality and staple strength among other parameters.
It has entered the wool growing business in order to exchange ideas directly with wool growers. Historically, Zegna has focused on research aimed at improving the natural characteristics of its products.
The decision to strengthen its bond with Australian wool growers by entering their ranks is strategically important for the company and reflects Zegna’s pledge to support the survival and long-term viability of fine wool growing.
“Our choice to acquire a wool property in Australia underscores the group’s faith in promoting a land and fibre which have played a crucial role in our history and heritage,” said Paolo Zegna, chairman of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group.
“The opportunity to better understand the daily work of the graziers, sharing the culture and the philosophy of quality and the technical side of this magnificent fibre is quite exciting. By sharing and supporting the work of a young, talented farmer, we have a unique and sizeable opportunity to faithfully look at the future of an industry, which we want to preserve and protect for future generations.”
☛ There will be analysis of the trend towards vertical integration in the supply chains of luxury brands in the August edition of Supply Management.