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THE NIKWAX PHILOSOPHY – More Than Waterproofing. Part 1 – Clean Chemistry

At Nikwax we are about more than just waterproofing outdoor clothing and gear. Since our early beginnings in the 1970s, as outdoor people, we’ve held strong beliefs that caring for the environment is of utmost importance throughout everything that we do and each of our icons represent a different area that shows our commitment to protecting the outdoor world that we know and love. We want to introduce you to our icons and our philosophy.

This logo represents the Nikwax approach to Clean Chemistry.

The entirety of the Nikwax product range is water-based. Thanks to this, we do not use any solvents and nor are our products flammable. Nowhere within our products will you find harmful PFCs, no testing is undertaken on animals and all of our products are safe both for the user and the environment.

Our products are designed for use in the home, so all care is taken to ensure the ingredients we use within our aftercare are safe and would not pose risks to humans or the environment. We comply with regulations under the European REACH legislation, which specify which chemicals are restricted. However, our own team of scientists in-house have developed a more defined list that we follow as well, in order to provide tighter controls against using any substance which we consider could be a potential risk to humans or the environment. You can read more about this here

Here at Nikwax we are proud to say that we are the only established waterproofing brand to have never used fluorocarbons (PFCs) within our products. PFCs are a group of manufactured compounds which, unfortunately, are used in a wide range of everyday products to help keep things grease, stain, or water resistant. This can range from cookware, pizza boxes, sofas and clothing – including outdoor waterproof clothing. PFCs are known to break down really slowly in the environment (they are considered persistent) and over the years studies have shown a link between PFCs and health issues for humans and animals, such as damaged immune systems in children. You can learn more about PFCs here.

The pollution from PFCs is globally widespread and Nikwax is proud that such compounds have never been a part of our ingredients list. We have and always will rule such potentially damaging elements out of our products. The elastomers within Nikwax products eventually degrade to water, Co2 and inorganic silicates (e.g. sand).

Nikwax also produced the first water-based waterproofing for clothing that could be used within a washing machine. Prior to this, products which provided durable water repellency were harder to use and apply to garments. Also, many other waterproofing products require heat to activate the durable water repellency, whilst the unique technology created by Nikwax founder Nick Brown, requires no heat for the water repellency to develop, thereby saving energy.

Our chemistry is clean and it will remain that way for the benefit of the natural environment and those who step outdoors to enjoy everything it gives us.