Interview mit Jeremy Moon (Icebreaker)

18. August 2011



Jeremy Moon

Jeremy Moon

Jeremy Moon ist Icebreakers Gründer und bis heute CEO (auf gut Deutsch: Chef). 1995 hat er begonnen Merino-Funktionsbekleidung zu produzieren. Zahllose Outdoor-Aktive hat er bereits von der natürlichen Faser überzeugen können.

Wir hatten die Möglichkeit einige Fragen an Jeremy zu stellen und die Antworten per E-Mail erhalten. Wer mehr über seine Begeisterung für Merinowolle, den BAACODE und den Produktionsprozess sowie einigem mehr erfahren möchte, sollte sich nicht vom (leicht verständlichen) Englisch abhalten lassen und ins Interview klicken. Hi Jeremy! Thank’s for the possibility for an interview. First of all: which characteristics of merino were convincing for you personally?

Jeremy Moon unterwegs

Jeremy Moon unterwegs

Jeremy Moon: First, it was all about touch. I had a chance meeting with a merino farmer in New Zealand, and he threw me a merino t-shirt he had designed himself. I thought it was going to be like the itchy, prickly traditional wool that every New Zealand kid has to wear. But this was amazing – it felt like silk, and was so gorgeous I didn’t want to take it off.

Afterwards, I discovered more performance characteristics of merino. It doesn’t hold odour, even after many days of use; it keeps the body at an even temperature; and it has high breathability.

Then I started experimenting with different weights of merino, and figured out how to make it into a complete clothing system. That’s how Icebreaker began.

And why should my new merino base layer be an Icebreaker?

Because we have the highest quality fabrics, with the best perforamnce and the best fit. Sixteen years ago, we created the category of a merino layering system for the outdoors, and it has been our job to continuing leading that category ever since. We have new innovations every year – our design team is now working on innovations for 2012 and 2013.

Every Icebreaker garment comes with a unique Baacode. What is this code about?

Jeremy mit Merinoschafen

Jeremy mit Merinoschafen

I really connected with Icebreaker when I started staying with the families who looked after merino sheep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. I wanted our customers to have the same experience.

Customers can use the individual Baacode number in their garment to go online and trace the merino wool back through the supply chain. They can connect with the people who raised the merino sheep, hear their stories and explore where they’re from.

One of our core stories is that Icebreaker is born in the mountains and worn in the mountains. For us, it’s all about people’s relationship with nature.

And this Baacode system is not a fake? My icebreaker shirt is definitely made of wool from a sheep of the displayed farm?

Das BAACODE Websystem

Das BAACODE Websystem

No it’s not a fake. Our whole supply chain was created as a series of closely-connected steps. Icebreaker is able to build this kind of traceability system because our supply chain starts right at the beginning, with the merino sheep stations where the wool is grown.

Baacode is very complex – why is it so important to Icebreaker?

Our breakthrough was to design software that let us trace merino wool right through to the finished garment. It took us about a year to figure out, and was a significant financial investment, but it was worth it. We believe traceability is important, and that there is real value in knowing where things come from and how they are made.

Icebreaker farmers have to follow strict rules for animal protection. What about the ethics of the remaining production process?

We pay our farmers a price premium for producing the highest quality ethical wool. Our contracts run for up to three years in advance, which lets the growers lock in their future profitabilty. This is very important, because the merino farming industry was in a slump when we introduced this process. We know we‘re starting with a highest quality fibre that is produced in a way that doesn’t harm the animals or the environment.
Your question about the remaining production process is very important. Most environmental damage in the textile industry happens at the fabric stage, which is why we’ve made our supply chain transparent. We have videos and document our processes, and put it all online.

Final question: what do we have to expect of Icebreaker in the future?

Icebreaker ist immer beliebter

Icebreaker ist immer beliebter

In the future we will continue to create very high quality innovative products that show our customers the potential of merino. We’ll still be doing what we do now, but better. For me, the challenge is to do something I feel passionately about to the highest standard possible.

In 10 years, Icebreaker will still be selling the world’s best merino wool clothing, and we will have set the benchmark for ethical manufacturing and a transparent supply chain.

A great goal! As I’m a pleased Icebreaker-customer, I’m looking forward to new shirts and technologies… Thank’s a lot for the interview, Jeremy.

Bilder: Icebreaker /

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