My cousin Andrew moved out to Portland recently to take a job with Nau - a hip new clothing company. As part of a friends and family program, I came into a gratis jacket this past fall. This jacket has since become my favorite item of clothing - so I thought I would conduct a little Q&A for you all so you can learn more about Nau...and my hil-arious family.
So, tell me about this fabulous jacket. Isn't it made out of some special environmentally friendly material that like, replenishes the ozone or something?
Well, almost. The, waterproof/breathable stretch face fabric is made of 100% recycled polyester, much of which comes from post-consumer plastic containers. So basically, you’re wearing someone’s discarded Diet Coke bottles. (Maybe even yours!) But you’d never be able to tell the difference between that fabric and one made from virgin polyester, even at the molecular level.
Also, at the end of its long life, this fabric can be recycled back into the same quality polyester and used again and again and again. So, just like our eccentric, late grandmother, Nau believes in reincarnation.
Why is my jacket called the Blazing Jacket? For blazing trails or... other things?
Sure, why not? It’s open to interpretation. Our designers like to get creative with our product names. There’s the ‘Quintessenshell,’ the ‘Shroud of Purrin’ (with a kitten-soft lining), and the ‘Go-More-Pile’ fleece jacket. In spring we’re introducing our ‘Loose But Not Slutty Jean.’ You get the idea. Unfortunately, the ‘Straight But Open-Minded Jean’ didn’t make the production cut this season.
The last jacket I bought was a North Face 10 years ago when you still had to zip a fleece inside and use armpit zippers if you got hot. What makes my jacket so warm, yet so light?
Its warmth comes from its 650-loft down fill. Down can’t be beat for warmth-to-weight ratio and it is, of course, a renewable resource, though it’s mostly a byproduct of the sometimes less-than-savory poultry industry. We are currently working to find a certifiably ‘sustainable’ source of down—you know, happy chickens, fluffier down.
This jacket is made by Nau, what's the deal with this company?
Ooh, what’s my word limit? There’s a lot to the Nau story, but it’s probably best summed up by these three words: Beauty, Performance, Sustainability. Everything we make we want to be stylish, functional across a wide range of activities, and easy on the planet. It’s clothing that moves with you through your life—from a backcountry hike to a night on the town—all while helping to reduce your ecological footprint.
We also donate 5% of every sale to an environmental or humanitarian non-profit of the purchaser’s choice from our list of ‘Partners for Change.’ That’s roughly 70 times the average for corporate philanthropy in the US. Not bad for a company that has yet to turn a profit.
What is your favorite Nau item?
Considering I give most of my paychecks right back to the company, my closet is currently full of favorite Nau items. My most favorite might be my Merchant Coat. It’s Nau’s take on the classic pea coat, made with recycled wool bonded to a recycled polyester lining and it just looks awesome on anyone. I can’t tell you how many imagined compliments I get every time I wear it.
Where can my lovely readers purchase their own Nau merchandise?
Currently, Nau has stores in Portland, OR, Seattle, Chicago, and Boulder, CO, and we plan to open several more later this year in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston, and at least one in the DC area. For everyone else, there’s the website: www.nau.com. And through February 4th, almost everything from our Fall/Holiday ‘07 line is 50% off, making our products actually accessible to the average twenty-something.
Thank you for your time. Tell Uncle Tony I said what's up.
Will do. It has been a pleasure. Always glad to keep the familial lines of communication open.