Icebreaker Launches Store in Australia
Global outdoor wear sensation Icebreaker has launched its first Australian store in Chadstone The Fashion Capital.
While the brand has been available at retail stockists this is the first major store in Australia. The World Loves Melbourne attended the launch with Australian fashion community and the CEO of Icebreaker, who inspired us with the Icebreaker story.
Icebreaker Merino clothing for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle includes underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and is sold in more than 3000 stores in 44 countries.
Icebreaker excites The World Loves Melbourne because it combines functionality and quality (Merino wool products) with fashion. These clothes are actually a clothing system - you start with the base layer and add layers to suit. And the garments are totally fashionable - they cross over from outdoor wear to daily wear. Icebreaker started as a clothing company for outdoor living but has evolved since and is taking the world by storm. People are enjoying the fact that Merino wool is sustainable! And Icebreaker Merino insulates in cold weather, breathes in hot weather, feels soft and non-itchy against the skin, and naturally resists odour. (This writer wears Merino suits and loves the feel compared to other suits).
At Icebreaker the first thing you want to do is touch and feel. Merino wool is so comfortable! Icebreaker has interactive stations where you can do that. The company has won awards for their packaging - for example the ability to open up the socks packaging and feel the socks...
Icebreaker treated guests with NZ wine, canapes and a fine spread of NZ produce (and don't we love NZ produce!).
At the launch I was impressed with fashionable running and fitness wear (technical sports tops with nanotechnology), underwear, hats, scarves, gloves and and socks, and stunning outdoor garments including fashionable jackets that are wind resistant, water repellent and resistant with nanotechnology). The colours are bold and the garments well shaped. Also fashionable is the travel wear including skirts, casual wear and black sheep fine weave Merino wear dress jumpers. This is Icebreaker's first season with trousers, which are 70% Merino wool. Some of these garments are so versatile - you can sleep in them and run in them.
Icebreaker positions itself as an ethical company focussed on the innovative use of Merino wool, sourced from the Southern Alps of New Zealand, to create technical sports, outdoors and lifestyle garments. Each year one Merino sheep produces enough wool to make five Icebreaker garments. Then its back to the mountains to grow another coat...
Icebreaker signs long term contracts with its growers rather than buying wool at auction. This helps growers conduct long term planning as well as helps Icebreaker set strict standards for environmental management, animal welfare and wool quality.
Icebreaker's store at Chadstone is attractive, if not a little hip... The staff were engaging and super helpful as we tried on and picked out garments.
Icebreaker also has a Baacode system which allows consumers to trace the origin of the wool garment from back to the sheep station where it was grown.
Icebreaker styles have technical features on some garments to improve performance, including breathable eyelet panels, friction-free seams, stash pockets, and drop tail hems to improve coverage and prevent ride-up.
Icebreaker CEO Jeremy Moon shared his story of how his American girlfriend introduced him to a New Zealand Merino sheep farmer. The farmer threw a prototype thermal t-shirt made from 100% Merino wool at Jeremy and Jeremy's life was changed forever. It took 3 years for the company to make its first profit, but they haven't looked back since. According to Moon, "Icebreaker is always exploring and reinventing and changing. We search for what's new and give it a play." Moon also pointed out that Merino is "a new idea that is 3000 years old." Icebreaker now competes against the world's greatest outdoor brands. The World Loves Melbourne found Jeremy to be authentic and inspirational.
Icebreaker is a passionate world leader in Merino and we found this to be an exciting launch in Melbourne. The passion was discernable and we understand that Icebreaker is committed to a business model that doesn't put profits ahead of the environment. And its fashionable. Even Pippa Middleton wears Icebreaker in Europe skiing. Check out the Icebreaker website.