News | Two Popular UK Outdoor Brands Have Just Transferred Ownership To Their Employees - Outdoors Magic

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News | Two Popular UK Outdoor Brands Have Just Transferred Ownership To Their Employees

After 45 years, Nikwax and Páramo founder Nick Brown is passing ownership over to his employees, turning both companies into EOTs

As of today, after a four year process and roughly 45 years of operation, Nikwax and Páramo have become Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs). 

In big news for the outdoor industry, founder Nick Brown has retired and stepped down as the owner of both brands, handing over control and ownership to his employees across three continents.

The first Nikwax tin supplied to the Royal Geographical Society Karakoram Expedition in 1980.

In keeping with the Nikwax and Páramo legacies of sustainability and ethical responsibility, the decision is said to have been made to ensure the companies take the planet and peoples’ futures into account for generations to come.

In essence, employees become partners of the companies whilst they are employed, ensuring the soul of the business, and the values they represent, remain intact in the future. This also ensures that employees have a greater say in the company, as well as their employment itself.

Brown said that by passing on the business to the employees, he feels that he’s not only looking after them, but also looking after the interests of loyal customers.

“Outdoor people have come to have high expectations of Nikwax, at many levels, and I would not want them to be disappointed,” explained Brown. “So many companies end up being aggressively taken over and broken up, and lose their soul. This is our best shot at avoiding that and continuing the guiding principles.”

Founder Nick Brown.
Nikwax Footwear Care Kit featured in our latest Green Gear Guide for 2022. Photo: Chris Johnson.

As part of the EOT, 1% of Nikwax and Páramo’s turnover will also be donated to social and environmental initiatives where even more real world impacts can be achieved.

Maïté Angleys, Director of Sustainability for Nikwax, said, “1% for people and planet is about giving back. Nikwax has been here for 45 years and it will still be here in another 45 years’ time, which is why we want to do our best to protect the great outdoors for generations to come. To ensure continuity, Nick and his family will be involved in choosing the projects and organisations we support, giving us the chance to preserve our founding values into the future.”

“We want to do our best to protect the great outdoors for generations to come.”

Though a progressive move on the part of both companies, and a big step in the world of outdoor industry ethics, Nikwax and Páramo have actually been ahead of the game for quite some time.  Nikwax is the only brand to have always offered PFC-free waterproofing and aftercare solutions, as well as being the first company in the world to become carbon balanced. Sister brand Páramo, on the other hand, has an impressive partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Colombia, giving secure employment and fair pay to vulnerable women in South America.

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