Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

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Environmental stewardship is not just a philosophy for Icebreaker merino growers - it's a way of life.

Merino sheep are farmed in some of New Zealand's most fragile ecosystems. The farming systems used by our growers have been developed over generations to work in harmony with nature and the environment.

Sheep are grazed extensively rather than intensively - often there is less than one sheep per acre. This minimises the impact of farming on the environment, and gives grazed pasture time to regenerate.

Our insistence on strong environmental ethics extends from the farm to every step of the supply chain. We are committed to "clean" technologies, closed loop manufacturing, and minimising energy use.

The French factory that cleans Icebreaker merino fibre recycles and cleans its water. Lanolin oils, produced as a waste product by this process, are sold to the beauty industry.

The German factory that spins the fibre reuses heat produced by processing for air conditioning, while the factory that makes Icebreaker garments conserves energy through large-volume dyeing. It also has a water recycling plant and a heat transfer plant to reuse energy for heating.

Merino fibre is renewable and biodegradable, which makes it as gentle on the environment at the end of its life as it is at the beginning.