When it comes to outdoor gear that can keep you comfortable in all kinds of conditions, and has the ethical environmental credentials many wildlife enthusiasts look for, UK based manufacturer Páramo is going to be up near the top of a very short list. I’ve been using Páramo rain gear since I reviewed their superb Valez Adventure Light smock here on Ireland’s Wildlife back in 2012. The Nikwax Analogy directional waterproofing system uses no PFCs in the water-repellent finish, and the garments are ethically manufactured in Columbia through Páramo’s partnership with the MIQUELINA Foundation, a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation. You can read more about Páramo’s ethical commitments on their website.
Páramo’s claim that it makes gear that lasts certainly holds true in my experience, but after 13 years of heavy use, in all kinds of conditions both in Ireland and abroad, my trusty Valez smock was showing its age, and I decided the time had finally come to replace it. Having had such a good experience with the Valez smock, I decided to stick with Páramo, this time opting for the company’s iconic Halkon jacket (formerly the Halcon — previously reviewed here by ecologist and keen birder Colin Barton).
That left me with the dilemma of how to ethically dispose of my old smock.
Luckily, Páramo has thought of that too. They operate an in-house recycling scheme for old/unwanted Páramo garments. You simply post your old gear back to Páramo (or drop it off at one of their participating retailers… alas I don’t think there are any in Ireland), and they will ensure that every possible part of the garment is re-used or recycled, rather than ending up in landfill. And if that wasn’t incentive enough to use the scheme, as a thank you, Páramo offers a €60 discount on new gear for every Nikwax Analogy garment recycled, and a €10 discount for non-Analogy fabrics.
I’m delighted with my replacement jacket, and look forward to at least as many years of faithful service as I had from its predecessor. I’m also very content to know my old Páramo gear is being responsibly repurposed… as opposed to simply being dumped.