Páramo wins Guardian Sustainable Business Award

David Bacci in PFC-free Páramo clothing on Ragni route of Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia, January 2016

Páramo has been announced the winner of the ‘Bold Move’ category in the prestigious Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016, recognising the importance and impact of the British clothing company’s sign-up to the Greenpeace Detox Commitment in January 2016.

In January 2016 Páramo became the first outdoor company to sign up to Greenpeace Detox commitment, leading the outdoor industry in ensuring hazardous, persistent pollutants are excluded from textile production. The resulting publicity from this sign-up was linked with professional climber, David Bacci, successfully summiting Fitz Roy in Patagonia wearing PFC-free Páramo clothing.

Both events proved very positive in educating the consumer to seek out and request waterproofs that do not use per- or poly-fluorinated compounds (PFCs) and pressurising Outdoor companies across the globe to re-examine their sourcing and supply policies. 

In their coverage of this Award, the Guardian explains “Páramo is one of the few PFC-free outdoor brands currently on the market. In a demonstration of industry leadership, the apparel company came out publicly this year to support Greenpeace’s call for an end to the use of this toxic chemical in outdoor gear.”

Greenpeace scientists collect water and snow samples to test for PFCs.

Greenpeace scientists test water and snow samples for PFCs. Copyright Greenpeace – Christian Breitler

Páramo waterproofs use an alternative fabric technology, Nikwax Analogy, developed by the company’s founder, Nick Brown. Most other outdoor brands are wedded to the use of PFC-based water repellents. These materials are released and break down to form extremely toxic and persistent chemicals which have migrated to the furthest reaches of the world. Recent Greenpeace research demonstrated that PFCs are found in even the most pristine environments. Outdoor brands continue to use PFCs because they are nervous that, without them, their products would not stand up to the technical demands required in wild conditions.

David Bacci successfully summits Fitz Roy in Patagonia, wearing PFC-free Páramo

David Bacci successfully summits Fitz Roy in Patagonia, wearing PFC-free Páramo

However, Páramo has shown that waterproof performance does not require PFC pollution. Páramo’s clothing has been used by many expeditions very successfully, including the well-publicised summiting of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia by professional climber David Bacci in January this year. He chose the exposed East Pillar, the most challenging of routes, and endured brutal weather, demonstrating that PFC-free clothing can take on the toughest mountain conditions. He expressed his satisfaction with the Páramo kit, “The Enduro Jacket performed extremely well in the harsh Patagonian conditions, keeping me dry and warm at any point during my ascent of Cerro Torre and resisting the brutal off-widths and rough granite of Fitz Roy without a scratch.” 

A spokesperson for Greenpeace’s Detox campaign, Cecilia Preite Martinez, told the Guardian, “Páramo is setting the highest standard in the whole outdoor sector and this example should encourage bigger brands to take the lead for a toxic-free future.”

gsb_award-logoRead the coverage from the Guardian’s Sustainable Business Awards here.

  1. Nigel Griffiths
    May 27, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    It’s good to see a Company from the “Outdoor” sector of the performance clothing industry, leading the way in creating products that, not only achieve the highest of standards, but do so without harming the planet or it’s creatures, whether human or otherwise!
    I shall continue to buy Paramo garments with a clear conscience!

  2. Pingback: Páramo Clothing | Páramo Detox: successes and challenges

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