New Zealand clothing brand Icebreaker is now 91% plastic-free: from tag to fabric
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Apparel company Icebreaker released its fourth annual transparency report mentioning its goal of having plastic-free fibers by 2023. The report points out that the company has already made 91% progress on this goal by having merino fibers or plants in its collections.
Icebreaker, based in New Zealand, provides shoppers with natural, high-performance outerwear. As of 2021, 91% of its total fibers are plastic-free and 65% more styles are made from 100% merino or plant-based materials.
Founded by Jeremy Moon, the company is part of VF Corporation and its items are sold in more than 5,000 stores in 50 countries.
Work towards the bottom 9%
Although Icebreaker hit 91% of its plastic-free target, the company is “doubling” for the rest. He said it is not easy to meet the remaining 9%.
Currently, synthetic fibers from petrochemicals exist in the range. For example, the underwear is spandex, the socks are nylon, and the polyester remains in the jackets.
100% plastic free
The company stressed the importance of becoming a plastic-free business given that the pandemic has seen a massive increase in the consumption of single-use plastics like disposable protective gear.
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In 2021, the company aims to sell more than 1.3 million units of 100% merino or plant-based clothing. This will include the Tech Lite t-shirt, Quantum midlayer and ZoneKnit hoodie, all made from 100% merino (sheep’s wool).
In the past, the company included plastic-free swivel labels, saving over 2 million units of plastic each year. It introduced plastic-free full-body mannequins made from non-toxic pulp and also made all of its retail stores plastic-free.
The report mentions that 59 heavy synthetic styles worth US $ 7.9 million have been phased out and natural dyes created from renewable plant dyes have been included. In 2019, she made her clothes PFC-free and acrylic-free.
In a statement, Icebreaker brand president Jan Van Mossevelde said: “Like many consumers around the world, we have faced the introduction of plastic into our lives and into our product line. So in 2019, we made a bold commitment. By 2023, our goal is for all of our clothing to be made from merino wool or vegetable fibers. For the very small amount of petrochemical synthetics that cannot be disposed of, we are working on alternatives, including using bio-based fibers for now.
By 2023, our goal is for all of our clothing to be made from merino wool or vegetable fibers. For the very small amount of petrochemical synthetics that cannot be disposed of, we are working on alternatives, including using bio-based fibers for now.
Jan Van Mossevelde, President of the Icebreaker brand
Focus on regenerative agriculture
True to its sustainability goals, the company decided to focus on regenerative agriculture. He will work with producers to help conserve and restore the ecosystem. By 2023, he has pledged that 100% of contracted producers will be part of the program.
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In addition, it will continue its collaboration with the Finnish start-up Spinnova to unveil yarns combining merino and cellulosic fibers. To eliminate the remaining synthetic fibers, it will create bio-based spandex and nylon in partnership with yarn producers and suppliers of organic raw materials.
It will further eliminate neck and seed labels from new styles and instead incorporate 100% natural fibers by 2022 using labels printed in organic cotton.
Main image courtesy of Icebreaker.