When we launched Nikwax in 1977, the environmental movement as we know it today – active, outspoken and dedicated to putting direct pressure on governments, polluters and other vested interests - was still in its infancy: Greenpeace was barely six years old.
The term ‘global warming’ had only just been coined, and it would be almost two decades before people started talking about their ‘carbon footprint’.
Against this background, for us to make environmental protection a specific business objective and stated brand value was positively radical.
We set out to think, act and work differently from everyone else.
And I’m proud to say that, this at least, hasn’t changed.
We can sum up the story of Nikwax as ‘40 years of outdoor innovation’.
We have a long list of industry ‘firsts’, as well as a few ‘onlys’, some of which are summarised on this page. We were, for example, the first company to produce a non-softening waterproof wax for leather climbing boots, so footwear would retain its shape and remain supportive, as well as being waterproof, which also happens to be where we started.
We’ve never used PFCs or aerosol propellants in any of our treatments: indeed, we were the first outdoor business to actively oppose and eliminate PFCs from its entire product range and supply chain. All our waterproofing products are entirely water-based, and for 40 years, our business has been operationally Carbon balanced by forest regeneration.
We’ve consistently applied innvovation to minimise our environmental impact
Importantly, our products always offer benefits over and above the direct and obvious. We develop integrated systems that transform performance AND extend service life.
This ‘more than’ philosophy’ is perfectly embodied in our latest innovation. Our NEW Tent & Gear Solar Wash is a water-based cleaning spray for tents and outdoor equipment. But as well as cleaning, it revitalises water repellency and increases the fabric’s resistance to UV light degradation, extending the life of the tent by up to 50 percent.
We’ve spent 40 years thinking radically, constantly innovating and striving to change the way the industry interacts with the wider world. An approach that has supported us, our customers and the environment.
Long may it continue.