Outdoor-wear brand Icebreaker has failed to reach its goal of using 100% plastic-free fibres by 2023, hitting 96.14%.

In 2018, the New Zealand-born brand started its plastic-free journey, when 84% of its fibres were natural or plant-based. In 2020, it set a goal to be ‘plastic-free by 23’.

“While we acknowledge that we haven’t reached the coveted 100%, we take immense pride in the remarkable strides we’ve made, standing proudly at 96.14%,” Icebreaker global president Jan Van Mossevelde said.

“This accomplishment exemplifies our significant progress in transitioning to plastic-free fibres.”

According to its latest transparency report, Icebreaker is going as far as removing products from its range that have no natural alternatives. It is also pushing towards natural or bio-based alternatives. 

Icebreaker is confident it will be able to achieve its plastic-free mission, as it expects to hit 97.10% by the end of 2024.

As part of this journey, the brand has substituted 14% of its remaining synthetic content in its styles with bio-based alternatives.

The brand has traced 100% of its merino wool to the source with 84.5% of its overall materials incorporating merino wool, with 11.64% being plant-based and the rest being synthetic (3.86%).

Icebreaker has also secured and signed 10-year contracts with 70 of its growers.

Mossevelde said this is not about choosing the easiest path, but the right one. 

“As we march towards our 2028 aim of sourcing wool entirely from growers that are using regenerative practices, we want to emphasize how fundamental it is to us that we take less, and give back more,” he said. 

“Reflecting on the year, we’ve strengthened our commitment to leading the movement towards a more natural way of living. Removing unnecessary plastic from performance apparel is a testament to our dedication to nature-led innovations, deepening ties with our growers, and evolving with unfiltered transparency. 

“The journey of the last 4% will undoubtedly be even more rewarding and this is how we will carve out our most meaningful achievements. These accomplishments are the stepping stones that pave the way for a future where sustainability becomes the most beaten path, not the most difficult. 

“Nature has and always will be our guide on this journey.”

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