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Local clothing and equipment industry alive and kicking.
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socialclimber


Jun 5, 2006, 12:31 AM
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Local clothing and equipment industry alive and kicking.
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In the wake of New Zealand based company Icebreaker's decision to move their manufacturing base to China, David King has discovered there is still a thriving New Zealand based industry and it's getting stronger.

See www.stuff.co.nz for the full story


Partner tim


Jun 5, 2006, 1:47 PM
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What a drag, Icebreaker heading off to China... looks like they decided to shitcan the whole grassroots act and just capitalize on their brand name.

Bummer, I really liked their stuff.


colkurtz


Jun 6, 2006, 4:26 AM
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What a drag, Icebreaker heading off to China... looks like they decided to s--- the whole grassroots act and just capitalize on their brand name.

Bummer, I really liked their stuff.

are you kidding me. icebreaker has single handedly saved the wool industry in new zealand. icebreaker growing means local nz businesses growing in every field higher paying jobs in advertising and design. this whole topic is a joke. it makes me really angry that people with supposedly good intentions ruin everything by crying foul when a company moves operations off shore. icebreaker sponsors many many local events. they should be emulated. and the product is superb, not buying it is idiotic

Chalky Digits is another great NZ company. so is earth sea sky. buy their products they are great. but don't buy too much otherwise they will make money and want to expand and then move offshore.

so now you take incentives away from entrepreneurs. stay small you say. yeh, right. so real users cannot afford icebreaker or chalky digits because movie stars want them and drive up the price.

good grief. if only you had to reap these poison seeds you sew


rhythm164


Jun 6, 2006, 7:03 AM
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Icebreaker, and I thought Arc'teryx was expensive, $89.00 for a t-shirt, it had better buy me dinner first.


rhythm164


Jun 6, 2006, 7:06 AM
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, not buying it is idiotic

No, paying $89.00 for a t-shirt is idiotic. Unless it buys me dinner first...


socialclimber


Jun 6, 2006, 7:16 AM
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Icebreaker, and I thought Arc'teryx was expensive, $89.00 for a t-shirt, it had better buy me dinner first.

We can't buy an Icebreaker Tee in NZ for $89. I'm told it's a volume thing.


rhythm164


Jun 6, 2006, 7:45 AM
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We can't buy an Icebreaker Tee in NZ for $89. I'm told it's a volume thing.

Wait, I'm confused, so are they more or less in NZ? It would make sense for them to be less since it's a local company and there would be no import/export fees.


socialclimber


Jun 6, 2006, 7:58 AM
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We can't buy an Icebreaker Tee in NZ for $89. I'm told it's a volume thing.

Wait, I'm confused, so are they more or less in NZ? It would make sense for them to be less since it's a local company and there would be no import/export fees.

Icebreaker is cheaper in the US than in NZ. So I wouldn't be complaining too much about thre prices :wink: It's worth noting that this was the case before they packed up and moved production off shore.


chossmonkey


Jun 6, 2006, 11:49 AM
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What a drag, Icebreaker heading off to China... looks like they decided to s--- the whole grassroots act and just capitalize on their brand name.

Bummer, I really liked their stuff.

are you kidding me. icebreaker has single handedly saved the wool industry in new zealand. icebreaker growing means local nz businesses growing in every field higher paying jobs in advertising and design. this whole topic is a joke. it makes me really angry that people with supposedly good intentions ruin everything by crying foul when a company moves operations off shore. icebreaker sponsors many many local events. they should be emulated. and the product is superb, not buying it is idiotic


Maybe you could go into more detail as to how moving jobs off shore really benefits NZ or any other country for that matter?

Trickle down economics?

If they start using Chinese wool how does that benefit NZ?


colkurtz


Jun 6, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Maybe you could go into more detail as to how moving jobs off shore really benefits NZ or any other country for that matter?

Trickle down economics?

If they start using Chinese wool how does that benefit NZ?

sure thing. icebreaker is still NZ owned. and, of course, the designers and executives of the company are in NZ.

they have long term contracts with merino wool suppliers in NZ and work closely with them. as far as i know there is no likelihood of that changing. they are very important to the wool industry.

if there were chinese wool it would be a disaster but this is not an issue.

how does it help? well i think trickle down economics in its original meaning is a load of crap. but here is what i think happens.

if this move allows icebreaker to price their products competitively as well as produce the volume need to expand globally, then icebreaker could stand to make a lot of money.

this goes directly back into the home economy through taxes, and through reinvestment in design and advertisement. basically more money goes to NZ. granted anyone who lost their job still lost a job, but on the whole it is a pure economic benefit to the home country and the jobs it produces are better jobs.

next and this is most important. companies like icebreaker start small. in fact it is by luck that many of them start at all. it is hard to get seed money. icebreaker's success makes investing in start ups in NZ seem viable. if they prove they can compete globally then more local companies can get the money they need to start. investors want to get paid especially the big payday. companies that sell to only one market are inherently riskier.

falso, expansion globally shines the light on NZ products. icebreaker is a great product and i will never use synthetics again. typical nz ingenuity. this attention will allow other brands to get traction in other markets. opening up possibilities for other small companies. positive for NZ

an example, AARN makes packs in NZ. most people even in NZ haven't heard of them but it is a great product. chalky digits is well known in NZ. they also have a great product. these companies could benefit from icebreakers expansion through association and from stores taking the chance on stocking their product

these products could and should be sold in the USA and elsewhere. icebreaker's expansion would help that. if icebreaker needs to assemble product offshore to expand then it will be worth it many times over.


rhythm164


Jun 6, 2006, 6:19 PM
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Icebreaker is cheaper in the US than in NZ. So I wouldn't be complaining too much about thre prices .

I'm not complaining about the prices, because I don't buy the product.


socialclimber


Jun 6, 2006, 6:36 PM
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If they start using Chinese wool how does that benefit NZ?

There is never a chance of using Chinese wool. The wool used is Merino and there are very few countries producing it let alone producing the kind of quality Icebreaker needs. Even if Patagonia were to produce this type of garment, they would likely be courting the same NZ suppliers as Icebreaker uses.

Icebreaker decided it wants to go global. To do that it needs to be in the US market. It needs larger volumes for the US and while the production could expand in NZ to cover that, production costs would be much higher as would logistic costs. it saddens me on the one hand that Icebreaker will not be produced in NZ anymore. No more bragging "Made in NZ" I agree with what was said in the article regarding Australasian production staying in NZ ,even if the rest of the worlds production doesnt. On the other hand, I am very proud of Icebreaker waving the Kiwi flag in the global marketplace and accept they have to move production off shore in order to compete with other manufacturers on a relatively level playing field. The down side for Kiwis is : competing globally means dealing in US$ and Euros. Kiwis are now in the position of being at the mercy of foreign exchange rates and spiraling fuel prices on a product we consider our own. This, and the economies of scale that the US market allow, is why Americans will continue to buy Icebreaker cheaper than we can in NZ. Sadly, I've never been Able to afford Icebreaker. Not even on sale. But I'm very happy Americans can! :wink:


Partner tim


Jun 6, 2006, 7:04 PM
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icebreaker growing means local nz businesses growing in every field higher paying jobs in advertising and design.

So they ran out of people to employ in NZ? Not saying it couldn't happen, just wondering... it's not like they have a tremendous amount of price pressure (Ibex and Smartwool are similarly priced).

In reply to:
yeh, right. so real users cannot afford icebreaker or chalky digits because movie stars want them and drive up the price.

Cool, now I'm a movie star! I buy the stuff on eBay like any other sane person, I can't swallow $100 for a shirt. A friend who worked on the LOTR trilogy for WETA (in Wellington I think) brought me back a shirt and I liked it, so I bought some more. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but usually when companies start making things in China, quality suffers. Don't shoot the messenger.

In reply to:
good grief. if only you had to reap these poison seeds you sow

You have no idea how ironic your remark is. No good deed goes unpunished. In any event, if they keep the quality high, source everything from New Zealand, and stitch the tags on in China, you won't hear me complaining. I do think that's a tall order, though.

If they can't, I guess I'll have to support the next upstart that comes along.


Partner tim


Jun 6, 2006, 7:08 PM
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sure thing. icebreaker is still NZ owned. and, of course, the designers and executives of the company are in NZ.

they have long term contracts with merino wool suppliers in NZ and work closely with them. as far as i know there is no likelihood of that changing. they are very important to the wool industry.

if there were chinese wool it would be a disaster but this is not an issue.

Thank you for clearing this up. I regret what I said earlier and will continue to buy their stuff when I find it at a price I can afford. (end-of-season sales ;-))

The long-term contracts are excellent bona fides for them and I'm sorry I didn't look more deeply into the matter before forming an opinion.

Thanks.


Partner tim


Jun 6, 2006, 7:15 PM
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expansion globally shines the light on NZ products. icebreaker is a great product and i will never use synthetics again. typical nz ingenuity.

Smartwool sources their wool from NZ, don't they? Anyways, I second the disrecommendation of synthetics. I can't stand them anymore, especially when a wool LS crew doesn't stink after skiing 24 miles in 2 days.


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