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How sustainable is Icebreaker ?

Icebreaker & sustainability


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First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 6 out of 31

Sustainability summary

Icebreaker has achieved the D-label. Icebreaker has started to take sustainability into account. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: Icebreaker Ltd.
Head office: Wellington, New Zealand
Sector: Sport & outdoor clothing
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: Caps, Shirts, Pullover, Jackets, Dress

What's your sustainability news about Icebreaker?

Icebreaker sustainability score report

Last edited: 29 March 2018 by Eefje
Last reviewed: 29 March 2018 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Icebreaker implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy efficiency measures. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Icebreaker makes several sustainability claims, but does not provide an annual climate footprint. Icebreaker plans to publish a carbon and waste emissions report for the head office in the next sustainability report (see link, page 95). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Icebreaker mentions the use of onsite generated renewable solar energy at one of its suppliers, but is not clear about the total percentage share concerning own operations (see link, page 67). Source
4. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Icebreaker does not communicate any information on target reductions for its greenhouse gas emissions. Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? Icebreaker does not communicate a clear policy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the production chain that is beyond own operations. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 12
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Icebreaker products are comprised of 82% merino wool, which is not classified as an environmentally 'preferred' fiber by default. Around 7% of the entire collection is made of more environmentally preferred fibres like Tencel®, recycled polyester and organic cotton (see link, page 45). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? Icebreaker implements measures to limit the use of hazardous chemicals, but specifies reporting on results only for the Oeko-tex 100 standard for textiles. This standard is not eligible for this question since it does not cover criteria to chemical use during the production stages (see link, page 48 & 80-85). Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Icebreaker reports that none of the chemical groups have been completely eliminated from its garment production. Icebreaker insists to be PFC free by 2020 (see link, page 80). Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Icebreaker offers a list of packaging types and volumes, but does not specify the material type (see link page 49). Source
11. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Icebreaker communicates a waste reduction policy, but does not report the overall performance (see link, page 36). Source
12. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Icebreaker plans to establish a 'return and recycle product lifecycle programme' by 2022 (see link, page 51). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

4 out of 13
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All standards are mentioned in Icebreaker's supplier Code of Conduct (see link, pages 116-118). Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Not mentioned; 2. Mentioned; 3. Yes, commitment to implement payment of living wages (see link, pages 116-118). Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions (see link, page 117). Source
4. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Icebreaker has published a list, which most likely covers 90% of the Icebreaker's total production (see link, pages 106-115). Source
5. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? Icebreaker is planning to engage with NGOs and their suppliers to understand collective bargaining opportunities in their supply chain in the future, but does not communicate any information about being part of a collective initiative or purchasing from an accredited supplier (see link, page 85). Source
6. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? See remark for labor conditions policy question 5. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? Icebreaker implements measures to improve labour practices at its apparel manufacturers, namely managing capacity issues via adjusting monthly forecasts. However, concrete results, such as wages increased or working hours decreased, are not reported (see link, page 85). Source
8. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? Icebreaker states that the Merino stations and supplying factories are audited periodically by independent agencies. But, Icebreaker's reporting on results is not detailed enough (see link, pages 38 & 76). Source
9. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? Icebreaker publishes some overall results on supplier compliance against Icebreaker's labour standards, but those results are not verified by eligible third parties (see link, pages 38 & 76). Source
10. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
11. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Icebreaker's Code of Conduct states that every worker throughout the supply chain has a right to living wage compensation. However, there is no clear reporting in how far this target is achieved (see link, page 117). Source
12. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Icebreaker does not publicly report clear results of its implemented measures to improve labor conditions at its fabric manufacturers. Source
13. Are at least 50% of the fabric manufacturing phases - from spinning to final fabric - approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 12. Source