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Celebrating National #GetOutsideDay

Nikwax user Carys Rees, aka @this.girlwalks, loves maps and has been a fan of Ordnance Survey (OS) for as long as she can remember, so you can imagine how thrilled she was to be brought on board by them as an OS Champion! This year, Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales announced a new partnership to emphasise the importance of navigation skills and having the right equipment when enjoying days out in the hills, mountains, and countryside. As a member of the
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, this partnership is a particularly exciting one for Carys. Below, she tells us a little about herself, and shares her recent #GetOutsideDay interview with OS…

I have been lucky enough to have spent a lifetime hiking through the rolling hills of Wales and while there are more epic peaks to conquer, I feel most at home in the Bannau Brycheiniog. My parents always encouraged me to spend time outdoors. Growing up, my sister and I would often be found sitting up in some tree or riding our bikes. I did my Duke of Edinburgh in secondary school and still to this day, my
76-year-old father comes out with me on our favourite hike around Llyn y Fan – he’s actually quicker than me on those inclines!

Wales is a place of myth and legends, with dragons living in our hills and ladies in our lakes. I absolutely adore that there is a magical story for almost every area of the national park. Sometimes I feel more at home outdoors than I do under my own roof, and I feel a real longing for it when I’ve been away for too long. However, lets be honest, the weather isn’t always the best and so I have been using Nikwax all of my adult life to take care of my kit – one of my coats is over 20 years old and is still waterproof thanks to Nikwax! Take care of your kit and it will take care of you.

Spending time outdoors has always been incredibly important to me and I’m a huge advocate of getting out in the fresh air. I hike, wild swim, camp and paddleboard, but sometimes just going for a walk in nature has massive benefits. There have been studies which demonstrate that spending time outdoors can not only help with depression and anxiety, but also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and asthma. 

This year’s National #GetOutsideDay lands on Sunday 24th September so I thought I would speak to Helen from OS to find out what it’s all about!

What is Get Outside Day and why did OS set it up?
National #GetOutside Day is a celebration of the great outdoors: a day to come together and showcase that people of all ages, background and abilities can get outside. ​

It’s a day for the industry to join forces; providing inspiration for getting outside and showcasing that everyone can enjoy outdoor activities, especially those that struggle through lack of connection, access or skills. We believe the outdoors should be accessible to all.

We (Ordnance Survey) set it up to help get the nation outside and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits the outdoors has to offer. It’s tied to our mission “to encourage more people to get outside more often”, which continues to sit at the heart of what we do today.

When did it launch and how has it grown over the years?
​National #GetOutside Day was launched in 2017 and has grown to become a well-known autumn campaign that sees the outdoor industry come together with one clear goal. Over the years, more organisations have got involved to support the campaign – and not just those in the outdoor industry! National #GetOutside day has become an unmissable event in many people’s calendars and a chance to rally up their nearest and dearest for a great day out.

Why is it important to spend time outdoors? 
Getting a regular dose of fresh air does wonders for our physical, social and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors lowers stress levels, improves mental health, and increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. A recent report* found that walking just 5,000 steps a day can bring noticeable changes to our physical health and improve life expectancy. Outdoor activities also connect people socially and help form lasting memories and friendships.

Where can people can find inspiration of things to do on Get Outside Day?
Our #GetOutside website has a huge bank of outdoor articles to help people plan their next adventure. Our activity guides provide ideas and inspiration on what to do and where to go as well as information to help people brush up on their outdoor skills, safety and navigation.

Do you have any ambassadors / celebrities taking part?
Our OS Champions continue to be our biggest advocates of the great outdoors. They come from all walks of life and have an unrivalled passion for the outdoors. We have paddleboarders, horse riders, wild campers, dog walkers, family adventurers and more! They’ll be sharing their precious places and outdoor activities for others to enjoy too.  

For more information on National #GetOutside Day, visit os.uk/getoutsideday

For more information on Nikwax aftercare products, visit nikwax.com

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66440424

 

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Nikwax and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: The Perfect Outdoor Partnership

For the last 12 years, Nikwax and the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s (DofE) have joined forces to help many hundreds of thousands of participants stay comfortable and dry on their DofE expeditions. Not only that, but every purchase of Nikwax products fuels the charity’s mission by funding the next generation of DofE participants – empowering them to push boundaries, acquire lifelong skills, and discover newfound confidence. This remarkable partnership is forging a path for the responsible and eco-conscious explorers of tomorrow!

The DofE: Empowering Young Adventurers
Founded in 1956, by the late Prince Philip, the DofE Award has since expanded to more than 140 countries.  Designed to inspire and challenge young people, this programme offers a great opportunity to develop new skills, take participants out of their comfort zone and reach their full potential through a series of outdoor and community-based activities.  With diversity in mind, the programme is made up of four core components: volunteering, physical fitness, skills development, and adventurous expeditions.  The end result not only being a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, but also valuable life skills and a deeper appreciation of nature and the great outdoors!

More recently, the DofE has embarked on ‘Youth Without Limits’, a powerful new strategy which champions inclusivity and accessibility for all.  It reaches out to those who may be marginalised in society or held back by disabilities – the programme means DofE can be available to everybody.

Nikwax: Protecting Nature, Preserving Adventure
Nikwax have been proud to play a part on the DofE journey.  Producing high-quality and environmentally friendly waterproofing and cleaning products for outdoor clothing and gear, it makes us a perfect partner for the DofE. 

Our products are designed to extend the life of your outdoor gear, keeping it performing as new for the long haul.  With reliable waterproofing, your gear remains protected and comfortable even in unpredictable weather. Additionally, by not having to purchase new items every year, you can reduce waste and save money, bonus!

The combination of our product range and longevity of our DofE partnership means together we are able to endure the most challenging adventures.

Nikwax and the DofE
We share common goals through our collaboration.  As well as nurturing a generation of responsible adventurers, Nikwax is committed to protecting the environment with use of recycled plastics, reducing and off-setting carbon emissions, as well as supporting environmental and social causes by donating 1% of our sales to charity.

Our partnership reinforces responsible exploration and environmental stewardship, demonstrating the importance of taking care of our wild isles with young adventurers witnessing first-hand the importance of preserving natural spaces for future generations. 

The future is in their hands
Together, the DofE and Nikwax empower young adventurers to embark on a journey of personal growth, leadership, and environmental stewardship.  Our planet can only benefit from a new generation of eco-conscious and adventure-driven explorers.

Viva the outdoors and all it has to offer!

To learn more about cleaning and caring for Expedition gear, visit:

General kit care advice
Sustainable kit care
Waterproofing and kit care poster

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What is Climate Change?

Nikwax has championed environmental action since the brand’s inception in 1977. Our founder, Nick Brown, committed from day one to the production of high performance, low impact waterproofing products – decades before the terms ‘global warming’ and ‘carbon footprint’ became part of the public discussion. 46 years on, Nikwax is globally respected for its environmentally friendly products and sustainable practices, and we’re excited to share with you our climate achievements and goals in forthcoming newsletters and blogs.

To kick things off, we’re going back to basics and talking about what climate change actually is. Put simply, it refers to large-scale, long-term shifts in our planet’s weather patterns and temperatures. The world is warming faster now than at any point in recorded history and we are all feeling its effects – hotter summers, warmer winters, wildfires, flooding, and droughts can all be attributed to climate change. Unsurprisingly, human activities are its main drivers, and companies and individuals must act immediately to help make a difference by reducing their carbon emissions.

©Amelia Bates, Unsplash

Climate change vernacular peppers the media and our conversations, but what does it all mean? There are several key terms everyone should be aware of to understand the basic science and political sphere of global warming:

GHGs: Greenhouse Gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat, slowly increasing the temperature over time. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, yet prevent the sun’s heat from leaving it. Common greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons (man-made chemicals). GHGs themselves are not inherently bad; without them in the atmosphere Earth would be extremely cold, however due to human activity the levels of GHGs in the atmosphere have increased to an unsustainable amount.

Emissions: Greenhouse gases, such as those listed above, released into the air that are produced by activities including the burning of fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and melting permafrost. Categorising emissions into scopes is a key part of corporate carbon management and reporting:

  • GHG Scope 1 Emissions: direct emissions from company-owned and controlled resources.
  • GHG Scope 2 Emissions: indirect emissions released into the atmosphere from the consumption of purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling.
  • GHG Scope 3 Emissions: other indirect emissions linked to a company’s operations such as business travel, employee commuting, waste generated, purchased goods and services, transportation and distribution.

Carbon Dioxide: The primary greenhouse gas and driver of climate change. Human activities are severely impacting the carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels and pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and by reducing the ability of natural sinks such as the ocean, soil and forests, to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Methane: Though produced in smaller amounts, the warming potential of methane is significantly higher than that of CO2 (up to 34 x). Fossil fuels (in particular, natural gas) are the main contributors of methane followed by agriculture. This is important because many fossil fuel companies will market natural gas as a more sustainable fuel as it emits less CO2, but fail to mention the impact of methane.

© Chris LeBoutillier, Unsplash 

Fossil Fuels: Sources of non-renewable energy formed from the remains of living organisms buried millions of years ago. Burning fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil to produce energy is where most greenhouse gases originate – as the demand for energy has grown, we’ve burned more fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are also used to make many materials and products, including plastic.

Greenwashing: When a company makes an environmental claim about something they are doing that is intended to promote a sense of environmental impact, but which doesn’t really exist. The green claim is typically about some form of positive effect on the environment, and industry giants Shell, Respol, and Petronas have recently had adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for their misleading messaging, which promoted “green” offers and plans such as renewable energy and net zero goals without any mention of their larger polluting operations.

Renewable Energy: This derives from Earth’s naturally replenished resources, including sunlight, wind, waves and geothermal heat. Switching from fossil fuels to renewables to power our lives will put us on the path to a safe, sustainable planet for future generations.

Of course, climate change lexicon extends well beyond the above but, familiarising yourself with these basic terms is a good starting point for understanding what our planet is facing and how things need to change.

© American Public Power Association, Unsplash

In over four decades of business, Nikwax has worked hard to reduce its environmental impact and has promoted a culture of transparency and public scrutiny in the global warming arena. We also believe consumers should have a healthy scepticism when it comes to companies’ environmental claims (see greenwashing example above), which is why we share our performance data online.

Our commitment to the health of our planet is firmer than ever and you can now look forward to monthly updates on our conservation, sustainability, campaigning and education plans and achievements.

Header image: © Li-An Lim, Unsplash

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Top Camping Tips for your Summer Staycation

Sometimes you just need to be outside – enjoying nature, the peace and quiet, and time away from your everyday routine. If you are planning an affordable, summer camping staycation this year, read up on our top tips to ensure it is everything you need it to be…

PLAN AHEAD
Finding the location that is right for you is crucial; whether you yearn for peace and quiet, family fun, the wild outdoors, or campsites with firepits and frills, then researching in advance will ensure you can find the best spot to pitch up.

Note down your top 5 essentials and after some research online you will be well on your way to locating the best spot to sleep under the stars.

WILD CAMPING
Recently, wild camping has been in the headlines with the ongoing discussion over Dartmoor National Park. Recently, the High Court declared that it is illegal to wild camp on Dartmoor Commons, mirroring other national parks in England and Wales.  Currently, Dartmoor National Park are looking to appeal this decision, but they have secured a permissive camping system – learn more here

Don’t think that you can pitch up your tent anywhere you please – if you have found a good location then either check in with the landowner or look online to see whether camping is allowed.

Be sure to respect your surroundings and Leave No Trace – the outdoors should be left as pristine as you found it (for both wildlife and other outdoor enthusiasts).

CHECK YOUR GEAR
How long has it been since you last used your tent? Don’t just pack it in the car and hope for the best upon arrival! Check before you go that you have all the tent pegs and poles and check your equipment to ensure it isn’t still dirty from its last use – this could hamper protection from the rain for one thing! If it needs a clean, use Tent & Gear SolarWash® and Tent & Gear SolarProof® to keep it in prime condition. You can buy our Camping Care Kit here and save 15% this month!

KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER
We all know that weather in the UK is changeable. Even on the most glorious of days, we can be hit unexpectedly with a thunderstorm or downpour out of nowhere. You should be prepared for anything when living life outdoors, so be sure to have your waterproofs to hand, plus some entertainment to keep yourself (and the children) amused should it rain and you are confined to your tent… If your waterproofs have not been cleaned in a while, then ensure they are ready for your trip by cleaning with Tech Wash® and re-proofing with TX.Direct® – you don’t want to end up cold and wet if you get caught in the rain.

PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Remember key items of kit! A torch for when you need to navigate to the toilets in the dark of night; bin bags to ensure you take all your rubbish away when you pack up; a first aid kit in case of any scrapes or bumps; camping chairs to relax comfortably outside of your tent; cutlery and cooking utensils when cooking over your campfire; wet wipes for easy cleaning; sunscreen and insect repellent; and, a mallet to help get tent pegs into hard ground, are some of the key pieces we recommend.

 SWITCH OFF
We all spend a lot of time on our phones and laptops, connected to a digital world where hours can just fly by…. Take the time to put your devices down and just enjoy the simple power of nature. Stop and listen to the birds singing, get up early to watch the sunrise whilst other campers sleep, take long walks to explore your surroundings… Quite simply, take time to yourself – being outside is so beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing!

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The Bushcraft Show 2023

Everybody loves an outdoor adventure, and there is nothing better than learning the skills to become a true survivalist. Maybe you want to give archery a go or discover more about foraging, or perhaps you’d like to learn about native and common tree species on a guided walk? There is truly something for everyone at The Bushcraft Show.

Held at Stanford Hall in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, the show spans 3 days in a beautiful location that is only occasionally open to the public. For an unforgettable experience, you can camp in woodland or in a family-friendly open space, and there is also a caravan park area. Kids under 7 go free, whilst kids under 14 camp for free, and the event is dog-friendly too!

Enjoy a toasty campfire after a day spent axe-throwing, zorbing, weaving, wood carving, wild swimming, or enjoying many of the other exciting activities available on-site. There are plenty of activities for children within the woodland Kids Zone and you can relax within the natural surroundings on candlelit woodland walk.

At the event you have the chance to meet the author of the SAS survival handbook, John Lofty Wiseman, who will be telling many of his survival stories, plus, Ray Mears will be in attendance, talking about his bushcraft career and signing copies of his latest book!

For information on the event and ticket prices, click here

In collaboration with The Bushcraft Show, we have an exciting competition with 2 x adult weekend tickets, with woodland camping, up for grabs for one lucky winner! The winner will also receive a Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit – perfect for keeping your wet weather gear in peak condition. Plus, 5 runners up will each receive a Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit.

For your chance to win one of these prizes, enter the competition now by clicking HERE

 

 

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Step Up Your Game: A Guide to the Different Types of Shoes and Their Uses for Every Activity

Established in 1938 in Scotland, Trespass is a leading outdoor retailer in the UK, providing clothing, footwear, and equipment for all your outdoor needs. Nikwax took a moment to tap into their expertise about all things footwear! Sit back, read on, and discover the perfect shoe for every activity with their comprehensive guide to the different types of shoes and their uses.

Did you know that wearing the right footwear can make or break your performance? Unfortunately, wearing the wrong kind of shoes can be detrimental to your health, as well as your performance and comfort. You can improve your performance in any activity by always having the right shoes for the job and familiarising yourself with the types of footwear suitable for your chosen activities. With our advice, you will be able to find the ideal pair of shoes for any event and ensure that your feet are never subjected to discomfort.

But it’s not just about choosing the right shoes; it’s also about keeping them in good condition. That’s where Nikwax comes in – their products are designed to protect the materials and keep them looking their best. Nikwax aftercare is ideal for all types of footwear, from running shoes to work boots, hiking sandals and even casual shoes. Their products offer waterproofing, UV protection, and dirt and stain repellency, to keep your shoes looking and performing their best. Nikwax will keep your footwear clean and in good condition for longer, no matter the activity.

Different types of shoes and their uses

Walking Shoes:
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires walking regularly and suitable shoes will make all the difference. Cushioning to lessen the stress on your feet and joints, as well as arch support for added comfort, are two features that should be included in high-quality walking shoes. In addition, you should search for shoes with sturdy outsoles that provide a decent grip, allowing you to walk securely on wet or slippery terrain.

Key features:

  1. Cushioning for comfort and support
  2. Arch support
  3. Sturdy outsoles
  4. Grippy surfaces for good traction.

Trespass offers a wide selection of comfy, cushioned walking shoes with arch support and grippy outsoles that keep your feet feeling wonderful on your walks.

Hiking Boots:
You should, of course, invest in a good pair of hiking boots if you enjoy hiking! Try to find boots that offer excellent cushioning, protection against water, and that have a strong grip. Additionally, you should seek boots with adjustable lacing systems to suit the size and form of your foot.

Key features:

  1. Cushioning for comfort and support
  2. Waterproof membrane to protect your feet from moisture
  3. Sturdy outsoles with a strong grip
  4. Adjustable lacing system for a precise fit
  5. Supportive midsole construction

Trespass is proud to provide a wide range of high-quality hiking boots, striking the ideal balance between convenience and safety for use in the great outdoors. Our collection offers excellent cushioning, waterproof membranes and sturdy outsoles for your protection.

Trainers: 
When exercising, a good pair of running shoes or trainers is essential. Look for shoes that offer plenty of ventilation, cushioning and support, since this will help keep your feet from overheating. Running shoes should also have plenty of grip on their soles, which will help prevent slipping on difficult terrain. Need a new pair of trainers to boost your performance? Check out the Trespass range of running shoes, perfect for fitness enthusiasts.

Key features:

  1. Flexible and responsive sole for natural foot movement
  2. Stability and support for your foot’s arch
  3. Shock-absorbing midsole for reducing impact
  4. Breathable upper materials to keep your feet cool and dry
  5. Removable insoles for custom fit and support

Trespass offers a wide variety of trainers for men and women with all of these features.

Casual:
Casual shoes should be as comfortable as they are practical. Look for lightweight shoes with ample cushioning and arch support, enabling you to walk comfortably. We recommend choosing shoes with rubber soles since they offer superior traction and are more durable.

Key features:

  1. Lightweight construction
  2. Ample cushioning and arch support for comfort
  3. Breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry
  4. Rubber soles for superior traction and durability

You’ll find casual shoes for men and women at Trespass, perfect for everyday wear.

The benefits of using Nikwax on footwear

Nikwax products help protect your footwear from the elements, prolong its life, and keep shoes looking great. Nikwax’s unique waterproofing properties allow water to bead up and run off the fabric instead of absorbing into it, increasing breathability and preventing water absorption.

Key features:

  1. Waterproofing – Nikwax helps keep water out of your shoes, so your feet stay drier and more comfortable in wet weather.
  2. Breathability – Nikwax also allows sweat to escape and evaporate away from the foot.
  3. Protection – Nikwax forms an additional layer against dirt, grime, and other environmental factors that can damage and age your shoes prematurely.
  4. Durability – Nikwax helps to extend the life of your footwear, keeping it looking better for longer.

Ultimately, Nikwax is ideal for anyone looking to keep their footwear in top condition. If you want your shoes to stay waterproof, breathable and protected against the elements, Nikwax is the perfect solution. You can find the full range of Nikwax products at Trespass:

If you take time to research the many different kinds of footwear on the market, you will have a better idea of the most suitable type for your chosen activity, ensuring your feet are always relaxed and comfortable outdoors. Happy exploring!

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Nikwax leads with sustainability

One planet – that is all we have. And it’s imperative now, more than ever, that we look after, protect and not pollute our natural environment. At Nikwax, we have, from the very beginning, focused on creating high performance products which have minimal environmental impact and those core values stay with us to this day.

As a passionate hill walker, Nick Brown wanted to help others enjoy their time in nature without the use of  chemicals that could harm the environment. When he created his first ever Waterproofing Wax for Leather, he took care not to use chemicals that could cause harm. We have never used PFCs, nor will we. We strive to help those endangered ecosystems and habitats critical for this world, and we do our best to minimise any impact we could possibly have upon the environment.

We spent some time with UK Climbing, speaking with them about how we have led the way in the outdoor industry for many years, and, will continue to do so…. Take a look at our video now!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb5s5Y8mfrw[/embedyt]

 

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Nikwax celebrates becoming an Employee Ownership Trust

In February 2022, Nikwax took a new direction when founder, Nick Brown, transferred company ownership over to employees, alongside sister company Páramo®, in the form of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) called GearForm®. What did this mean for the company? All employees, now known as Partners, have a share of the business (held in the Trust) so collaboratively the Partners own the business.

Fast forward to June 2022 and we got the opportunity to celebrate what has been a major change.

At an idyllic setting in the East Sussex countryside on a glorious summer’s day, Nikwax Partners from the UK, Poland, the Netherlands, and North America, got to celebrate alongside their Páramo Partners, as well as their new Partners from Colombia (GearForm SAS).

It was fantastic to bring all divisions of these companies together to mark such a large milestone.

We spent the day enjoying what we love most – the outdoors! Watching birds of prey at a falconry display, having a go at archery, and playing a range of outdoor games; it gave us the time to reconnect with one another – something that Covid prevented over the last few years.

It was also an opportunity for everybody to hear from our founder – Nick Brown – whose dream all those years’ ago to create some waterproofing wax for his leather boots so his feet could stay dry outdoors, led to the success that Nikwax is today.
The businesses gave me the chance to express myself. Expression comes in two parts here – an expression of my creativity, and a voice. Speaking of the creativity aspect, it still amazes me that a person with a third-class degree in Anthropology would have their name on 4 chemical patents. I am grateful for having been able to apply my ideas usefully.”

Nick went on to say, “What will GearForm do for you? Apart from supporting your lives, I hope that it will also give you a voice. Use that voice well because you are privileged to have it. It isn’t true that we are powerless to make changes. I hope that this organisation remains one that cares for people, and cares for the world we live in. But now it is down to YOU to define that, and not me.”

Nikwax is a close-knit community and every Partner is incredibly proud of all that Nikwax stands for and what it works to achieve – keeping outdoor enthusiasts dry, comfortable, and protected when active.

So, what do the staff think?

“For me Nikwax feels like a family, with different people sharing common values and common goals. Transition to EOT should preserve these values and ensure sustainable growth.” Tomasz Kruk, Nikwax Director of Mainland Europe Countries.

“It is a great opportunity for every Partner to get involved in the business. Not just being a cog in the machine, but to think like an owner and actively affect changes/improvements in the business they are part of.” Marika Nicholson, Nikwax ROW Account Manager.

Our EOT celebration marked the start of what will be an exciting journey with many opportunities to continue creating reliable, award-winning aftercare that looks after you and your kit – whatever the activity or whatever the weather – whilst continuing to contribute to the conservation and protection of the environment.

Nick Doyle, Director of Group Operations, who was involved in the transference to Employee Ownership says, “After a long and considered journey to becoming employee owned, we wanted to celebrate collectively, through an inclusive event which brought Partners together from across our group of companies. I think everybody should be incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past 45 years from Nick Brown’s humble beginnings and getting to the point where we are now all Partners in the business!

As we look to the future, we want to demonstrate to the world that being innovative, successful, and profitable can go hand in hand with an approach that places people, sustainability and the planet at its centre. Our Partners are the key to unlocking that and it therefore felt only right to mark this monumental transition, which will continue our legacy, together. Thank you to everyone!”

We leave the last words to Nikwax’s new CEO – Adam Arnold:
“I think what this group of companies – and more importantly the people working for these companies – have achieved over the years is quite outstanding. 45 years later we are still going strong and still adding more people, more profit and contributing more to the planet as we continue to grow.

To Nick Brown – Thank you from all of the 300+ employees for being patient enough to continue the transition project through some very tough years – including the surreal years of Covid. Thank you for believing in the employees and not taking the easy route. Thank you for your generosity and kindness. Thank you for putting in place a set of values that are meaningful and which have set the foundations for us to grow in an honest way.”

Let’s see what the future brings for Nikwax and to the exciting adventures that lie ahead…

 

 

 

 

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Rewild your outdoor space

At Nikwax, we do more than just providing care products to keep you dry and comfortable in the great outdoors all year round…Behind the scenes we also help care for, and preserve, the natural environment we know and love.

Over half our species are in decline in Britain and only 2.5% of our land is now covered by native, ancient woodland. Rewilding is one way to try and counteract the risk to these habitats and help tackle the continuing climate crisis. Rewilding is not just about restoring woodland, heathland, water habitats and more; it can also take place on a smaller level – and still make a positive impact.

At our premises, in rural East Sussex, we have been working on expanding biodiversity through the planting of a range of trees, including Common Oak, Hornbeam, Walnut, Field Maple, Hazel, and more. We have planted new hedgerows along historic boundaries and, most recently, have created an allotment for use by staff. Growing your own produce can encourage species, such as ladybirds or hoverflies, that will feed on pests or aphids. Plus, growing your own food helps reduce your carbon footprint – now that is definitely good for our environment!

Even in places where you might least expect it, the natural world is becoming a key focus…The Tower of London has transformed its famous moat into a natural haven – SuperBloom – filling it with over 29 species of flowers from over 20 million seeds, to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. When the display ends in late 2022, the new landscape created to support it will remain in the moat as a permanent Platinum Jubilee legacy – and help vital ecosystems in the process.

What can you do to help make a difference? Here are some simple tips whether you have a small or large outdoor space…

Create a wildlife ‘highway’
Do you have fencing around your garden? Establish your own animal highway by creating a couple of access holes that hedgehogs can get through. Blocking their access to habitats can also restrict their chance to get food, or find a place to breed safely. It will bring a lot of joy to see these little fellows snuffling around your space – you could even install a wildlife camera to capture their activity overnight!


© Rainer Bleek, Unsplash

Rewild in small spaces
Some of us love having a tidy and ‘manicured’ space, however, rewilding does not have to take up your entire outdoor area. By taking one corner of your garden and letting things become more ‘natural’ can encourage a wealth of species to start enjoying the surroundings. Undisturbed corners can become homes for insects, whilst leaves would be utilised for bedding when it comes to hibernation for smaller creatures from late autumn onwards.

Use natural materials in your outside space
Create a stack from old, dying wood – not only will it look effective, but the wood will also be buzzing with life and provide food for many different species. Think of it as the Savoy Hotel for the insect world! Rocks can add depth and different height to your garden whilst creating lovely habitats for creatures. If you like water features, then a pond is a real bonus. Create shallow edges so birds and other animals can get a drink, whilst water plants and small logs provide shelter for frogs and their offspring. You may even be lucky and get dragonflies hunting around during the summer.  

Love flowers? Think meadow…
Fields full of poppies, daisies, cornflowers and grasses are beautiful and you can recreate this at home, no matter the size of space you have. With a large plot, take an underused section and plant wildflower seeds – the larger the plot the more flowers. The internet is full of guidance on prepping the land and the work will be worth it when you have flowers all colours of the rainbow that grow back each year. If you lack space, there are wildflowers you can easily plant into containers, allowing the countryside into your garden. Soon enough you will have important pollinators, including butterflies and bees regularly visiting.

Stay away from chemicals
We all know that pesticides and chemical feed for plants will have a negative impact on the natural world. Instead, create your own compost heap that you can use to feed flower beds and enrich the soil for future plant growth. The plants you then grow in the future can often attract the right kind of insects that will feed on the pests you don’t want in your garden.

No Mow May
Becoming more popular each year, this campaign first began in 2019 – encouraging people to not reach for their mowers during the month of May. Why? You will be encouraging wildflowers and plants to grow, plus providing an increase in nectar that is vital to many species. Many of us look to remove dandelions when they first appear in spring – but we should leave them be as they are one of the first, critical, food sources for bees. Over time you may discover that more plant species start to bloom when you leave your lawnmower or strimmer packed away in the shed for a while longer…

Whatever space we have at home, just making a few little changes can be the beginning of making a massive change for the environment as we know it and as each year passes you can see how much benefit your actions are making. Let’s make a difference together!

 

 

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A Trustworthy Partnership: Therm-a-Rest & Nikwax

Across all of their products, Therm-a-Rest’s philosophy is a pretty simple one. The brand, who turn 50 this year, advocate for a better rest outdoors, and build each piece of gear to not only meet the basic needs of sleep, but to exceed them. 

For Therm-a-Rest’s sleeping bags, this philosophy is dialed down even further; the outcome of which is a range of down and synthetic bags that are highly durable and packable and support aall types of adventurer on any type of adventure.

When designing each sleeping bag, designers Jim Giblin and Katie Nash deliberate over every possible thread, cut and filament, with every corner thoughtfully considered to ensure the finished product delivers maximum comfort, warmth and robustness.

Alpinists are deliberate with every piece of gear, from their cams and ice tools to their sporks, before heading up a climb,” says Jim. “We brought that same level of consideration into the design of each sleeping bag.”

The designers’ remit for sleeping bag fill was simple: source a partner that could deliver high-quality, sustainably sourced down that would meet the brand’s needs across multiple temperatures and bag types. The outcome was a long-serving and rewarding partnership with Nikwax – one which started in the early 2010’s and extends well into Therm-a-Rest’s future plans. With a commitment to the Responsible Down Standard, the choice to partner with Nikwax was a simple one to make; for Therm-a-Rest’s down sleeping bags to be considered reliable and tough against even the harshest of environments, their partner not only had to produce the highest quality of down, but be an advocate of impeccable design and responsibility.

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion -6°c sleeping bag. Photo Credit: Scott Rinckenberger

Just one example of this partnership bearing fruit for the brand is the lightweight, highly-versatile Hyperion range of down sleeping bags, available in 0°c for milder Spring nights and a -6°c option for when temperatures start to dip. Packed with 900 fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD), the Hyperion strikes the perfect balance between packability and comfort, while NHD performs 90% better than untreated down when wet, which means that a change in climate doesn’t have to impact sleep. Fill power refers to the relative quality and loft of down and it measures the amount of space one ounce of down will occupy in cubic inches. The higher the fill power, the warmer the item will be because there are more pockets in the down in which air can get trapped – thereby insulating the user. Trust in NHD performance means Therm-a-Rest can deliver a sleeping bag that stays dry and retains loft to keep you protected in both wet and dry conditions. 

Therm-a-Rest’s new Parsec 0°c sleeping bag. Photo Credit: Dan Patitucci

Therm-a-Rest continue to utilize Nikwax Hydrophobic Down across their full assortment of down sleeping bags, the latest of which was launched in 2022 with updated 100% recyclable shells. The 2022 Parsec range, complete with 800 fill Nikwax down, cement Therm-a-Rest’s partnership with the Nikwax brand, and ensure this alignment of quality, durability and responsibility continues.