IWTO goes to Japan for Congress 2023

The 92nd annual Congress took place 16-18 May, 2023 in Kyoto, Japan with 250 delegates in attendance, and 22 virtual participants.

This was the first Congress to be held in person since the covid pandemic began three years ago.

Sessions covered wool from interior use to the outdoors, with plenty of insight into market trends and manufacturing statistics.

Peter Ackroyd, Chair of IWTO’s Retail Forum, presented the latest from The Campaign for Wool and the sessions included updates from Campaign activities around the world. A Retail Session focused on the wool suits and consumer trends in the Japanese market, with speakers Taka Suzuki, Dormeuil Japan, Chizuru Mukou, WWD Japan, and Tatsunori Yamamoto, Aoyama Trading.

The popular Market Intelligence session covered the latest production and manufacturing statistics from Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Africa. Madame Yang of Nanjing Wool Market outlined the situation in China as it emerges from Covid lockdowns. Presentations were also made by Satoshi Okazaki of Ryohin Keikaku (Muji), Dave Maslen of The New Zealand Merino Company and Isak Staats of BKB South Africa.

AWI and The Woolmark Company were well represented: Damien Pommeret (TWC Paris) and Francesco Magri (TWC Milan) gave pre-recorded presentations on collaborations with European brand partners, Angus Ireland (AWI Program Manager Fibre Advocacy & Eco Credentials) presented findings on wool’s dynamic breathability, and AWI CEO John Roberts and Sustainability Manager Emma Gittoes spoke to issues in wool’s sustainability.

The 2023 Young Professionals Programme welcomed 25 junior wool industry delegates along with coordinator Philippe Strehle, from all stages of the wool pipeline. Yuta Motohiro of Motohiro and Yuri Ogawa of Nikke Textiles presented at a dedicated Young Professionals session on the second day of the event.

The 2024 Congress will be held in Adelaide, Australia from 15-19 April.

Read also: IWTO Congress Opens in Kyoto

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