Supply chain

Xiao Liang Xu, Machine Operator
Chargeurs, Shanghai, China

Narrow & deep relationships

Icebreaker has maintained its transparency by developing a business based on close, long term relationships. We know exactly where our garments are being made. We do not use agents or outsourcing. We take responsibility for the whole ecosystem.

Our supply chain process

Our supply chain is composed of seven core stages

01

Wool fiber source
Our contracted wool fiber is sourced from long term relationships with merino growers.

02

Top Processing China
Greasy wool is cleaned and prepared for spinning. The top-making process comprises of four main steps: Scouring, Carding, Gilling & Combing.

03

Yarn spinning China, Italy, Bulgaria
Strands of fiber are drawn out and twisted to form fine yarns.

04

Fabric mills China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan
Fabrics are made by either knitting or weaving yarns together, or bonding or felting fibers. Fabrics are either dyed in fabric form, or made using pre-dyed yarns or fiber.

05

Garment suppliers China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Usa, Italy
Fabric is cut into panels and sewn into garments, or yarns are knitted directly into knitwear garments and accessories.

06

Distribution centers Germany, Usa, Canada, New Zealand
Finished garments are transported to distribution centers in our key regions.

07

Our customers The garments reach our customers through our 4,500 stores in over 47 countries and via our website in 23 countries.

Our supply chain process

Our supply chain is composed of seven core stages

01

Wool fiber source
(New Zealand)
Our contracted wool fiber is sourced from long term relationships with merino growers.

02

Top Processing
(China)
Greasy wool is cleaned and prepared for spinning. The top-making process comprises of four main steps: Scouring, Carding, Gilling & Combing.

03

Yarn spinning
(China, Italy, Bulgaria)
Strands of fiber are drawn out and twisted to form fine yarns.

04

Fabric mills
(China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan)
Fabrics are made by either knitting or weaving yarns together, or bonding or felting fibers. Fabrics are either dyed in fabric form, or made using pre-dyed yarns or fiber.

05

Garment suppliers
(China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Usa, Italy)
Fabric is cut into panels and sewn into garments, or yarns are knitted directly into knitwear garments and accessories.

06

Distribution centres
(Germany, Usa, Canada, New Zealand)
Finished garments are transported to distribution centres in our key regions.

07

Our customers
Reaching our customers through our 4,500 stores in over 47 countries and via our global eCommerce platform in 23 countries.

expert partners. exceptional results.

our overall audit results of 9.2/10 is well above the industry average of 7.6.

*In 2016/2017 we carried out 34 audits, including 11 re-audits. Industry average was 7.6 out of 10.

Our factories' average audit results (X/10)

Industry Average 7.6*

Icebreaker average overall score 9.2

Waste management 8.7
H&S, Hygiene 9.1
Hours, wages & benefits 9.1
Labor practices 9.9

We're in a long term relationship.

30% of our suppliers have worked alongside us for 10+ years.

Length of Business Relationship With all our suppliers

27.5%

0-2 Years

11 suppliers

32.5%

2-5

13 suppliers

10%

6-10

4 suppliers

30%

10+

12 suppliers

"We enjoy mutual trust with Icebreaker. The relationship is more than only the supplier and a buyer, we’re a family."

Karen Chen
VP of Sales and Marketing, SCT

People
at the center

Human rights

It is our responsibility to make sure that everybody who works on an Icebreaker product, wherever they are, does so in a fair, safe, non-discriminatory and empowering workplace.

Icebreaker will not tolerate abuse of human rights anywhere in our business or supply chain.

Human rights are fully embedded in our business model, our decision-making and the way we create and share value. It’s one of the key areas in which Icebreaker is constantly looking for dialogue and improvement.

No harsh or inhuman treatment

Tom Liu, Quality Control,
7 years' service, Venitra

Regular employment

Song Jieyan, Embroidery pattern maker,
7.5 years' service, Shanghai Challenge

Working hours are not excesive

Dai Keyu, Flat Iron Worker,
2.5 years' service, Shanghai Challenge

Employment is freely chosen

Deloris Shumate, Change Mechanic,
21 years' service, Nester

Living wages should be paid

Ines Arellano, Folding & Packaging,
9 years' service, Nester

Child labor shall not be used

Shen Hongyun, Seamstress,
4 years' service, Shanghai Challenge

Working conditions are safe and hygienic

Gui Liang Kan, Machine Operator,
1 year's service, Chargeurs

No discrimination in the workplace

Manfred Heinrich, General Manager,
22 years' service, Südwolle

Freedom of association & the right to collective bargaining

Dai Ping, Spinning Operator,
6 years' service, Südwolle

sustainability isn’t just a feature of our products, it’s in the values and design of our business.

Read our transparency report