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What's the deal with icebreaker these days


Senior Member
Feb 15, 2014
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I've owned a couple of icebreaker 'men's leggings' for our freezing canadian winters.
I've always been very happy with those, 100% merino wool items, they have held up wonderfully (one has shrunk at least 1 size down but that's my fault for putting it in the dryer).
Worn serveral days in a row during winter, they do not smell, are super comfortable and keep you amazingly warm.

So i decided it was time to get new merino items, what better time than now, you get 30-50% off with stores wanting to get rid of their winter stuff before spring-summer.
Ended up on Icebreaker website,sure enough they still produce all their regular stuff,but what has shocked me most is that now most of their collection are blends. They are happy to advertise items which contain more tencel and polyester than merino - they have kept their old pricing, which was fair when 100% merino, but not doesn't make sense. They still do their 100% merino items but they are now part of their premium collection with PREMIUM prices.
Example for a men's item:
35% Merino Wool, 35% TENCEL™, 25% Nylon, 5% LYCRA® - 130$ (regular price)
I used to pay my 100% merino items probably the same price a few years ago... Now these run

Quite disappointed. I know blends can be beneficial, helping with durability, but i've also had my 100% merino wool items worn for years without a single hole or noticing a defect in the garment. An ideal blend would be 10, maybe 20% synthetic material, but not were the majority is synthetic .

For me, this is cost cutting, plain and simple. Any knowledgeable people on blends and materials that could give me more insight?
I'll probably start to look elswhere for 100% quality (and fairly priced) merino items.
Shame that when some brands get recognition for their quality and materials, they go down the route of profit making by abandoning what once made them great...


Distinguished Member
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2013
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I don't think it's as black and white as you make it out to be. The knee-jerk reaction is to think that such moves are due solely to "profit making". The reality is that the price of wool had been rising significantly over the past few years. Icebreaker moving to blends is cost-cutting, yes, but driven at least in large part by rising material costs. The alternative would have been to raise the prices higher than most consumers would be willing to pay. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, wool prices are probably going to fall due to decreased demand.
Last edited:


Senior Member
Sep 18, 2012
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I was ordering fabric from a knitting mill today, the normal cotton modal blend was more expensive than the ELS cotton. Birch trees must be expensive.

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