It was only six months ago that the eco fashion community was stunned by an announcement from groundbreaking eco sportswear label Nau that they were closing their doors. Devoted fans of the green fashion label were deeply saddened by this news, as there was the general belief that if Nau could not make a go of producing sustainable casual clothing, perhaps no one could. Well folks, we are pleased to announce that Nau is back, survivor-fierce, eco-friendly, and as savvy as ever. Wisely resurrected by a core team of devoted former employees, the new Fall 2008 collection is proof that Nau is always in sustainable style, for the immediate future and the long haul.
Just this week Nau announced its redesigned e-commerce website featuring its Fall 2008 eco apparel line and an even bolder commitment to its Partners for Change giving program. As of this November, the streamlined company will also, for the first time, begin selling its clothing through select retail partners across the country. The renegade former employees have hooked up with Santa Barbara-based outdoor ‘leisure’ apparel company, Horny Toad. As outlined by Horny Toad in NAU’s recent press release, “We saw in NAU an innovative brand representing the perfect blend of outdoor, urban fashion sensibility with an unwavering commitment to sustainability…The relationship between Nau and Horny Toad has been highly synergistic,” said Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad.
In these unprecedented, economically turbulent times, it seems wise that good, sustainably minded companies support each other and find dynamic ways to collaborate in terms of design innovation and business practice. We have always loved NAU’s approach to versatile, eco-smart pieces that adapt to temperature and weather fluctuations – the Nau Chrysalis Convertible Overlayer shell from last season specifically comes to mind. The new Fall 2008 line features the great Nau basics like organic cotton twill pants and ‘chi-nos’ as well as asymmetrically cut skirts and the ribbed high-collared, cashmere/angora blend Flourish Dress. Recycled poly shell jackets and pants are ideal for rugged pursuits as well as around town cycling and touring. The Modus Trench for men and women is definitely one of our favorites as is the softshell Shroud of Purrin Hoody.
The added good news is the fact that Nau has preserved its GOOD business standards by donating 2% of sales to organizations working for positive social and environmental change. Although the Partners for Change program originally amounted to 5% of sales, the current percentage is still twice the most generous established benchmark and 28 times the national average for corporate philanthropy as a percentage of sales. Customers can also participate directly in the selection process via Nau.com and key partner organizations like Kiva.org, Mercy Corps, Ashoka, Breakthrough Institute, and Ecotrust are already in place.
Nau that’s a comeback that we can all participate in and feel pretty damn good about.