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NEW SOUTH WALES – The chair of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has faced backlash over comments made about customer appetite for non-mulesed wool – which she said is only being driven by two European fashion houses – and is now on the receiving end of a letter from disgruntled Italian textile businesses.

Organisation chair Colette Garnsey has since insisted in an online article that she won’t “come out and declare for one side” on the mulesing debate. “We are here to support all wool growers and that’s very much of what AWI is doing,” Garnsey said. “It is actually strictly prohibited in the constitution for us to get into any type of politics.”

“You claim that AWI is non-political, but you clearly have a strong opinion on mulesing,” Italian textile processor Reda and clothing company Loro Piana have said in rebuttal. “The number of customers who are asking for non-mulesed/ceased mulesed (NM/CM) wool is increasing year upon year. We can reassure you that this trend started more than 10 years ago and now it has transformed into a massive movement.

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