When I was writing my book, I read over draft after draft of the different chapters. Everytime I read over the part where I introduce Icebreaker, the outdoor clothing company from New Zealand, I would giggle.
The reason I giggle is because Icebreaker is the creator of the baa-code. (I’m smiling now). Isn’t that fantastic! So simple, so silly, so predictable yet so effective.
New Zealand has 40 million sheep, 2 million of these are Merino sheep that provide the perfect raw material for sports apparel. More than $100 million in sales uses this material. In 1995, when Jeremy started the company they would buy wool a season at a time at different prices based on supply. This wasn’t working so he shook things up a bit. He started offering farmers multiyear contracts at guaranteed prices on the condition that they provide him with uniformly high quality fiber. Farmers have a predictable income and icebreaker a steady high-quality supply.
So what about the baa-code (smile). Each of Icebreakers garments has a little code that allows users to trace where the wool that went into making their outfit came from. As the website puts its
” Your unique Baacode will let you see the living conditions of the high country sheep that produced the merino fibre in your Icebreaker garment, meet the farmers who are custodians of this astonishing landscape, and follow every step of the supply chain. We’re sure you’ll find the experience as inspiring as we do. Enjoy your journey back to the source.”
What they are doing isn’t anything revolutionary, as many other companies are providing ways for their customers to see the story behind their products. However, sustainability is serious business so I always appreciate when people have a bit of fun with it all, especially as a way of involving their customers.
I think that if I ever have the chance to meet the CEO Jeremy Moon we would get along just fine.