A history defined by breakthroughs,
actions and challenging the norms with alternative perspectives.
icebreaker was created by a 24-year-old Jeremy Moon. His aim was to provide garments for outdoor adventures with less reliance on petrochemical fibres, providing a more sustainable future for us - and the planet. But back then, synthetics were king, so convincing people was going to be far from easy...
World’s first natural layering system
The world’s first natural layering system is officially born. Merino’s excellent warmth to weight ratio and low bulk inspires our first two weight layering system.
Building lasting relationships
We are the first company in the world to establish long-term contracts with key merino wool growers, based on genuine trust and a mutual concern for animal welfare and the environment.
A natural phenomenon
We begin expanding into new countries, working with new partners and building new processes, bringing icebreaker‘s natural performance garments to as many people as possible.
In order to access the best technology, ethics and capacity we join a multi-national collaboration of French, German, Japanese and Chinese companies to pioneer an advanced manufacturing hub in Shanghai.
Top to toe
Demand drives the development of hats, socks, scarves and gloves, completing our next to skin, top to toe solution which remains the core of our business today. We open our first retail store in Wellington, New Zealand.
The art of nature
We are the first company in the world to print graphics onto merino wool. In the same year we establish icebreaker USA.
Little footprints, big steps
We launch our first icebreaker Kids Collection.
Leading the industry we are the first company to ban the mulesing of sheep. This policy has now been widely adopted by the industry to champion animal welfare.
Transparent & proud
We drive a transparent sourcing campaign and are the first company to introduce a ‘baacode’ on our garments to allow wearers to trace the lineage of their garments right back to the sheep station it comes from.
Innovation at the core
We introduce corespun, an innovative new technology that wraps our superfine merino around a high denier nylon filament to radically increase longevity.
Cooler than cotton
We launch Cool-Lite™ – a breakthrough blend of merino and plant based TENCEL™. Made from eucalyptus (the most ecologically sustainable natural fibre available) TENCEL™ helps dump heat and wick quickly, while delivering outstanding breathability.
Pioneering a natural alternative
We develop a natural, ‘non-duck killing’ alternative to ‘down’. Made from merino fibres, MerinoLoft™ was our pioneering solution - a highly breathable insulating interior that regulates temperature to deliver weightless warmth, naturally.
Provenance & people
Air New Zealand boss joins icebreaker as CEO and Jeremy Moon becomes chairman, signaling the beginning of a brave new chapter.
Reconnecting with our purpose
Merino based apparel is seducing wearers all over the world and we’re proud of the part we play in sharing the wonder and brilliance of the power of nature. Its beauty, resourcefulness and strength, are qualities we are committed to and humbled by constantly.
Provenance & people
Succession plan realised as Greg Smith appointed icebreaker CEO and Rob Fyfe becomes chairman.
In it for the future
We developed a our ground-breaking concept that has transformed the partnership with our grower families. Together, we created the icebreaker Grower Club – based on an industry-first, 10-year supply contract. This provides security to invest in their business, their land, their animals and their people. It secures icebreaker’s supply of consistent, high-quality merino fibre.
21 years of commitment
icebreaker publishes it’s first Transparency Report. "It’s taken us 22 years to craft our business and we haven’t finished yet. The report is the result of our 22 years of commitment to building an ethical and sustainable business and while we’re not perfect, we are proud of what we have achieved." — Greg Smith, CEO, icebreaker.
An expanded opportunity
icebreaker’s partnership with VF Corporation, a global leader in apparel provides us with a larger platform to share our story, access new markets and bring natural alternatives to new consumers at an accelerated pace.
Move to natural launch
We launch a global movement towards choosing natural solutions with ambassadors Ben Lecomte and The Vortex Swim.
Celebrating natural progress
Our goal is to have all plastic-free materials by '23 and to continue our engagement with naturally progressive people driven to lead positive change.
Sustainability isn’t just a feature of our products, it’s in the values and design of our business.
Read our transparency report