New Zealand is one of my favorite destinations when it comes to sustainable design and fashion. A few years ago, I had a chance to travel there on business and discovered the environmental benefits of Merino wool clothing. This was also the first time that I visited one of the stores from Icebreaker, a New Zealand-based Merino wool outdoor and sport clothing company. Now, whenever I pass the Icebreaker store location in Manhattan I always stop by to see what’s new.
Once you enter an Icebreaker stores or visit the company’s website, you’ll notice that each piece of clothing is marked with a number. It indicates the weight and warmth of the piece. Basically, the smaller the number, the cooler you will be, and, in reverse, the bigger the number, the warmer you will be. For example, the clothing system includes ultralight (150gm), lightweight (200gm), and midweight (260gm). Quiet clever, since it takes the guesswork out of dressing for the seasons.
Icebreaker’s designs are functional year-round pieces, and great for layering. Merino wool keeps you warm in the winter and cool during the summer. The design concept for the merino clothes is based on the natural wool cycle of the Merino sheep. It lives in extreme weather conditions of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The Merino’s fleece stays breathable during the summer and insulates during the winter, yet it’s soft and lightweight. Following the same system of the Merino, which has a lighter coat during the summer and an extra layer of wool during the winter, Icebreaker’s apparel line comes as base-layers and insulation layers.
New for spring on our side of the globe, is the Tech Lite 3/4 Henley Stripe made of lightweight 150gm jersey Merino. It can be worn as a base-layer year round and makes for a nice casual shirt during the summer for travel, hiking or even the office. Best of all, it’s made from a renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource, yet it’s not as itchy as traditional wool. Sounds like a good reason to start layering up for whatever spring holds in store for us.
Connect with Elke @eco_chic_design