Nikwax manufactures high quality cleaning and waterproofing products to prolong the life and enhance the performance of clothing, footwear and equipment.

Nikwax founder Nick Brown was raised in Kent and introduced to trekking in the Peaks with his father through the YHA from the age of ten. Nick trekked in Scotland every year and, dissatisfied with the waterproofing products available, created his own recipe for preserving his boots.

It was important to make them waterproof without softening them and compromising their essential supportive features. Nick's wax (hence the name Nikwax) marked the beginning of a remarkable success story.

Nikwax was first produced commercially in a North London flat. In 1977, at 22 years old, Nick mixed his first order using a discarded tea urn, a primus stove, a jug, and materials bought from a local hardware store.

The wax was then poured into tins, which he silk-screened by hand. Nick sold his products to the outdoor trade, driving a second-hand Morris 1000 van and later buying an InterRail card to introduce his product to Europe. He then moved to a workshop in Clerkenwell, London, and before long, Nick was selling the product to eight countries! This non-softening waterproofing wax for leather boots was so effective that it set the standard for a new breed of aftercare products under the Nikwax brand.

As a walker and outdoor enthusiast himself, Nick turned his innovative mind to walkers' apparel, which, like boots, needed to stay waterproof, wind-resistant, and comfortable. Around 1980, with the rise of 'green thinking' and awareness of ozone depletion and aerosol-related problems, Nick was determined to find new, easy, and 'clean' ways to waterproof garments.

In 1983, he developed an entirely novel approach, replacing harmful and flammable solvents with water, and the Nikwax Water-Based Range was born. Nikwax became the first company in the world to produce a range of water-based products for restoring waterproofing at home. These products not only avoided emitting harmful solvents into the atmosphere but were also very easy to use, allowing people to reproof their clothes in a washing machine. The range of Nikwax products grew to encompass systems for a multitude of uses—from ropes to tents, virtually anything needing regular maintenance to maintain its resistance to water.