FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Icebreaker Joins Forces with The Conservation Alliance
- New Zealand merino wool apparel company is the newest member of the outdoor industry foundation that supports projects to protect wildlands and waterways -
Wellington, New Zealand (22 February, 2011) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced that it has joined The Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor industry companies that donate their collective annual membership dues to grassroots conservation organizations working to protect wildlands and waterways for their recreational and habitat values. The Alliance was founded in 1989 by REI, Patagonia, The North Face, and Kelty and now includes more than 170 active members.
Since its founding, the Alliance has contributed almost $9 million to conservation projects throughout North America. The results have been remarkable: their grants have helped organizations protect more than 50.5 million acres of land, stop or remove 28 dams, and preserve access to thousands of miles of rivers and several climbing areas.
“Caring for the environment is one of Icebreaker’s top priorities, and we are thrilled to be joining The Conservation Alliance in their important work of protecting the natural spaces through some of the most compelling conservation projects in North America,” said Lisa Thompson, Icebreaker’s president of U.S. operations. “Like the merino wool used to make all of our apparel, the Alliance is about nature and sustainability, and becoming a member was a natural decision for us.”
As a Conservation Alliance member, Icebreaker will be able to nominate environmental organizations for funding consideration, and to vote on which organizations should be supported each funding cycle.
In 2010, The Conservation Alliance contributed $900,000 through 32 grants to organizations working to protect wild places. These organizations and their projects included: the Alaska Wilderness League, to encourage President Obama to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a National Monument; Oregon Natural Desert Organization, to secure permanent wilderness protection for more than 116,400 acres along the lower John Day River and over 30 miles of Wild & Scenic River designated in the John Day Basin; and Winter Wildlands Alliance, to permanently protect Yellowstone National Park's magical and fragile winter ecosystem from the noise and exhaust of snowmobiles and, and to secure balanced winter use plans for Mount Jefferson, Togwotee Pass and Tumalo Mountain.
Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fibre layering system for the outdoors, starting with its Bodyfit baselayer, ideal for New York winters. There are now 25 to 30 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear, including Realfleece, a premium natural alternative to a synthetic fleece (made from oil).
Icebreaker is sold in more than 3,000 stores in 37 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 140 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design.
The company was the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. Icebreaker is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008, the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.