Páramo was founded in 1992 by Nick Brown, who disillusioned with conventional clothing and wanted something different. He observed the way mammals stay dry; he realised nature’s wise ways, whereby water is drawn away from their bodies faster than it can be absorbed. He also observed the manner in which trees draw water to great heights by ‘wicking’ helped by the evaporation of water from leaves. Believing someone could translate this to clothing, Páramo was born.
Páramo is an area of the Andes above the tree line and below the snow. Similar to our great Scotland but with a lot less oxygen, this is where the first Páramo Jackets were tested. The next steps were to produce and manufacture on a commercial scale.
Whilst on a trip to the Colombian Andes, Nick found a workshop run by a dozen ladies using just two machines, run by the Miquelina Foundation which was led by Sister Ester Castan and had been set up to help women in need to learn a trade and earn money. 17 years later the factory is run by over twelve dozen women employed by the foundation making some 4,000 garments every month, on 120 machines. The factory has a kindergarten and offers lessons in literacy and formal training ensuring most employees have a formal qualification.
In addition, the factory has gained the converted ISO 9002 standard in 2017 and achieved membership of the fair trade organisation, meaning all Páramo product is produced with fair trade in mind.