New Zealand-based apparel company launches “The Art of Nature” product designs to benefit non-profit
Wellington, New Zealand (January 2014) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, has partnered with British artist Simon Beck who creates intricate, awe-inspiring artwork using a vast snowfield as his canvas. The partnership marks the launch of Icebreaker’s new “The Art of Nature” product series, an ongoing, annual collaboration with artists who respect and work in nature, and who use objects found in nature in their work.
Through the collaboration, Icebreaker is producing twenty garments featuring designs Beck has created by walking in the snow of the Alps using snowshoes. A dollar from the sale of each of these beautiful merino pieces adorned with Beck’s design will be donated to Protect Our Winters (POW), a leading global non-profit dedicated to engaging and mobilizing the winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change. The “Simon Beck for Icebreaker”collection, which features men’s and women’s long and shortsleeved tops and a “hipkini” brief for women, will be available starting October 2014 at leading outdoor retailers globally and on Icebreaker.com.
“We draw our inspiration from nature and how we connect with nature. Simon Beck illustrates this relationship with his beautiful designs,” said Jeremy Moon, founder and CEO of Icebreaker. “Sustainability is at the heart of Icebreaker, and we aim for profitable sustainability – a business model that balances ecology with economy. By teaming up with Protect Our Winters, we are underscoring our commitment to sustainability and actively joining in the battle to protect and preserve Earth’s winter playgrounds, including Europe, where Simon creates his artwork.”
WEB VIDEO TO DEBUT
One design unique to Icebreaker in the “Simon Beck for Icebreaker” collection is a gigantic merino ram’s horn, which took Beck eight hours to sketch into the snow on Bachalpsee Lake, Switzerland. In October 2014 Icebreaker will debut a two-minute video of Beck creating the design on Bachalpsee Lake, above Grindelwald. To create his artwork, Beck sketches a design then equips himself with a four-season tent, a pair of snowshoes, an orienteering compass, a protractor, bearings, distances and pace counting, and layers of insulating Icebreaker merino. Then he waits for the right weather conditions: recent snowfall and no wind. Walk
ing extremely carefully, Beck can spend up to 11 hours laying down the meticulous patterned tracks. Each step must be made perfectly the first time, as the soft snow is unforgiving. Since he began in 2004, Beck has also created a range of designs from festive snowflakes to three-dimensional squares to star bursts and spirograph patterns.
“I love creating art and engraving it into nature and sharing it with people,” said Beck. “Some people see me as a high-performance, high-precision snow artist. It’s a great way to exercise in the mountains and snow, and I can share my creations through digital photographs with people around the world.”
PROTECT OUR WINTERS
Protect Our Winters (POW) serves as the environmental center point of the global winter sports community, united in a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on sports and local economies. POW was founded on the idea that the collective power of the winter sports community is massive, and if the community can all work together, the end result can be revolutionary.
According to POW, snow-based recreation in the United States is estimated to contribute $67 billion annually to the U.S. economy and supports more than 600,000 jobs. POW represents the global snow sports community, about 23 million people in the US, according to the SnowSports Industry of America, and 400 million annual skier days worldwide (SkiStar).
“When we look at the cost of inaction, it’s serious business,” said Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director of Protect Our Winters. “Clearly, it’s time for us all to step up and take responsibility to save a season that fuels our passions but is also the foundation for our livelihoods, our jobs and the economic vitality of our mountain regions.
“Icebreaker is one of many outdoor companies that is answering our call to take action and we’re grateful for their partnership,” added Steinkamp. “Simon’s ephemeral art installations seem to symbolize our struggle against climate change. Like our warming winters, they last only a short time and must be appreciated by the people that truly understand their beauty and importance.”
ICEBREAKER: INSPIRED AND CREATED BY NATURE
Founded in 1994, Icebreaker has incorporated beautiful nature-inspired artwork in its designs in the past and built its business around merino wool, a performance fiber invented by nature and engineered for people.
Icebreaker CEO Jeremy Moon explained, “Merino wool was born in the mountains of New Zealand. The Icebreaker fibre factory works 24 hours a day, on the back of a sheep.”
Icebreaker merino insulates in cold weather, breathes in hot weather, feels soft and non-itchy against the skin, and naturally resists odor. Plus, it is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Through Icebreaker’s unique Baacode program, consumers can trace the wool in the collection back to the five farms that grew the fiber in New Zealand.s business around merino wool, a performance fiber invented by nature and engineered for people. Icebreaker CEO Jeremy Moon explained, “Merino wool was born in the mountains of New Zealand. The Icebreaker fibre factory works 24 hours a day, on the back of a sheep.”
Icebreaker merino clothing for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle includes underwear, mid-layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and is sold in more than 3000 stores in 44 countries. See icebreaker.com for more information about Icebreaker, and jeremymoon.me for more information on Icebreaker founder and CEO Jeremy Moon.
About Protect Our Winters
Protect Our Winters is a 501(c)(3) environmental non-profit dedicated to uniting and mobilizing the winter sports community in the fight against climate change. Founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007, Protect Our Winters is now comprised of a worldwide network of professional athletes, ski resort operators, winter sports equipment and apparel manufacturers, and snow sports enthusiasts. For more information on Protect Our Winters go to www.protectourwinters.org.