BRADFORD, England — April 2012 — The internationally renowned wool supplier, H. Dawson Wool, has
launched a ground-breaking initiative to supply ultra-fine merino wool from New Zealand to a
Japanese apparel company.
As part of the H. Dawson NZ ‘Merino Initiatives’ programme, the company has used its
reputation, expertise and its close relationships with suppliers of the finest wool in the world to
broker the deal with leading Japanese clothing producer, Konaka Co Ltd.
By intuitively matching the wool grower to the client, H. Dawson has created an opportunity
for 15 micron merino wool to be recognised as a luxury, ultra-fine fibre which can compete with
cashmere in terms of quality, softness, finish and durability.
Following the initiative, the wool, sourced from Otago’s Closeburn Station in New Zealand
will replace premium fibre cashmere in a new winter range being designed by Konaka Co Ltd. The deal
was brokered by H. Dawson NZ’s Senior Trader, Craig Smith.
Craig said: “Matching handpicked growers to specific overseas clients is proving attractive
to all involved. For the client, the benefits are two-fold; telling the origin-of-wool story as
well as the quality-of-fibre story. The grower is being rewarded for developing farming practices
that often take years of investment to perfect. Realising the return on that investment is
The fineness of the merino wool achieved by grower, Tony Clarke from Closeburn Station, over
a 13-year-long breeding programme, was a major factor in clinching the deal. Konaka believes
that the 15 micron 100 per cent merino wool from New Zealand offers greater softness, bulk and
A delegation from Konaka made a flying visit to New Zealand in April where they joined H.
Dawson on a tour of the growing station, an inspection of the flock and to personally record the
deal with the grower.
Konaka-san, CEO and owner of Konaka Co Ltd, said: “Our customers want to know the story
behind the fibre in their fabric, from the grassroots to the garment so seeing where the wool comes
from is a major part of our story.”
Konaka has trialled the Closeburn 15 micron wool with positive results. The corporate
garment market in Japan is highly competitive and Konaka believes that using 100 per cent 15 micron
wool from New Zealand offers them the opportunity to present something new to the market.”
Konaka-san added: “The quality of fibre that grower Tony Clarke has achieved with his wool is
impressive. In many ways it’s equivalent to cashmere and in some ways it’s superior.”
Craig added: “Deals such as this offers a win-win for everyone. We specifically seek to build
long-term partnerships that are financially beneficial to growers and buyers both now and for years
to come. What’s critical to success is that deals are built on trust and transparency and that the
focus is on achieving the best outcome for all.”
In this case, Closeburn is getting around double the current price of the clean weight per
kilogram for their product. For Konaka, it gets the assurance of the quality it is after.”
The visit by Konaka was filmed and will be used as part of a national Japanese television
advertising campaign. The campaign will focus on the origin of the fibre in the fabric – something
that is seen as a strong selling point.
During their visit the Konaka executives also inspected samples of other wools for their
general suiting range and will continue to work closely with H. Dawson to ensure more perfect
matches in the future.
Posted on May 1, 2012
Source: H. Dawson Wool