Home / Icebreaker
The merino is one of the world’s most ancient breeds of sheep. Very different to a regular sheep who chews grass in the lowlands, the merino live in the extremes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. But the merino’s fleece is built for extremes – breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet exceptionally soft and lightweight. Once, just about everyone wore clothes made from traditional wool in the outdoors, but it itched, was bulky, heavy, and took forever to dry. In the 1970s, synthetics such as polyester took over. While artificial fibres are lightweight, easy care and usually non-itch, they’re also clammy, stinky, poorly insulating and highly flammable – and they’re all petroleum-based. You could choose cotton instead, but you’ll freeze to death when you get wet in the cold.
The solution? A performance fibre invented by nature and engineered for people. Icebreaker has pioneered the use of merino wool in the wilderness since 1994, and has fused nature and technology to create merino layers for the outdoors, for performance sports, and for the city. Icebreaker’s merino combines the best qualities of traditional wool, synthetics and cotton. It’s soft and non-itch, it’s warm in the cold and cool in the heat, it breathes to prevent clamminess, and is miraculously odour-resistant. And because it was made in the mountains, rather than a lab, merino wool is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.