Seal International: Exclusive Mohair buyer Alice Connacher
Alice Connacher (second from right), our exclusive mohair buyer for Seal International recently visited us from South Africa and spent some time around the group getting to know the business.
Previously having a career as a commercial lawyer in Amsterdam, Alice decided to become the third generation to enter the family firm – Connacher Wools. Having spent her early years in the business under the mentorship of her father and Harry Binns, a local wool and waste trader.
A meeting over the first lockdown with Andrew Seal led to the appointment of Alice as the exclusive buyer for Seal on the condition that her experience of mohair buying was increased in as shorter a time frame as possible. Spending time in the auctions and with the brokers and buyers gave Alice the best possible ‘mohair education’ as over 50% of the world’s mohair is traded through the Cape and Basuto auctions.
Only 5 buyers attend the auctions and Alice is the first and only female buyer to date, as much as up to 120 tones can be on offer at a time – samples are drawn and appraised, and Alice advises the team here at Seal on possible lots to buy ahead of the bidding, all done digitally in one room. Most of the mohair purchased by Alice heads towards knitting and weaving yarns once process on-site at Ladywell mills.
As for the future, the introduction of the RMS (Responsible Mohair Standard) and further standards in the pipeline offer Seal customers and in turn their customers peace of mind about where their mohair is coming from to the degree that we know which farm and the name of the farmer is essential for the future of the mohair business.
A pleasure to meet you Alice and we look forward to seeing you again soon.