Located in Wellington, NZ, Icebreaker is a popular designer and manufacturer of clothing specifically aimed at outdoor and sports enthusiasts. The company was founded more than two decades ago in 1994 by a man named Jeremy Moon. While the company may have started out small, it now supplies clothes to 44 countries and more than 4,000 stores.
Jeremy Moon learned about merino wool farmers from his girlfriend. The farmers had developed a specialized type of thermal underwear that utilized the New Zealand merino wool. The prototype the farmers had was impressive to moon, and the fact that it used merino was even better, as this was a very cheap resource. It also had a different feel from traditional wool, since it was soft and did not have the same scratchiness that traditional wool had.
Moon, a marketing graduate, started the company, hoping he would be able to convince buyers of the potential the wool had. It was rough going at first because many people did not like the idea of wool, and they certainly did not like merino wool, even though most had never stopped to look at the prototypes moon had. At that time, the market for outdoor clothing was using mostly synthetic materials, so it was easy to see why selling was so hard in the beginning.
The real turning point came when Sir Peter Blake wore a prototype of Icebreaker leggings and a top for one of his yachting adventures. Blake loved the material and that gave Moon the confidence he needed to continue. He borrowed money from the bank to get started. Actually, he did not tell them he was using the loan to start a business, instead telling them that he was taking out the loan to put an addition on his kitchen. At that time, he was also able to find some investors who were willing to put in some money toward the company.
Even though he had startup money, the road to success was not an easy one. The first designs to come from the company were not exactly flattering, and the sleeves often ended up too short. It took the company three full years before they saw a profit, and the profit was actually only about $800 in New Zealand dollars. Things changed though, and eventually the designs got better. At the same time, people started to rediscover just how great merino wool could actually be. Moon"s company was poised for success, since they were really one of the only companies in the world taking advantage of it.
While the company might have started off slowly, they have done wonders in the past decade or so. As mentioned, they have their product in thousands of stores around the world, and they have a strong online presence. Moon has become one of the top business professionals in New Zealand.
The company offers a wide range of different types of products for men, women, and children. They offer far more than just warm long underwear today. They have a range of t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, jackets and vests, hats, pants, shorts, and more.
The items are very popular with those who love being outdoors, which is why they have taken off so well in New Zealand, a land with plenty to do in the great outdoors. They have products perfect for hiking, running, snow sports, hunting, fishing, travel, and even yoga. The items from Icebreaker have come a long way from those early days with little to no style as well, and they have quite a few fashionable options for everyone today.
People in New Zealand love the brand, and this love is quickly spreading out to the rest of the world as well. With the great designs, as well as the quality of the materials and construction of the garments, it"s easy to see why the brand is developing such a strong following around the world today. Another reason people love the company is that they treat the sheep who provide the wool very well, making sure they have plenty of space and freedom to enjoy their lives.