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Icebreaker

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Sustainability

  • Animal Wellbeing

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About Icebreaker

Founded in 1994 and based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker has created a whole new category of clothing: outdoor clothing made from merino wool. Icebreaker is now the world's leading manufacturer of merino wool sports and leisurewear. The hand-picked merino wool, which is sourced directly from the New Zealand Alps, is subjected to the best technological processing in accordance with ethical and environmentally friendly principles and thus transformed into a high-quality Icebreaker product. The company was founded by Jeremy Moon, who came into contact with a merino sheep farmer named Brian Brackenridge. Brian presented him with the first prototype of a thermal t-shirt made from 100 percent merino wool. The foundation stone for the Icebreaker company was laid and Jeremy was blown away by the feel, look and durability of the pure natural fiber.

At the age of 24 and with a degree in marketing in his bags, his initial focus was solely on selling as much of the prototype fabric so that he could use the money he earned to visit his girlfriend in the USA. Since then, he has never seen his girlfriend again and has stood her up for a sheep, or rather a whole flock of sheep. After setting up his first office in his bedroom, he drew up a sophisticated business plan with the aim of being the first to develop a multi-layer system made from merino wool for the outdoor sector and to sell the products worldwide. But the early days were rocky, because at the time, buyers didn't even want Merino for free. What's more, most outdoor clothing was made of synthetics and merino had not yet established itself. And this despite the fact that merino wool combines the key advantages of synthetic fabrics (easy-care, light, fast-drying) with the natural advantages of wool (warm, breathable, anti-odour, biodegradable).

Nevertheless, Jeremy Moon continued to seek investors and persisted. Then Sir Peter Blake came into the games. The New Zealand sailing hero wore a topsuit and leggings made from the Icebreaker prototype for 40 days and nights during his record-breaking circumnavigation of the globe. He was thrilled with the fabric. With his (free) advocacy behind him, Jeremy took a risk and invested his entire fortune in Icebreaker. But that wasn't enough. Jeremy wrung a loan of 20,000 New Zealand dollars from his bank - for a new kitchen. When eight generous and optimistic investors each poured in 25,000 New Zealand dollars, he had enough. Two of them, Peter Travers and Noel Todd, are still involved today.

Today, Icebreaker is the world's largest company producing functional clothing made from merino wool. The clothing system includes underwear, mid-layers, outer layers, socks and accessories for men, women and kids. The company's products are sold in more than 3,000 stores in 37 countries. The company is also committed to sustainability, ethical production, supply chain transparency and animal welfare.

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