Our Rating: 3 Stars - It's a start

Price: $ $ $ $

Country of origin: New Zealand

Official brand website: Visit

Icebreaker: A Sustainable Brand Evaluation

Environmental Impact – “It’s a Start”

Icebreaker, owned by VF Corporation, is rated “It’s a Start” in terms of its environmental impact. The brand uses lower-impact materials, including recycled materials, in its products. Icebreaker has also published a biodiversity protection policy that covers some of its supply chain. The brand has set a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its direct operations and supply chain, although there is no evidence that it is on track to meet this goal. Icebreaker takes actions to reduce water use in its supply chain, showcasing its commitment to sustainability.

Worker’s Rights – “It’s a Start”

When it comes to worker’s rights, Icebreaker is rated “It’s a Start”. None of the brand’s supply chain is certified by crucial labor standards that ensure worker health and safety, living wages, and other rights. Icebreaker did receive a score of 61-70% in the 2023 Fashion Transparency Index, indicating some level of transparency in its practices. The brand provides leadership programs for women in its supply chain, which can lead to promotions and higher wages. However, there is no evidence that Icebreaker ensures workers are paid living wages throughout its supply chain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand disclosed adequate policies to protect workers in its supply chain from the virus.

Animal Welfare – “Good”

Icebreaker’s animal welfare rating is “Good”. The brand has a formal policy aligned with the Five Domains of animal welfare, showing its commitment to ethical treatment of animals. Some of the wool Icebreaker sources is certified by the ZQ Merino Label, indicating responsible sourcing practices. Icebreaker does not appear to use leather, down, fur, angora, exotic animal skin, or exotic animal hair in its products. The brand traces most animal-derived materials back to the first production stage, showcasing transparency in its sourcing practices.

Overall, based on publicly available information, Icebreaker is rated “It’s a Start”. While the brand shows commitment to using sustainable materials, reducing environmental impact, and promoting animal welfare, there are areas where improvements can be made, particularly in ensuring worker’s rights are protected throughout the supply chain. Icebreaker has the potential to further enhance its sustainability efforts and become a leader in the industry.

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