Letters

Icebreaker

To the Icebreaker Clothing Company and CEO Jeremy Moon,

Please be advised that you are in receipt of a letter from the Department of Letters of Consumer and Social Concern

(…and for the convenience of readers of the letters, any and all correspondence from the subject party of the letter can be printed here in response to the letters in question)

My name is Benjamin Shook, Spokesman for “The Department.”  Our business here at the DLCSC is to apprise companies and organizations of social interest of potential areas of improvement, expansion and awareness.

My studio has been a firm believer in wool from long before the inception of Icebreaker technology, yet your company has brought one of the greatest boons to the clothing world in the last millenium as far as I’m concerned.

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For those of you (readers) who doubt the credibility of the argument for wool, I urge you to explore the matter more thoroughly here:

http://www.csiro.au/resources/pfk1.html

What the Icebreaker clothing company has succeeded in accomplishing is harvesting this wool from a special sheep–called a Merino–which occur in large populations in New Zealand:

picture-3Some interesting facts about Merino sheep:

They have the softest wool in the world and have been bred for centuries for their coats rather than their meat or other features.

Their name comes from a Moorish tribal name, Beni-Merine who first began breeding the sheep, and introducing them to Spain in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries A.D.

John Macarthur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merino_wool) is documented as the father of the Australian Merino wool industry.

The Merino sheep Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is roughly the same as that of former president George W. Bush, which is actually pretty high, for a sheep.

Moving on.  The neatest attribute of the Merino wool molecule is that, as a highly variegated package of keratin proteins, it is able to wick moisture away from heat source, like a body, as well as insulate to great effect:

picture-21I first had experience with this amazing feature on a ski trip to Canada several years ago.  I had the fortune of being able to invest in Icebreaker undergarments to take along on this expedition in the place of Patagonia Capilene, which is a totally worthless product in comparison to Icebreaker.  Where Capilene does have some success in wicking moisture away, Merino is far superior.  Over and above the question of function, which is answered more readily by Icebreaker, Merino wool seems to have an anti-microbial quality which limits the olfactory experience of long underwear worn day after day.  This latter problem solved by Icebreaker to my deep elation.

Here’s a shot of the setting of our ski expedition to the Canadian Rockies:

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I was so impressed by the facility of the product that I wrote CEO Jeremy Moon on several occasions.  I likewise began an epic poem entitled, “Wool: The Undergarment of a Revolution.”  I’ll publish that soon.

To get to the pith of this letter of Consumer and Social Concern… I have recently purchased several garments from the Icebreaker U.S. headquarters in Portland, OR and have found to my dismay a severe decline in the quality of the products, which is not commensurate with the cost of the product.  I have found that the stitching is inferior, and the weave is weaker.  A $250 sweater or $60 T-Shirt ought to be legacy garments which are at least built to endure several years of hard wear and tear.

I have several ideas of how to right this decline in quality as well as some other areas of exploration for the campaign and cause of Merino wool clothing.

I would love to explore this matter more thoroughly with the company and enclose kindest regards,

Benjamin Shook

Spokesman for the Department of Letters of Consumer and Social Concern