The head of a luxury men's apparel brand says wool producers need to play a bigger role in the fibre's manufacturing process.
Maatsuyker was born from a collaborative MBA project at the University of South Australia and is in the midst of finalising its first winter collection for the launch in April.
It has since grown into a start-up developing key supply chain partners across Australia and overseas.
Director John Kellett said while wool was a quintessential Australian industry, it was in need of innovation.
"As an industry we simply have not value-added," he said.
"We have taken the wool off the back of the sheep, we have sold it at auction, and then the wool has gone offshore to be processed and has then come back as finished garments.
"We have allowed others to come and add value — in other words, make money out of our wool — and that has struck me as fundamentally wrong."
Mr Kellett said Australia was in a strange position where it had a monopoly on producing fine apparel wool, yet made little of the world's fine apparel.
"In the late 1990s, some academics did some calculations and they followed a woollen garment through from the back of the sheep to the shop shelf," he said.
"They found that the wool grower in Australia was taking home around two cents in the dollar.
"That means that the other 98 [cents] is being made, and presumably retained, offshore and that is fundamentally wrong."
When first starting to value-add and source local producers, Maatsuyker found a wool grower who was prepared to back the brand and who had a flock of sheep that he had bred genetically to produce a particular type of wool.
Mr Kellett said the producer wanted to become a price maker, not a price taker.
"He said to me that he does not get to control his income and he can't plan ahead and he also wanted to be able to have contact with the end consumer," he said.
"It is hard for a producer to adapt his flock and to tailor their output to meet consumer needs if they don't know what is wanted."
Mr Kellett used the dairy industry as an example of how wool producers can get premiums for their wool.
"People are buying and are very happy to pay a large premium for organic milk or milk that can be traced back to a particular farm … and I think there is a huge scope for that with wool."