Sexy Wooly Underoos

Remember when I described how I unsuccessfully harassed a company to get them to ship me their clothing without plastic baggiesIn my response to this company’s inquires about which companies wouldn’t ship in plastic bags, I perused the internet and found the outdoor clothing company, Icebreaker. They specialize in Merino Wool products, a natural alternative to most other athletic materials comprised of synthetic fabrics derived from petrochemical plastics. If you read my post, Green Ways to get your Preschooler Beat Up, you know I’m already a fan of woolly pants for my kids. I purchased from them after inquiry into their packaging and shipping practices as well.

And to satisfy my curiosity. I mean, wool underwear. Come on!!

Their company seems to sustain itself while also maintaining principles that I value. You can read more from their website here: Icebreaker.com. I had read an old article that described “reimagined” packaging for their kids’ products, that could serve as a project for kids when their item arrived. Unfortunately, they no longer use “reimagined” packaging, but they still take great mindful strides to package and ship their products in sustainable ways, even down to the company’s 100% biodegradable fiber foundation:

Our Icebreaker packaging is all recyclable as a result of our reimagined packaging initiative. The bags that many of our items come in are made of recycled plastic, which includes a compound that assists in oxo-biodegration if it ends up in a landfill. Our socks are packaged in a way that is environmentally and animal-friendly, as we only used recycled cardboard and no glue at all.
The article was written back in 2009, so a few things have changed since then. We no longer have our Baacode tracking and, to my knowledge, there are no longer finger puppet outlines on the Kid’s product boxes (although there may be a few still floating around!). We continue to strive to do our part for the environment and be as sustainable as possible as a company. We are constantly re-working our packaging as new advances in biodegradable and recyclable materials come about. Along with that, our Merino is 100% biodegradable, so once a garment’s lifetime is up it can hopefully be recycled or returned back to the natural source it came from.

I was moved to place an order. Here is what arrived and my notes:

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Tightly packaged cardboard box with minimal paper to prevent items from shifting. NO plastic wrap, bags, pillows or peanuts!
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The cardboard box that surrounds the article has a peep window. I was AMAZED that the window wasn’t covered in plastic! Not only is it plastic-free, but it allows one to feel the texture of the wool to consider its texture on their naughty bits…

 

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The packaging states, “Your icebreaker is made from annually renewable merino wool in accordance with strict social and environmental standards… This packaging was printed using vegetable based inks on stock sourced from sustainable forests.” Followed by a clear recycling symbol. The slide out cardboard is folded without glue. 

If that is all too much seriousness and uptight green snobbiness for you, I found it cheeky that the box boasts, “‘Wool with sex appeal’ -New York Times.” Hehe, okay.

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The plastic baggie around a T-shirt. Not great, but better than the alternative– its made of recycled plastic, recyclable, and biodegradable in landfills. I also appreciate that they clearly label that the bag can be recycled and HOW. 

So, for me and my family, while I would rather my items came in NO plastic or packaging AT ALL, I admire and appreciate the ethical steps this larger company has made despite the assumed higher cost. Its not perfect, but its leaps and bounds better. I can’t imagine that every fast-fashion clothing company will ever give up tags and plastic baggies, but wouldn’t be great if they all used recycled, recyclable, AND biodegradable plastic baggies like this company? I would like to see this level of sustainability as a minimum standard across ALL companies that produce packaged products and ship them. All companies should omit or limit plastic and only use recycled, recyclable and biodegradable plastic when ‘needed.’

Baaaaaaa!

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