from 9/04/2019 to 11/04/2019

The 88th edition of the IWTO Congress was held in Venice, Italy, and was attended by more than 320 delegates, all notable figures in the wool textile industry. 

A unique opportunity to discuss the sector’s current and future challenges and opportunities. 


Guest of honor was the founder of Eco-Age, Livia Firth, renowned sustainable fashion campaigner, who after presenting her film “Forever Tasmania”, highlighted the importance of investing in sustainability along the entire textile production chain and encouraging the collaboration of all actors.



Topics such as sustainability, animal welfare, traceability and circular economy are becoming increasingly more important, as demonstrated by Harriet Vocking, Chief brand Officer at Eco-Age, Dr Paul Swan, expert in the sector, Giorgio Todesco, CEO of Marzotto Wool Manufacturing and Heinz Zeller, Head of Sustainability and Logistics at Hugo Boss. Zeller explained why transparency is an increasingly pressing priority for final consumers in the fashion industry.


The congress also included an interesting Market Intelligence session organised by Chris Wilcox and a video presented by Don MacDonald and produced by AWI on the terrible effects of drought in Australia. Finally, Giovanni Schneider, CEO of the Schneider Group provided an insight on the manufacturing sector and the fashion world, focussing on the Italian wool industry. 


The third day of the Congress was hosted by the Benetton Group at its headquarters in Treviso, where the focus was on the health benefits offered by wool in terms of comfort, smell and static nature. Characteristics confirmed by NASA researcher, Mrs Orndorff, while attempting to identify the best fibre for astronauts to wear during their journeys to Mars and beyond.

The IWTO Congress ended with a visit to the Marzotto wool manufacturing facilities where delegates were given an insight on the company’s long history of social responsibility as one of the world leaders in the production of high-quality textiles for the fashion industry.


The next IWTO Congress will be held on 18-20 May 2020 in Tongxiang, China.