While Icebreaker of New Zealand celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the brand, which has been part of VF Corp. since early 2018, has published its third annual Transparency Report as a result of a complete audit of its supply chain. From its very beginning, the brand has challenged the status quo on how clothing is made and what it is made from. Not only is Icebreaker at the forefront of transparent, ethical and sustainable practices, but it has also initiated a long-term commitment and ambition to ”move to natural,” including the plan to eliminate all synthetic fabrics from the entire collection within three years. Today, the brand reports that 87 percent of its total fiber composition is already natural. Nylon and elastane, for example, have already been replaced by natural alternatives. “We are disrupting the industry and offering more natural solutions to our consumers,” writes Carla Murphy, vice president, global brand and products, in the foreword to the report, which then lists a number of strategies that are already in place or planned for the immediate future.

As a global natural fiber-based apparel brand, Icebreaker is committed to moving its entire community – staff, retailers, consumers – toward natural apparel solutions, working with decision makers and progressive thinkers to inspire people to act and drive change toward a natural lifestyle.

Besides being composed of 87 percent natural fibers, the new Fall/Winter 2020 collection that was launched this week is 100 percent PFC-free mainly made of Merino wool and Tencel, including the Cool-Lite™ blend made from both fibers, RealFleece®, and MerinoLoft™.  Fifty-nine synthetic-heavy styles were irrevocably removed from the collection. Icebreaker also launched ”nature dye,” a sustainable alternative to synthetic dyestuff that saves up to 65 percent water and uses vegetable-based materials. Further helping to reach the goals set in the new report, Icebreaker is part of the “Natural Materials Platform,” a cross-brand coalition within VF Corporation to improve both performance and nature-based alternatives in apparel. All these achievements demonstrate the brand’s progress and the realistic chance that the remaining 13 percent of non-natural fibers will be converted to all-naturals by 2023. In addition, Icebreaker takes a firm stance on recycled and reused materials.

Alistair Smith, director of global product design, said: “Although we see recycled synthetic materials and products as a step in the right direction, we believe that natural materials offer a better solution to the problem of plastic waste. For us, the use of any form of plastic, including recycled plastics, is unacceptable as it is still essentially a petroleum-based product that is neither biodegradable nor limits our dependence on them. We believe that we must end our dependence on plastics and petroleum-based plastics altogether”.