Icebreaker Blog - Holy Sheep!

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All About That Base (Layer)

We’re Ready for You Mother Nature. What if, as much as Mother Nature throws at us in terms of extreme weather conditions, she has actually provided a solution too? As the North Eastern United States has just dealt it’s fifth snow storm this season, we wanted to remind you that there is hope to protect yourself against the elements. Nature provides us with merino wool, the most naturally technical fiber in the world. Icebreaker merino provides the most naturally technical clothing systems in the world.

Born In Nature – Worn In Nature. Merino sheep have a light, fine, ultra-breathable coat that keeps them cool in the scorching summer heat of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. When winter sets in, they grow an extra layer of wool over their base coat so they can roam through fields of ice and snow in warmth and comfort (learn more with Merino 101). We’ve adapted merino wool into a system of lightweight layers that give you the same freedom to explore your environment. Wear a next-to-skin layer in warmer weather, then layer up for insulation in the cold. When Icebreaker garments are layered together, air is trapped in between each fine layer to ramp up the warmth. Your layers lock together like a single lightweight garment.

#GetLayered in 3 Steps. With this technical knowledge and based on the merino sheep’s summer and winter coat weights, Icebreaker pioneered a dynamic, micro climate-controlling layering system almost 20 years ago. Our constant innovation has allowed us to create one of the world’s most efficient and effective natural clothing systems available.  With variable weights, across base-layers, first-layers, mid-layers and outer-layers, every layer you put on works with the other layers to ensure that you keep a totally comfortable body temperature – whether working out or just hanging out.

Check out our Base layers here.


Incredible Patterns in Nature

With nature as his canvas, Simon Beck creates works of transcendent beauty. Beck is a British nature artist who draws breathtaking artworks in snow and sand. His meticulously patterned tracks are each perfectly timed and designed using not much more than a compass, grid paper, and either snowshoes or a rake.

“I love creating art, engraving it into nature and sharing it with people” – Simon Beck

Respect Nature.
Simon is the first partner in Icebreaker’s #ArtOfNature seasonal collaboration with artists who respect nature, work in nature, and use objects found in nature. Beck’s intricate, gigantic, awe-inspiring snow and sand drawings have been captured as designs on Icebreaker merino wool to symbolize our commitment to the environment and to helping solve climate change. A portion of the proceeds from the collection will also be donated to Protect Our Winters, an environmental non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness around the impact of climate change.

Simon Beck mapping design Photo credit: Alex Buschor

Simon Beck mapping design Photo credit: Alex Buschor


Work in Nature.
Working for 5-10 hours a day, Beck creates artworks that are typically the size of three soccer fields. The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that make stunning designs when viewed from higher levels. Beck starts by measuring outwards from the center of his pieces, forming straight lines by using a compass and walking directly towards a point in the distance. When the primary straight lines and curves have been made, points are measured along them, using pace counting for distance measurement, and the shaded areas are filled in.

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Beck’s incredible snow patterns can take up to three days to complete, and require trudging through up to 25cm of snow in snowshoes. The designs only last a couple of days before fresh snow falls, laying a blank canvas over the finished work. Most of Beck’s designs are created on frozen lakes in Les Arcs, France, where local skiers can spot them from the chairlifts, but can’t ski over them. This Icebreaker-inspired merino ram’s horn was created at Bachalp Lake in the Swiss Alps. More here.

snow art2_simon beck FB page_icebreaker

Beck recently started to explore other landscapes for his art, including sand. He uses a rake to draw the darker shades and, just as with his snow art, the designs exists for a limited time only. Typically as he is putting the finishing touches on an awe-inspiring sand artwork, it’s washed away by the tide. Last week, Beck spent nearly six hours on the beaches of Maori Bay raking out this brilliant rosette for our #‎ArtOfNature‬ Collection.‬


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Photos: Rafael Bonatto.

Check out the designs and shop the Simon Beck collection.

Trekking Today, Training for Tomorrow

On 26th October Kiwi architect Rebecca Cox started out on a life changing adventure – to walk the entire length of New Zealand to raise $60,000 for Oxfam’s Rural Training Centre Project. The charity funds will provide the people of rural Vanuatu with cyclone proof shelters and upskilling residents for the future.

Rebecca began her trek at Cape Reinga and will travel the Araro Trail – a 3,000 kilometer journey made up of 130 tracks that ends in Bluff. She’ll be bracing the elements wearing Icebreaker gear during her entire 5 month expedition, ending in April 2015. She’ll carry a satellite tracker with her on the trek and her progress will be able to be seen online here.


“The centres are long-term investments in the community, as an architect I’m interested in creating buildings that add value and are sustainable so this project is something I am passionate about. The centres provide not only education for young people but also act as a safe haven for local people to shelter during a cyclone as they are often the only cyclone-proof building in the village,” says Rebecca.

Please join us in supporting Rebecca’s inspirational challenge here.

Have you been up a mountain, down a waterfall, or around the world in your Icebreaker? We’d love to hear from you! Tell us about your Icebreaker adventures and share your views, questions, and suggestions about our gear. Email us now at, share on Instagram and Twitter with #ShareYourNature and @Icebreakernz, or simply comment on our posts.