Research questions VNW

There are several questions posed in this research project, which has a time-frame of three years. Main goal: To provide knowledge on how Norwegian wool can contribute to a more environmental sustainable textile consumption and increase value creation in Norwegian wool production, textile industry, retailing and design.

And these are the sub-goals:

1. Identify comparable environmental benefits of Norwegian wool in terms of standardised documentation or labelling schemes (compared to both cotton and imported wool)
2. Identify barriers and possibilities of Norwegian wool for new fields of usage among Norwegian consumers and the international market
3. Explore ideas for new garments based on the qualities of Norwegian wool and development of new concepts for marketing/communication. 
4. Establish international cooperation, with the aim to exchange knowledge on development, innovation and other related experiences internationally (technical innovation, marketing etc.) to produce crucial input in the innovation process
5. Disseminate innovative ideas to the press and the general public as in order to affect the consumers and producers mentality to facilitate courageous innovation and hence contribute to value creation in Norwegian wool production.

The main research task is formulated as follows: How can Norwegian wool contribute to a more environmental sustainable textile consumption and increase value creation in Norwegian wool production, textile industry, retailing and design? More specifically; how can a multidisciplinary approach to wool – including natural sciences, social sciences and cultural studies – as well as stakeholders representing all parts of the value chain contribute to value creation. Duration of the project is set to three years, and the research task divided into eight major work packages (WPs):

WP 1 Dissemination via project home page

WP 2 Mapping the value chain of Norwegian wool 
A total value chain description will be presented, including:
- Specification and description of important links in the value chain (i.e. producers, traders, textile industry etc) and their relationships
- Description of monetary and product streams within the value chain
- The economic impact of export and import of wool
- Examination of the major framework conditions: economic (cost structure, income, competition etc), environmental (transport, CO2 – emissions, energy use), regulatory (trade policy, agricultural policy, farm support programmes etc), consumption (consumption patterns, attitudes).

WP 3 Environmental benefits of Norwegian wool, documentation and evaluation
This WP consists of one lab.part and one desk-top study. The environmental benefits of wool vs. other textiles (f. ex. cotton) in terms of wash and use will be documented at the SIFO lab. Further, we want to evaluate the alternatives for communicating the environmental benefits of Norwegian wool production.

WP 4 Documenting the cultural history of Norwegian wool and related handicraft traditions
The cultural history of Norwegian wool will be documented through a desk-top study of various literary sources.

WP 5 Gather experiences from the wool industry internationally - in terms of environment, innovation and branding

WP 6 Barriers and possibilities (SWOT analysis) for increased usage of garments made from Norwegian wool
WP6 will concentrate on the consumers. The following topics (not exhaustive) will be important in exploring barriers needed to be dealt with – either through product development or communication: Bodily experiences of wool, ideas of suitable types of garments for utilising the material, wool and exclusivity (“it is 100% wool”), washing routines (and dry-cleaning routines?), perceptions of “appropriateness” regarding occasions (formal, outdoor life and sport etc), certain age groups, certain types of garments etc, woven vs. knitted vs. other techniques, consumer’s taxonomies regarding lay classification of materials and environmental aspects as well as lay classification of perceptions of “organic”, “ecologic”.

WP 7 Innovation lab; development of new concepts using Norwegian wool 
Establish an innovation lab with the intention of creating/exploring and sharing ideas for future possibilities and generate innovation in both technical as well as symbolic utilisation of Norwegian wool. First, through a seminar where all the results from WP 2-6 are presented to all stakeholders, as well as functioning as input to the design students (and possibly designers via satellite projects).