An American girlfriend introduced Jeremy to Brian Brackenridge, a merino sheep farmer she’d stayed with while hitchhiking around New Zealand. Across the table, Brian threw Jeremy a prototype thermal tee-shirt made from 100% merino wool: this was the beginning of Icebreaker.
Jeremy, then skeptical about the wool prototype was astonished to find that the material felt soft and sensual, looked lustrous and was totally natural. At first he sought to sell enough of the prototype fabric to visit his American girlfriend, but when he wore the tee-shirt outdoors, he became so enthusiastic about the fabric's potential, he never saw his girlfriend again. Instead he began working on a business plan to develop the world's first merino layering system for the outdoors.
Sir Peter Blake, a Kiwi yachting hero, wore a prototype Icebreaker top and leggings for 40 days and nights in a row while setting a world circumnavigation record. His enthusiastic (and free) endorsement gave Jeremy the confidence to throw everything he had into launching Icebreaker.
Since then, the Icebreaker apparel system has grown to include underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and kids. Icebreakers can be found in 3,000 stores in 43 countries. The company is based in Wellington, New Zealand, but we also have offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.