A new eco-friendly, water-repellent down has been launched for outdoor apparel manufacturers.

The fluorocarbon-free Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD) product is the result of a partnership between down and feather fill supplier Downlite, and weatherproofing specialist Nikwax.

Downlite will apply the NHD treatment to its sustainably-sourced down in the cleaning process before it is shipped to manufacturers for finished goods production - which will then be available to Nikwax-approved outerwear and sleeping bag brands.

Nikwax says third-party lab reports show that products made with NHD absorb substantially less water and retain more loft than other fluorocarbon-free treatments. NHD also demonstrates improved drying times and will withstand repeat washing, it says.