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ICEBREAKER'S 'GREENER' CLOTHING CHOICES
icebreaker is more environmentally conscious than most clothing makers.

We’ve been testing Icebreaker’s warm-weather and cold-weather clothing over the past four years and we like what this company is doing.

 

 

New Zealand’s apparel brand, Icebreaker, launched its Spring/Summer 2024 range in late 2023. The company’s range of thermo-regulating and natural merino innovations was updated with new colours.

As with the clothing items we’ve been testing for the past four years, the SS2024 range was led by merino wool products, which sounds like an odd fibre for the warmer months, but its thermo-regulating technology makes it lightweight, breathable and odour resistant.

 

The North Face x icebreaker’s Fall/Winter 2024 Capsule Collection

 

This 2024 collaboration between the leading outdoor performance brand and the pioneers of natural performance apparel, is said to mark a groundbreaking revolution in adventure wear.

Introducing merino wool adventure wear, clothing that redefines comfort and performance, the collection is meticulously crafted with 100% plastic-free fibres.

The capsule includes products featuring a blend of merino wool and Tencel Lyocell: a fibre made of responsibly sourced wood pulp, that results in light and breathable adventure wear.

For men are the Merino Polo and the Merino Tee, pants and shorts. For women are the Merino Dress, Merino Tee, pants and shorts.

The RealFleece, long sleeve Zip Hoodie is a lightweight, versatile merino mid-layer that packs away into its pocket.

All this plastics-free tech doesn’t come cheaply, so budget in the $180-$440 bracket for these different items.

 

Keep reading below for more info on Icebreaker’s fibre innovations.

 

 

Examples we liked in the Icebreaker SS2024 range were: Men’s Merino 125 ZoneKnit SS Tee IB Top; the Women’s ZoneKnit SS Tee and the Quantum III Long Sleeve Zip Hoodie. The latter was a slim-fit, mid-layer jacket, said to allow wearers to stay cool while hiking in the sun and yet keep them warm in the evening.

 

 

Icebreaker launched its Autumn/Winter (AW24) collection in February 2024. The new range continued to break free from synthetics. Stand-outs for OTA readers we reckon are ZoneKnit Seamless – Icebreaker’s first-ever seamless range for women – and mid-layer 200 RealFleece Descender.

The ZoneKnit Seamless uses a unique blend of Merino, Tencel Lyocell and bio-based elastane and nylon that is said to deliver  ‘second-skin comfort when running or hiking’. Top styles include:

Women’s Merino Seamless Active Jumpsuit (AU$249.99 / NZ$279.99); Women’s Merino Seamless Active Bra (AU$149.99 / NZ$169.99) and Women’s Merino Seamless Active 25″ Tights (AU$219.99 / NZ$239.99).

 

 

RealFleece is made with natural merino and plant-based fibres and new pieces to the ReelFleece range are: 200 RealFleece Descender Half Zip (AU$239.99 / NZ$ 249.99) and 200 RealFleece Descender Full Zip Hooded (AU$269.99 / NZ$ 289.99).

 

 

‘Hidden’ plastic in most clothing

 

In 2021,New Zealand-born natural performance apparel company, Icebreaker, launched a provocative marketing campaign that asked consumers one simple question: “Are you still wearing plastic?” For many consumers, the answer was: “Yes”.

icebreaker’s ‘Uncomfortable Truth of Plastic’ campaign, which ran in markets globally, was designed to shine a light on this conversation and help educate consumers about plastics in their apparel and choices they could make to reduce their plastic consumption.

The consumer insight behind this campaign was that most people are not even aware that the clothing they wear is one of the biggest contributors to plastic pollution.

 

 

The dramatic character Plastic Man represented the fact that many consumers are still wearing plastic each day. It also drove awareness of one of the biggest causes of plastic pollution on the planet: the clothing we wear.

The campaign helped consumers experience Plastic Man struggling with the user experience of plastic:  cold when wet; doesn’t regulate temperature; holds odour and has a negative impact on the environment.

In contrast, Icebreaker’s Transparency Report revealed that 91-percent of icebreaker’s total fibre composition was merino or plant-based, with 65-percent more styles being made with 100-percent merino or plant-based fibres.

Following the publication of its Transparency Reports in 2018 and 2019, icebreaker was one of only a few brands to be awarded an A+ rating in the Tearfund Ethical Fashion report, two years in a row. The report found icebreaker to be excellent in every area, including scrutiny of policy, traceability, transparency, supplier relationships and worker rights at every stage of the production process.

 

 

At Outback Travel Australia, we’re doing our bit. We selected some Icebreaker items that we’ve been evaluating over the past four years. The selection involved cold weather underlayer tops and pants and warm weather T-shirts and swim shorts.

The cool weather garments were 100-percent merino, but the warmer weather Cool-Lite items employed a combination of 40-percent merino and 60-percent Tencel Lyocell fibres that are derived from sustainable wood sources – FSC-certified wood pulp – from sustainably managed forests.

All items have proved ideal for purpose and we now consciously look for wool-based and non-plastic clothing.

Icebreaker is sold in more than 5000 stores in 50 countries through wholesale, Touch Lab retail stores and e-commerce platforms. To discover more, visit icebreaker.com.

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