Travel clothing that is environmentally sustainable and super chic?
It’s about time!
Nau, which means “welcome” in the Maori language, fits the bill entirely.
This young Portland, OR based clothing company has recently joined the competitive outdoor and lifestyle market with a revolutionary approach that is socially responsible all the way down the line – from design to manufacturing to selling.
Nau’s clothing line runs the gamut from insulating base layers to slick casual street wear. Fabrics made from things such as corn and recycled soda bottles herald the newest trends in sustainable textile technology. But most importantly — their designs are great! Simple, classic lines replace the plethora of pockets, zippers and carabiner loops that seem to adorn most outdoor-oriented clothing these days. The cool, Northwest-inspired color palette means you’ll feel like yourself when you wear it. On first browse, my pick is the women’s roundhouse dress: super-cute and ready for action with highly-functional recycled polyester fabric.
Going further with their credo “to do well by being good”, Nau is also bringing philanthropy and community in to the mix. Their “Partners for Change” program supports environmental, social and humanitarian non-profits by giving them 5% of each sale. Customers are invited to choose which charity is the beneficiary from Nau’s group of partner organizations, which includes groups like Mercy Corps and Ecotrust. And Nau’s excellent blog, The Thought Kitchen, seeks to “affect change through collective inquiry”.
Currently there are only four Nau store locations: Portland, Chicago, Boulder and Bellevue, WA. But really the internet is their primary storefront, to the extent that physical stores carry only light stock and encourage shoppers to find their fit and then order products online for a discount. This reduces their costs as well as their carbon footprint.