Páramo Directional Clothing was last night announced as the winner in the ‘Bold Move’ category of the prestigious Guardian Sustainable Business Awards, presented by Ben Fogle in an inspirational ceremony. This recognised the significance of Páramo becoming 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. This 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.”
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. 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.
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.”