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Press Releases

Downlite and Nikwax Break New Sustainable Ground in North America with Commitment to Exclude PFCs from their Processes

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Downlite is a substantial, US-based, supplier of high-quality Down to the Outdoor Industry. As well as providing high-quality processing, it has developed systems for tracing the origins of down to ensure that it has been ethically sourced, without pain or suffering from live plucking.


Downlite was the first Down finishing company in North America to install the Nikwax process for producing Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD). NHD is a highly water-resistant form of down which is produced in an environmentally friendly way, without persistent chemicals such as PFCs.

Now Downlite is confirming its commitment to innovation and sustainable production by signing an agreement with Nikwax whereby they will ensure that PFC (fluorocarbon water-repellents) are excluded form every part of the Downlite production process. This will mean that NHD from Downlite can be used, in the future, by brands who want to progress their commitment to zero PFC in production, and Zero Hazardous Discharge.

Down is the optimum material for very cold conditions, providing exceptional insulation for the absolute minimum of weight. But until recently, its big drawback has been its vulnerability to water. When normal down gets wet, it loses all of its ability to keep you warm. However, Nikwax Hydrophobic Down provides the optimum outdoor insulation solution – water-resistance, low weight, and high insulation, without the use of hazardous persistent chemicals.

  • You can shake HND with water for 1000 minutes and it still will not sink.
  • You can wash it at least 5 times with Nikwax Down Wash Direct and it will maintain its water-resistant and insulation properties. 
  • Therefore NHD is not only a high performance material, but also a material that will give you a long and useful life.

Nick Brown, CEO of Nikwax said, “I am delighted to be working with Downlite on this project.. This is a great step on the road to showing that the best available technology can also be the most sustainable technology, and moving PFC products out of the outdoor market.” 

Chad Altbaier, VP Sales and Business Development, Downlite said, ” We have been highly impressed with the waterproof performance of the Nikwax Hydrophobic Down. Had that not been the case, we would have been nervous about making this commitment to zero PFC in our production. We know that ultimately all Outdoor brands want to take the most sustainable route, so we believe that this is not only a good moral decision, but also a good business one that’s excellent for the consumer.”

Nikwax has pioneered the move away from polluting PFC water repellents and continues to demonstrate that high performance waterproofing can be achieved with minimum environmental effect. Nikwax Hydrophobic Down can only be produced with materials that have been screened for ethical sourcing, so the Nikwax brand wraps up sustainability and animal welfare under one banner.


About Downlite
Downlite is America’s premiere manufacturer of down and feather, and synthetic bedding products. Its products – comforters, pillows, mattress pads, and feather and fiber beds – are sold under private label in leading department stores, specialty stores, and catalogs, as well as under major national brand names. Downlite also supplies high-qu
For further Downlite press information please contact:
Nancy Fendler at Fendler PR – T: 207-671-9071 or E:

About Nikwax
Nikwax® was founded in 1977 by Nick Brown, a keen mountain walker and traveller, who designed his own product – a waterproofing wax – to keep his leather mountain boots dry. Subsequently Nikwax has become the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear, clothing and equipment. Nikwax care products are distributed to 50 countries. Nikwax® is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons. Nikwax products are all fluorochemical-free, use advanced elastomer technology, are not tested on animals, and are non-persistent in the environment. Nikwax has received numerous awards including the prestigious Queen’s Award (4x), Sunday Times Best Green Award (3x), the Green Apple Award, and is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified. In 2014 Nikwax won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.
For further Nikwax press information please contact:
(US/CAN) Kate Ketschek at Revolution House Media –T: 603-828-1050 or E:
(UK) Stephanie Briggs at Spring PR – T: +44 [0]1249 750819 or E:
Nikwax · Easier ·Safer · Drier