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A few weeks ago a group of growers who supply merino to Icebreaker went on a trip to China. The group, which included growers from Bluff Station, Omarama Station, Branch Creek Station, and Motatapu Station, were able to see exactly what happens to their wool once it leaves the farm. They followed the entire supply chain and experienced firsthand the amount of processing required to turn a sheep’s fleece into a pure merino Icebreaker garment.
Here are a couple of comments from them:
“For me the introduction to the Icebreaker team in Wellington set the tone for the trip – the passion about their product displayed by all staff certainly impressed me from the outset.
After seeing the processing and manufacturing elements of the operation I now appreciate the Icebreaker vision as a truly holistic approach to developing a product of the highest quality, requiring meaningful commitment by all participants involved, with the highest standards of environmental and social values.
A visit to the Chinese processing factories contracted to Icebreaker discounts any misconception of sweat shops exploiting cheap labour and pouring pollution into the environment. To the contrary, conditions for the work force are extremely good and waste control protocols are stringent. From the scouring of the wool until the production of the packaged garment the product is barcoded and subjected to numerous quality checks, this enables management to quickly identify where any fault has occurred and take action very quickly.
The hospitality shown by the manufacturing plants and their willingness to give us such a comprehensive insight into their activities was far and beyond expectation.
On behalf of the group I thank NZ Merino and Icebreaker for the opportunity to to get a better understanding of what Icebreaker is about”
- Russell Hamilton, Motatapu Station
“The whole trip was fantastic and such an eye opener to see fantastic Icebreaker product being made from the beginning to the end. It was very exciting for us to see some Bluff hogget wool being tipped into the scour when we arrived and then to follow the whole Supply Chain and see all the processing and quality checking. It was beyond our expectations, in fact it was mind blowing.
The thing that struck me was that everyone in the supply chain seemed equally as proud of the product as the other.
The quality checking at every step of the way is amazing and shows us all why we have such a superior product at the end. Well done to all of you.
Being a small group meant we got to know each other very well and we had an enormous amount of fun together. A lot of laughs, interesting restaurants in dark alley ways eating anything and everything, a good court session each day on the bus so we could enjoy a decent nightcap, plenty of history, culture, enough shopping and fantastic tour leaders and companions Mike, Pete and Viv.
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity. It was not to be missed”
- Sue Murray, Bluff Station
View videos on our supply chain here.