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Icebreaker Opens On Bethesda Row

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 11/19/2013, 12:10pm  ET

Icebreaker grand opening on Bethesda Row Icebreaker grand opening on Bethesda Row Icebreaker grand opening on Bethesda Row Icebreaker grand opening on Bethesda Row

It’s getting colder, but the folks at the brand new Icebreaker store on Bethesda Row don’t want you to think they’re exclusively about winter clothing.

The New Zealand-based company’s seventh U.S. retail store sells products of all kinds made of Merino wool, a fine and soft type of wool the company says is as light as an Under Armour shirt and dries just as quickly.

“When you think wool, you think heavy, like your grandma’s sweater,” said Icebreaker regional manager Autumn Joyce. “Not all wool is considered equal.”

Merino wool, from the company’s Merino sheep farms in New Zealand, is light and long, providing a sort of self-regulating temperature system for the sheep and, Joyce claimed, anyone who wears it. The products are also machine washable.

Icebreaker wholesales its products to outdoor stores such as REI. The store at 4821 Bethesda Ave., however, will be exclusively Icebreaker merchandise. Icebreaker will open its eighth retail store next week in Chicago.

Store manager John Childers said the company chose Bethesda because it felt the idea of sustainability resonated well here. Part of Icebreaker’s pitch is its sustainable manufacturing process, which starts with sheering a sheep once a year.

“We offer an alternative to synthetics,” Joyce said. “I think the people that live here care about the products they support.”

The Bethesda location will open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.