Wool in summer? If you are quietly questioning our sanity, we understand. When contemplating traditional wool garments, heavy, itchy and hot are adjectives that come to mind.
However, there’s a new sheep on the block these days. He calls the Southern Alps of New Zealand home and his wool is a far cry from the typical lowland sheep’s.
Forming the spine of New Zealand’s South Island, the Southern Alps is a harsh place: freezing in winter and scorching in summer. In its high altitude valleys, some as high as 7000 feet, live 3,000,000 merino sheep. To survive, the hardy merino’s wool has evolved to keep it cool in 35° C summer heat and warm in -20° C winter nippiness.
If merino wool can keep sheep alive in such severe conditions, could humans benefit from its qualities as well? Icebreaker thinks so. Since 1994 it has been continually refining its merino wool clothing to create a natural system of lightweight layers that will keep you comfortable and happy in all 4 seasons.
Warm but cool
It starts with capitalizing on the light, fine, breathable coat that merinos rely on to keep them cool in summer. This is your base layer. It works by transporting moisture vapor away from your skin so that it can evaporate.
Instead of the moisture vapor skidding along the surface or evaporating through holes in the fabric - the way synthetics are designed to work, Icebreaker merino allows the moisture to escape through the fibers themselves as well at the spaces between them. This beautiful breathability is what helps to you keep cool without feeling clammy.
When the mercury drops, it’s time to layer up just like the merinos do when they grow their winter coats. By layering lightweight Icebreaker clothing, you trap insulating air between each layer for cozy warmth without the bulk.
Partnering up natural fibers for summer comfort
Not all merino wool is created equal. The sheep of New Zealand’s Southern Alps grow the longest, strongest merino fiber there is, making it more durable and helping it to stay softer for longer. It naturally resists odors, and it feels great against your skin.
But, sometimes, even miracle fibers can use a little help. Cool-Lite is one of Icebreaker’s new fabrics. It’s a combination of two natural fibers: merino wool and TENCEL. TENCEL is produced from wood grown at sustainable tree farms. Learn more about it here. (link to: http://eartheasy.com/wear_tencel.htm)
Cool-Lite keeps you 40% cooler than pure merino wool. How? On top of the qualities merino wool brings, TENCEL’s naturally high moisture content helps to keep your body cool.
Happy sheep, happy planet
The alternative to wool clothing is synthetics such as polyester or polypropylene. While they are light and quick to dry, they are made by melting, extruding and setting petrochemical plastic.
Icebreaker clothing goes the natural route. Made from the wool of sheep living the life nature intended, Icebreaker clothing is renewable and biodegradable.
To make sure the sheep stay happy, Icebreaker commits to long-term contracts with merino sheep farmers and takes responsibility for every stage of the process, from the quality of the wool right down to the sheep’s welfare.
Natural comfort, guaranteed
Icebreaker guarantees its garments are the most comfortable, best performing merino clothing you can buy. If you are not completely satisfied, bring it back within 90 days and they’ll be happy to replace it.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Super Employee Blogger