Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category has picked the popular West 4th Avenue for their first location in Western Canada.
The old Comic Book store location at 2089 West 4th Avenue is unrecognizable after the transforming face-lift Icebreaker gave their new retail home.
If you haven’t heard of Icebreaker before I recommend you run, don’t walk to this new TouchLab location and check it out for yourself. Perhaps once know as the clothing provider for only the hard core hikers and severe cold weather adventure seekers, Icebreaker now has high quality clothing for every outdoor enthusiast from bikers and runners, to travellers, lazy day beach dwellers or people just hanging out in their underwear as you can see some chose to do at the store launch.
“We call this a TouchLab store because it’s all about touch,” said Jeremy Moon, Icebreaker’s founder and CEO. “Visitors will enter the store and start by being able to touch raw merino fibre. Icebreaker merino is so soft that often people don’t even realize it’s wool. Merino is so beautiful that we want people to touch the fabric and start a conversation about it, and then discover how great it is for hiking, skiing, running, biking, and just kicking around the city.”
The Founder addressed the crowd at the grand opening Tuesday night and spoke on why they elected Kitsilano as Icebreakers first Western Canada location. The high concentration of healthy, fit shoppers in Kitsilano was an obvious large factor. Additionally he spoke about the neighbors and the appeal of other lifestyle retailers in the area, including The North Face, Roots and Lululemon.
If you need another reason to get on board with the Icebreaker brand, you need to look no further than the corporate ethical commitment. The company was the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. They are committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare.
In order to pass this commitment on directly to the consumer in 2008, the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.
I put the “Baacode” to the test to track the origin of the Icebreaker tank top I picked up from the GT run line. I discovered that a woman by the name of Susan MacDonald from the Middlehurst Station in the South Island of NZ was the shepherd who provided the wool for my product. Just in case anyone was curious!
For more info about Icebreaker check out the website for lots more photos and information as well store hours.
Last modified: March 24, 2011