In 2017, Nikwax marks its first 40 years in the outdoor industry. Established in 1977 by Nick Brown, the first Nikwax commercial product, Waterproofing Wax for Leather, was produced in his North London flat.
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. At this year's ISPO trade show, Nick Brown outlined how Nikwax's 'more than' philosophy and dedication to innovation has led to Nikwax being the "first and only" with numerous, key outdoor industry innovations.
Where Nikwax was "the first" and is still "the only":
- Nikwax was the first company to produce a non-softening, waterproof wax for leather climbing boots, enabling footwear to remain both supportive and waterproof. This gave Nikwax its initial competitive advantage.
- Nikwax was the world's first company to produce a range of home-use, water-based products for restoring waterproofing. Using water-based emulsions, Nikwax has prevented the atmospheric release of thousands of tons of organic solvents and propellant gases over the last 40 years.
- Nikwax was the first to create water-based waterproofing for clothing designed to be used in a washing machine and still leads the field with its TX.Direct product.
- Nikwax is the only significant supplier of waterproofing aftercare to have never used aerosols or PFCs.
- Nikwax was the first to manufacture a high performance, directional waterproof fabric system for clothing, NIKWAX ANALOGY, that actively moves condensation away from the user. (ANALOGY garments can be maintained indefinitely with Nikwax TX.Direct)
- 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.
- Nikwax is the first and only outdoor company to win the British Queen's Award for Sustainable Development.
- Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is the first and only PFC-free waterproofed down to reliably withstand 1000+ minutes on the IDFB shake test, keeping the user warmer and drier for longer.
- Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Wash is the first and only tent cleaner to preserve water repellency and add UV protection.
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. Nikwax develops integrated systems that transform performance and extend service life.
Nick Brown, the founder of Nikwax said, "We have always tried to do "more than just waterproofing". Our product design looks at the whole life of outdoor gear and takes into account the environmental impact and the wear and tear that items receive, and seeks to make them more durable. We want to give gear more useful life and save money and protect the atmosphere"
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, thereby extending a tent's effective life by half, just by cleaning it!