This innovation from the outdoor apparel company Icewear makes wool production more sustainable, gives back to farmers, and keeps people comfortable in changing environments
Reykjavík, Iceland: Icewear announced a new outdoor line that the company’s CEO believes will set new standards for the industry. Aðalsteinn Pálsson was quoted saying, “This innovation will drive the wool industry into the future.”
Specifically, that future is one burdened with rising coasts, more extreme temperatures, shocking weather events and a labored push for sustainability. Not only does the planet need more conscientious practices, but so do the people living on it.
With Icewear’s new line, however, “wool farmers receive higher product prices,” Pálsson explains. The new Icelandic line of outdoor clothing uses wool that would otherwise be ineligible for yarn production. This material is especially abundant in Icelandic sheep wool, because Icelandic wool has two distinct layers:
Thel, the inner layer, is superlight and airy
Tog, the outer layer, is strong and water repellent
Icewear’s new wool-insulated line uses both parts of Icelandic wool to avoid waste and to give more back to farmers. “What was previously considered a ‘B-product’ has become gold for us,” says Pálsson.
The Story Behind the Idea
Pálsson was the one who brought the idea to the Icewear. It started four years ago when Pálsson was traveling and spoke with a foreign entrepreneur and owner of an outdoor brand. The entrepreneur was taking first steps in using wool in his own lines, and in speaking with Pálsson his interest was piqued when he learned about the many unique qualities of Icelandic wool.
The two decided to develop the idea together, each for their own line. Pálsson returned to Reykjavík and immediately connected with Ístex, the leading wool producer in Iceland.
The result was Ístex’s new insulation called Lopi Loft, made from 100% Icelandic wool and also REACH certified, meaning it has been shown to have no detrimental effect on human health or on the environment.
Better Consumer Products
Not only is the innovative line and use of new wool insulation by Icewear a gamechanger for wool farmers, it also sets higher standards for consumer outdoor wear.
Icelandic sheep have to stay warm enough and cool enough under in temperatures as low as -30°C and as warm as 30°C (from -22 to 86F). By using Icelandic sheep wool to insulate Icewear’s new outdoor products, now consumers can enjoy the same natural comfort no matter the conditions.
No other company in the world produces outdoor clothing with Icelandic wool, and no other company uses as much wool in its insulation as Icewear does. Icewear’s new insulation is 80% wool compared with market wool blends containing between 4 and 50%.
Sales of the new outdoor line began on December 1, which is also Iceland’s sovereignty day. The new products can be found both in Icewear stores and on Icewear's website.
Next year will mark 50 years that Icewear has been in operation. The company started as a knitting studio in Hvammstangi in 1972, and since has grown into an international line of Icelandic wool and outdoor apparel. Before the launch of the new outdoor line, sweaters were the products Icewear was best known for. With the new outdoor insulated line, Icewear has championed in a new era for the company, for consumers, and for the wool industry in Iceland and abroad.
Ranges from the article
Sheep wool insulation
You may also be interested in the following articles