A new group established to revise the fortunes of New Zealand’s struggling strong wool sector says it has already raised more than $500,000 and is starting to roll out its work programme.
The WoolOn 2020 event will not be held at Highlands in August as scheduled, but instead will move online with a whole new programme of events and activities for designers and the wider public.
This follows advice from the health community, Government and local authorities,
WoolOn Creative and Fashion Society deputy chair Mary Hinsen says the committee was conscious of the impact COVID-19 was having on communities and creative events, but still wanted to keep the event at the forefront of people's minds.
“It is important we recognise the seriousness of the current situation with COVID-19, and as a committee we believe to run the event in its traditional format this year wouldn’t be socially responsible. So instead of cancelling, we are pivoting, and leaning into the technologies available to provide a range of online experiences for designers and the wider public,” Hinsen says.
The recently launched education programme would continue in an online format, as well as introducing online designer interviews, masterclasses, and other activities.
The online offerings would be an opportunity to engage in a new way with WoolOn throughout the year, create space for innovation and allow Central Otago-based designers to interact with national and international designers, Hinsen says.
Plans for the revamped WoolOn 2021 were currently underway, with designer entries scheduled to open as early as May.
“We are excited to bring the new-look WoolOn Creative Fashion event to Highlands in August 2021 showcasing our incredible region as a vibrant hub of creativity and as a stalwart of the wool industry,” she says.
The 2021 event will be held at Highlands August 13 and 14. For more information about WoolOn 2020 online and WoolOn 2021 see www.woolon.co.nz