Following a 42% increase in its dealer base and 300% sales growth for the fall season in the U.S. market, Icebreaker inked a deal with New Zealand merino wool farmers to purchase over four million pounds of merino wool over the course of three years. The deal is worth roughly NZ$ 30 million ($21 mm) and allows the company to produce over one million garments per year. The contract was reportedly welcomed by New Zealands high country sheep farmers, who said that Icebreaker has taken the volatility out of wool selling by working directly with growers.
“Were tailoring our fiber specifications as far as possible to meet the demands of Icebreaker thats how significant Icebreaker is for us,” said Steve Satterthwaite, one of the high country farmers contracted to supply Icebreaker.
Icebreaker is also looking at animal rights issues with this deal and has added a clause guaranteeing that all contracts with its growers are guaranteed 100% mulesing free. The deal provides New Zealands farmers with a 30% premium to the current market price of merino and is the largest single purchase in the New Zealand merino industrys history.