New collaboration from The North Face and Icebreaker champions "a plastic-free future"

Merino sheep
The technical mountaineering brand has teamed up with the New Zealand-based merino wool company for a new line they say "redefines comfort and performance" (Image credit: Getty)

When you think of The North Face, you might think of many things: technical mountaineering kit, Jimmy Chin, Half Dome and Gorpcore, just to name a few. What you probably don't think of, however, is an emphasis on natural fabrics. Until now, that is.

The California-based brand has just announced a new collaboration with New Zealand's Icebreaker that it describes as "a groundbreaking revolution in adventure wear." Your typical fleece jacket or running top from The North Face is usually made using synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, both heralded for their sweat-wicking, durable performance, but ultimately made from plastic, which never breaks down once it ends up in the landfill. Icebreaker's success, meanwhile, has been built on the capabilities of merino wool.

Merino wool has excellent thermoregulating and odor-control properties so it's also a great choice for the outdoors, where you're likely to meet with variable conditions and work up a sweat, but it has the added factor of being biodegradable. The North Face x icebreaker's Spring Summer 2024 Capsule Collection is 100 percent plastic-free, featuring products made with a blend of merino wool as well as TENCEL Lyocell, a fiber made of responsibly sourced wood pulp, that results in light and breathable adventure wear.

The collaboration includes men's and women's tees, technical shorts and pants made from 100 percent Merino as well as the lightweight Merino 200 RealFleece Zip Hoodie which stows in its own pocket for easy storage while traveling. If active travel is in the plans for you this summer, there's also the Merino 200 Dress for cooling off in after a hot hike.

One other property of merino wool that you may not be aware of is that it is pricey, and this is definitely reflected in the line. So far, the clothing capsule looks to be available in Canada and the UK on both company's websites, with prices ranging from $145 Canadian for the T-shirts to $380 for the fleeces.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.