Nikwax: 40 Years of Outdoor Innovation

September 4, 2017

This year, Nikwax marks its 40 year anniversary in the outdoor industry.  Established in 1977 by Nick Brown in his North London flat, the brand has become synonymous with waterproofing outdoor gear.

Forty years later, Nikwax adheres to a strong set of environmental ethics and leads the outdoor gear aftercare sector with its high-performance line of PFC-free and water-based waterproofing systems.  This ‘more than’ philosophy and dedication to innovation has led to Nikwax being the “first and only” with numerous, key outdoor industry innovations.

Nikwax firsts

Nikwax is the first and only outdoor company to have carbon balanced their operations for 40 years, that is, the entire existence of the company.

They are the first and only outdoor company to win the British Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

The Nikwax ethos – to innovate high quality products that cause the least possible damage to the environment – means that its solutions offer benefits over and above the direct and obvious.

via Nikwax

This ‘more than’ philosophy is perfectly embodied in innovations such as the latest Tent and Gear Solar Wash, which offers water repellency and innovatively increases the fabric’s resistance to UV light degradation by 50 percent.

Nikwax in the field

We’ve been using Nikwax waterproofing for years, on both our outwear and hard-wear. Old jackets that have lost their water repellancy are thrown in the wash with Tech Wash and then reproofed to revive the DWR (Durable Water Repellency) which is lost over time. The same treatment is applied to tents, resulting in the same beading you would expect from a brand new tent.

water beading on tent after proofing with nikwax

The range of products has grown over the years. What began as a one-product-offering run from the flat of founder, Nick Brown, has now boomed into a 40+ product listing including wool wash, down proofing and even sandal cleaner! Its products are now distributed to 50 countries across the world.

Nikwax Anology

In 1987 Nick Brown developed a new fabric- Nikwax Analogy. This new fabric uses the principle of waterproofing directionality to move water (sweat) away from the body to keep the wearer warm and dry even when under exertion. Páramo has adopted the technology for its range of award winning waterproof jackets and trousers.

paramo nikwax analogy

The future of Nikwax

For founder, Nick Brown, the environmental impact of his operations is extremely important. Ten years ago Niwax decided to balance their carbon emissions by restoring forest cover in partnership with the World Land Trust. As a result, at the beginning of 2017 the company achieved 20 years of carbon balancing. By the end of the year, Nikwax will have balanced their carbon emissions for 40 years- the entire existence of the company.

Moving forward, Nikwax are developing a ‘Sweatproofing’ range which aims to make fabrics dry faster and therefore cool you more efficiently.

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