The Icebreaker tee that’s saving the environment one wash at a time

Nat testing out the Icebreaker tee

“I’m going to be wearing this shirt for the next seven days straight, without washing it,” I announced proudly to my friend, holding up the hem of said t-shirt.

My friend looked alarmed. Especially because we had a jam-packed schedule of activities ahead of us for the week.

“If I were you, I’m not sure I’d be admitting that,” she said.

But here I am. Telling you all about my new game plan to wash everything less – starting with a light, white, merino Icebreaker t-shirt that is not going to see the light of the washing machine for at least the next week, or until my friends start sniffing.

Us skiers and snowboarders are, by nature, an environmentally-aware bunch – simply because we regularly enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer, and would like those activities to continue into the generations to come.

I am all for putting less harmful substances out into the world and doing my little bit to help, whatever that looks like. My keep-cup and reusable water bottle are essentially attached to my hand.

I try to buy clothes that last a long time and have no shame in wearing socks that were once part of my high school uniform and I never, ever use those little plastic bags for fruits and veggies in the supermarket, even if it means that my carrots and tomatoes go all over the place.

But something I’ve never really thought about is just how much of an impact we can have on the earth simply by washing our clothes.

The team at Icebreaker have done the research.  

Washing synthetic clothing can release up to 700,000 plastic micro-fibres in one wash.

These micro-fibres inevitably end up in the ocean, and currently make up 85% of human-made debris on shorelines around the globe.

If you’re a little alarmed by this, there’s some good news for you. Making the switch to wear natural fibres is easy enough; natural fibres use less resources and thankfully are naturally odor-resistant along with dirt-resistant. 

Of course, this equals less washing, which naturally equals using less water (saving about 152 litres per wash), which also equals no plastic microfibres released.

The #teesforgood Challenge

Icebreaker is one of the brands leading the way in this movement with their #teesforgood challenge, where you’re encouraged to run seven kilometres over a seven-day period while wearing the same t-shirt.

In an ideal world you’d be wearing something that’s breathable, comfortable and odour-free. I opted for the Icebreaker Solace Short Sleeve V, which features Cool-Lite™ – a blend of merino and natural TENCEL™ for comfort in warm-to-hot conditions.

This is especially ideal for my day-to-day (beach and bush walks, gym training sessions, general life on the very hot Gold Coast), but also for skiers and snowboarders who find themselves packing way too many layers on trips. A shirt like this can serve as a base layer thermal in colder climates and happily last a week or so without needing to be washed; and the less washing that needs to happen on a ski trip, the better. 

Merino also has the major benefit of being naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable thanks to our merino sheep friends, who do their very best merino testing 7000ft up in the mountains of New Zealand.

So far I’ve worn my shirt for two F45 workouts, two plane rides and one hungover brunch after a wedding, and no one has backed away slowly while speaking to me – so I’m taking that as a win.

If you need me, I’ll be over here not washing my shirt for another few days, maybe longer if I can get away with it… and hopefully doing that little bit for the planet while I’m at it.

You can find me on the @misssnowitall Instagram story doing my bit all week long here.

Want to join the Icebreaker #teesforgood challenge and go in the draw to win one of 20 t-shirts? Click here to read more about it – or click to shop Icebreaker Merino products HERE.

This is a Sponsored Post.

Natalia is an Australian writer, content creator and communications specialist who's spent the last few years in Canada and Japan. Equally obsessed with the sea and the snow, you can usually find her dreaming - and writing - about one of the two.