The Nikwax and Páramo story begins with their founder Nick Brown. An outdoor enthusiast from a young age, Nick was dissatisfied with the performance of waterproofing products so decided to develop his own under the Nikwax brand.
Concerned about the environmental impact of aerosol emissions into the atmosphere, Nikwax was the first company in the world to produce a range of water-based products for restoring waterproofing. Upholding its commitment to technical innovation and care for the environment, today’s expanded Nikwax product range contains no fluorocarbons, no propellant gases and is non-toxic, making Nikwax an international market leader for cleaning and waterproofing outdoor gear – footwear, clothing and equipment.
Páramo Directional Clothing, the sister company to Nikwax, produces functional clothes engineered to keep both outdoor enthusiasts and professionals comfortable and dry in the harshest conditions. Utilising unique Nikwax fabrics with renewable waterproofing technology, the garments carry a lifetime guarantee and are free of hazardous and polluting per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
Aiming to practise business as responsibly as possible, Páramo’s ethical manufacturing facility in Bogotá, Colombia in partnership with the charitable Miquelina Foundation, provides training and employment to ‘at risk’ women. Páramo also has a Recycling Scheme which rewards customers for returning an unwanted garment, at which point it is either given a new home or recycled into new fabric, preventing garments going into landfill.
Páramo won the ‘Bold Move’ category in the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016 for their commitment to producing PFC-free clothing. The award recognises the impact of the company’s sign-up to the Greenpeace Detox Commitment in January 2016, leading the way in the outdoor industry in excluding harmful and persistent pollutants from textile production.
Since 2007, Nikwax and Páramo have helped World Land Trust (WLT) fund the purchase and protection of critically threatened habitats across the world. They offset the unavoidable carbon emissions of their head office operations each year as well as those from ten years ago. In addition, they match this amount for land purchase where it is most urgently needed through WLT’s Action Fund.
At Birdfair 2016, Páramo is supporting WLT to sponsor a lecture tent which will host talks by our international partners.