WOOLMARK POWERS UP: As the bonds between fashion and technology get stronger, the Woolmark Co. has partnered with the Fashion Tech Lab for a new prize.

Twelve finalists that will be chosen for the Innovation Award powered by Fashion Tech Lab, which will be given to the collection with the most innovative and creative wool fabrication, process or development. The honor is tied to the Woolmark Co.’s International Woolmark Prize. The winner will also exemplify the most exciting approach to help reduce its social and environmental footprint.

Woolmark partnered with Fashion Tech Lab to try to bridge the gap between new technologies, sustainable innovations and luxury fashion and to educate and empower finalists through a dedicated mentorship program. The Woolmark Co.’s managing director Stuart McCullough said, “The ultimate aim of this exciting partnership is to give these 12 finalists — our future ambassadors — the best opportunity to enhance their business through innovation and sustainable processes, so they can meet the discerning needs of tomorrow’s customer. As the award continues to evolve, our aim is to encourage designers to think beyond today and embrace future technologies, which will ultimately provide a positive impact for tomorrow.”

The Fashion Tech Lab is a hybrid platform includes as investment company, a multinational incubator, a consulting agency that specializes in innovation for the fashion industry, an experimental laboratory and philanthropic organization. All of these entities are geared for helping new technologies and sustainable innovations to connect, collaborate and create products and brands that are meant to advance the industry and improve social and environmental footprints. The Fashion Tech Lab is a global collective that brings together leading minds in fashion, technology and finance.

Woolmark recently delved into another evolving subject — gender fluidity. Last month, a group of students at Parsons Paris were tasked with creating and developing a marketing plan for a capsule collection that explores gender fluidity through an initiative spearheaded by Cerruti 1881 and the Woolmark Co.

Working under the guidance of Cerruti’s creative officer Jason Basmajian at its Paris headquarters, Fashion Design and Strategic Design & Management students have been given access to a selection of fine wools for a project that allows them to experience the real working conditions of a fashion house.

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