When and where did it all begin?

 

Páramo Directional Clothing Systems was set up by the founder and owner of Nikwax, Nick Brown. 
He is still very much part of the day-to-day running of Páramo, continuing to contribute to new fabric developments in particular.


 1980s

 

   

1984
Disillusioned with conventional outdoor clothing, Nick set about observing the way in which mammals
stay dry and comfortable as their their fur pumps water away faster than it can be pushed in. And so Páramo was born.

   

1986
Páramo is an area of the Andes above the tree line and below the snow. Similar to Scotland, but with less oxygen, it was here that Nick first tested his fabrics. Advancing from fabric to actual clothing manufacture on a commercial scale, prototypes of several garments were produced and Nick tested the new fabric to its limits, staying warm, dry and comfortable at 3,800 metres in the Colombian Andes.

   

1989
Nick approached several manufacturers of outdoor clothing with his revolutionary fabric without uptake. Páramo Directional Clothing Systems was created because of the total rejection of the idea by the outdoor clothing companies.

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 1990s

   

1990
Nick asked mountain instructor Greg Care to assist with the design and development of the first outdoor garments made using ‘directional’ Nikwax fabrics.  The first retail account was established in Aylesbury by ‘Ramblers’.

   

1992
Production started in Bogotá, Colombia in South America. Here Nick found a workshop employing some dozen ladies using two machines, run by the Miquelina Foundation which, led by Sister Esther Castano, helped desperate women (most facing no alternative but prostitution) to learn trades and earn money. Nick's meeting with the Mother Superior was the beginning of a productive and mutually supportive relationship. There are
now more than twelve dozen women employed at the factory, making some 4000 garments every month, on
120 machines. There is a kindergarten, lessons in literacy and formal training. Most employees have a formal qualification. The factory holds the coveted ISO 9002 Standard.

   

1994
Páramo became a separate company from Nikwax.

   

1995
Launch of temperature control shirts, made from innovative ‘Parameta S fabric – Páramo Reversible shirts spread moisture quickly to cool you down or can be reversed to trap a layer of still air to insulate.

   

1997
Readers of Country Walking magazine vote the Páramo Scala ‘Best Waterproof Jacket’.  Development of range continues to include the ‘Windproof’ and ‘Fleece’ garments

   

1998
Country Walking readers again vote the Scala ‘Best Waterproof Jacket’.


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 2000s

   

2000
Our new multi-activity Velez joins the award-winning range of waterproofs. TGO vote the Fuera Windproof Jacket ‘Best buy’ in their Windproof test and the Aspira Smock ‘Best buy’ winter hill walking.

   

2001
Having changed the face of foul weather clothing, Páramo’s Trek & Travel range is launched for warmer temperatures.  Made from the new and innovative Parameta A fabric, lightweight, rapid-drying ladies’ and men’s shirts and legwear join the collection.

   

2002
Nick develops a 25% lighterweight lining for use in all directional waterproof jackets and fleeces. 
The Taiga Fleece is voted ‘Highly recommended’ in the ‘Best Fleece TRAIL 2002 product awards’.

   

2003
Our new Alta II Jackets are launched and are swiftly voted ‘Best buy’ by TGO magazine in their ‘Best waterproof Jacket’ test.

   

2004
Páramo’s new reversible baselayer range, the Cambia is launched, made from innovative Parameta T reversible fabric.  The Alta II Jacket is a 2004 finalist in the Go Outdoors Awards and is voted ‘Highly commended’ in the ‘outdoor garment of the year’ category.  The Cascada Jackets and Trousers are recognised by the testing team at ‘Birdwatching’ magazine as ‘excellent for winter birdwatching’.

   

2005
Páramo is voted as joint winner in the ‘Best Waterproof Jacket’ category in the 2005 Walk reader awards, chosen by readers of the Ramblers’ Association’s official magazine.  TRAIL magazine readers vote Páramo ‘Gear of the Year’ and the Ladies Alta II Jacket is voted ‘Best buy’ in Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

   

2006
Our new 3rd Element Jacket is launched - retaining its functionality but with a new contemporary style and contoured fit. Exhibited at the ‘OutDoor’ show in Friedrichshafen it is given an ‘OutDoor Industry Award’ – an accolade that is reserved for products which combine innovative technologies in the outdoor sector with appropriate functionality and design. 

The Rutland Birdfair was the venue for the launch of the first dedicated country, the Pájaro, an immediate success with wildlife watchers and photographers. Each jacket sold triggers a donation to Trees for Life to plant a sapling to help restore Scotland's Caledonian Forest.

In Autumn, the Torres ‘overlayering’ garments the Torres Smock and Gilet, made from Nikwax Analogy Insulator fabric are added to the range, providing a very practical alternative to the conventional layering system.

Andy Rouse, the internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, worked with us to create a range of garments for wildlife watchers and photographers, the Aspira Range, which can be seen and purchased at www.aspirafund.co.uk. All sales benefit the Aspira Fund.

Andy Rouse Wildlife Photography

   

2007
Spring  saw the addition to the range of Cambia baselayers for outdoor women. More gear for adventurous women came in the autumn too, with an Aspira High Mountain range for ladies and the Velez Adventure.

Once again Rambler's Association members voted Páramo gear into medal positions in the Walk reader awards, with jackets winning a gold, base layers a silver and fleeces a bronze. Country Walking readers voted the Cascada Jacket and Cambia Base Layers as Gear of the Year.

In September 2007, Páramo & Nikwax launched their carbon balancing initiative, working with the World Land Trust to offset all their primary carbon emissions for the past 10 years, as well as for the present day and an added contribution to help conserve tropical rainforest too.

 

 

   

2008
In March, Páramo was voted 'Best Clothing Brand' by respected outdoors website, outdoorsmagic.com.

Our Trek & Travel cargo legwear arrived in Spring, and new Parameta A fabrics meant new lighter travel shirts and the addition of 'Cotton+' to the range for bushcraft activities and trekking trips. Further sun protection came with the addition of the Páramo Summer Cap in Parameta A.

For the third year running, walk magazine readers voted Páramo into gold, silver and bronze positions for baselayers, trousers, jackets and fleeces, gaining a silver award for 'best overall brand' among Ramblers' Association members. Meanwhile visitors to OUTDOORSmagic.com voted Páramo 'best clothing brand' in March.

   

2009
Páramo achieves the ISO 9001 quality standard.

2009 saw the arrival of our Nikwax Analogy Light fabric much to the excitement of both gear testers and outdoor enthusiasts. Appearing first in our much loved Velez Adventure Smock in the Spring and in the new Quito Jacket in the Autumn Winter line up, it provides Analogy protection and breathability for those who need to travel fast and light. The Velez Adventure Trousers complete the line up.

Radical new overlayering garments, the Torres Sleeves and Torres Trousers were launched in Autumn 2009 - innovative insulation which is quick, easy and practical to put on, improving both comfort and safety on the hill.

The new website, naturallyparamo.co.uk, made its appearance in Spring 2009, enabling wildlife watchers and photographers to buy 'nature-friendly' garments on line.

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 2010 & beyond
   

2010

In March 2010 for the first time, Páramo exhibited at Focus on Imaging, the photographic exhibition, and were delighted to feature both Andy Rouse and many of the Light & Land team on the Páramo stand.

We were thrilled to receive awards from walk magazine readers again - voted 'Best Waterproof Jacket', 'Best Walking Trousers' and 'Best Overall Walking Brand' in their annual reader awards - a great accolade.

In July, Ethical Consumer magazine awarded the 'Best Buy' accolade to Páramo in their review of outdoor gear, the only outdoor clothing brand to receive this status.

September 2010 saw the launch of Páramo Partners, an online portal, allowing selected retailers to offer access to the whole range of Páramo in our warehouse at any time from an instore computer - so helping our small, independent retailers and ensuring potential Páramo purchasers have access to the widest range of garments all the time.

The Pájaro Trousers were launched to complement the Pájaro and Halcon country jackets.

2011

In Spring 2011 the innovative Quito Trousers joined the legwear range. The zip-on/ zip-off construction allows the wearer to put them on speedily without sitting down or taking their feet off the ground.

BBC Countryfile magazine readers voted Páramo as 'Best Outdoor Brand', while Camping magazine named the Cascada Jacket as a winner in their annual awards. Once again Páramo was in the Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards line-up too.

2012

In January, walk readers again voted Páramo the 'Best Overall Walking Brand'. The clothing was also awarded Gold in the 'Best Waterproof Jacket', 'Best Baselayer' and 'Best Midlayer' categories.

The Spring/ Summer season saw 15 new styles launched including the lightest ever Analogy jacket, the Ladies' Mirada, the Halcon Waistcoat and new checked travel shirts in protective Parameta A.

The Autumn/ Winter range includes new jackets for walkers - the Andina and Pasco for high energy walkers, and the Helki and Tula, both brilliant for walking and everyday use.

An improved Parameta T+ fabric is introduced to provide a more robust baselayer for all outdoor activities.

The Páramo Recycling Scheme was trialled and launched - offering a real option to those wanting to renew or dispose of their Páramo garments without contributing to resource use and landfill, who are then rewarded with a saving on a new Páramo garment.

2013

In Spring the Halcon Traveller, a pocketed travel jacket joins the Trek & Travel range and two versatile lightweight combos - the Men's Bora and Ladies' Zonda Windproofs and Fleeces - which offer a really versatile option for all hill activities.

The new ladies' jacket, the Alondra, is launched at the Rutland Birdfair, for wildlife watchers, outdoor photgraphers and fieldworkers among others.

The new mountain systems arrive in the Autumn, the Men's Enduro and Ladies' Ventura Jackets and Trousers, the first Páramo garments in an Athletic fit. The Men's Enduro Jacket is winner of a Novel Award at the Outdoor Trade Show.

Páramo was rated highest in a Which? survey of waterproof jacket brands, receiving an impressive customer score of 92% and rated higher than 19 competitors for factors including water resistance, comfort and durability.

2014

Walk magazine reader vote Páramo four gold awards, announced and presented at the 2014 Outdoor Show - Best Waterproof Jacket, Best Walking Trousers, Best Midlayer and Best Ethical Walking Brand.

Páramo is able to guarantee waterproof garments free of any hazardous PFC treatments in a range aimed at the environmentally-aware German consumer. IT is planned that this guarantee will be extended to the whole Páramo range in 2015.

Sister company Nikwax Waterproofing are awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, the first British outdoor company to win this prestigious award.

The best-selling Cascada Trousers receive a restyling in the Autumn line-up - re-christened the Cascada II Trousers.

The first Analogy jacket aimed specifically at cyclists, the Ciclo Jacket is launched and wins the clothing category Novel Award at the Outdoor Trade Show, for the second consecutive year.

The Páramo range is highly regarded by the outdoor industry as offering superior weather protection and comfort – all garments come with a lifetime guarantee.  More than 120 outdoor retailers currently stock Páramo and a loyal customer base continues to grow.  Páramo’s aim is to extend the range into other outdoor disciplines, providing unsurpassed comfort in all activities and in all environments.

To see our ethical and environmental policy...

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