Inside Icebreaker, the New Zealand-based outdoor apparel destination on Queen Street

Inside Icebreaker, the New Zealand-based outdoor apparel destination on Queen Street

Just in time for chilly days, New Zealand label Icebreaker has opened its first Toronto store. The Queen Street shop sells merino wool apparel exclusively, including socks (which have a lifetime warranty), undies, performance ski gear and stylish athleisure. The lightweight fabric breathes in hot weather and locks in heat during icy spells, making Icebreaker’s gear as good for traversing the tundra as rushing along your daily TTC commute.

When it was founded in 1997, Icebreaker was the first label to source merino wool directly from farmers. Now, the company works with 180 merino wool stations along New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The change rooms are meant to reflect the feel of sheep sheds, and are lined with enlarged photographs of the region:


The entire back wall is covered in preserved Scandinavian moss. That’s Icebreaker’s outdoor-obsessed founder, Jeremy Moon, who started the company when he was 24, standing in front of it:


The brand values sustainability, so raw materials appear throughout the space. The angled beams on the ceiling are meant to resemble a topographical map:


The place is decorated in portraits of farmers the company works with:


Icebreaker’s merino gear isn’t cheap: a simple tee is around $100 while sweaters can run up to $300:

Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m.—8 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m.—9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.—6 p.m. 278b Queen St. W., 416-596-9050, icebreaker.com.