The price of a wool suit is set to rise by at least 10% as the cost of wool doubled to a record high in the past 12 months.
Domestic demand in China and floods and droughts in Australia have contributed to the soaring prices.
In Australia, the world’s largest producer of wool, prices hit a high of $14.85 a kilo last week, after having doubled over the last year in US dollar terms.
Hugo Boss UK managing director Bernd Hake said: “If the wool price remains on this level we will readjust our prices.” He said that retail price rises of 10% were at the “absolute top limit” of the possible increase to the consumer.
Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “It is very difficult to just pass on a price increase in a world where consumers don’t have more money to spend. There is a move towards wool-mix fabrics as a result and the younger generation are less concerned about suits being 100% wool.”
The wool price rises have been caused by an 85-year low in global wool output, worsened by dire weather conditions in Australia. Demand for wool in China has also risen as affluence has grown.
Wool is the latest fabric to suffer record price hikes, with cotton, cashmere and mongolian lambswool all increasing in price. However, retailers including Debenhams and Next have indicated that cotton prices could stabilise next year.