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Submitted by: Nau
Posted: Oct 21, 2008 – 08:00 AM EST
New website and Fall ’08 apparel line launch today
New website and Fall ’08 apparel line launch today
PORTLAND,OR. - October 21, 2008 — Nau, Inc. is proud to announce that it is once again open for business unusual. Today, Nau launches its completely redesigned ecommerce website featuring its Fall '08 apparel line and affirms its commitment to a new version of its Partners for Change giving program. Additionally, Nau announces that starting in November, for the first time, the company will begin selling its clothing through select retail partners across the country.
Only 6 months ago, Nau stunned its supporters by revealing it was closing its doors due to an inability to secure late-round financing in a skittish capital market. That event triggered an overwhelming response from Nau's customers, who recognized the value associated with Nau's product, brand and pioneering work in the arena of sustainability. This outpouring, coupled with a deep belief in what Nau represents, inspired a small group of then former Nau employees to see if they could pick themselves up, dust themselves off and take another shot. Shortly thereafter, the remaining assets of the company were purchased by Horny Toad, a Santa Barbara-based outdoor leisure apparel company, and the new version of Nau began to take shape.
"We saw in Nau an innovative brand—representing the perfect blend of outdoor, urban fashion sensibility with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. As we enter what is likely to be a sustained period of minimalism, Nau's product and brand sensibility reflects a thoughtful, considered approach to design. The relationship between Nau and Horny Toad has been highly synergistic: Nau benefits from Horny Toad's status as an established business while Nau's creativity and commitment to overturning traditional business norms continually challenges us to grow as a company," said Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad.
The Fall '08 line continues to refine Nau's unique blend of Beauty, Performance, and Sustainability. The product reflects Nau's commitment to designing multifunctional clothing that transitions effortlessly from a day in the wilderness to a night on the town. The Fall '08 line includes a variety of products from cashmere-angorra dresses to highly technical ski jackets and pants. The website has been redesigned to provide a streamlined shopping experience. The new site does a better job of interweaving various types of content that enhances the user experience and has made Nau's website a destination for those interested in learning about the brand.
In Nau's prior form, their products were only available for sale through their website and their own brick-and-mortar retail establishments, known as 'Webfronts.' In the new iteration, Nau will partner with select retailers such as Paragon in New York City, Uncle Dan's in Chicago and Lizard Lounge in Portland, Oregon, rather than operating its own stores.
"We're excited to be working with such distinguished retail partners. They give us the opportunity to bring our products to a much wider audience in a much shorter timeframe." said Jolie Giese, Nau's General Manager.
Most importantly, Nau is holding on to the vision that formed the essence of its distinctive brand. Through Nau's Partners for Change program, it will continue to give a percentage of every sale to organizations working for positive change, while still involving customers directly in the selection process when purchasing product via nau.com. The amount given will now be 2% of sales, which, while less than Nau's previous benchmark of 5%, is still twice the most generous edstablished benchmark and 28 times the national average for corporate philanthropy as a percent of sales. Furthermore, due to its new distribution strategy and the desire to focus resources, the number of partner organization has been reduced from thirty three to six, five of which have already been chosen: Kiva.org, Mercy Corps, Ashoka, Breakthrough Institute, and Ecotrust.
"The Partners for Change program is a key component of Nau's mission to make business a force for positive social and environmental change. Without it, Nau wouldn't be Nau. We're glad we could maintain the program, albeit in a slightly altered form. While the decision to examine the scope and scale of the program was difficult, it mirrored our overall examination of the scope and scale of our business. We're proud of our commitment and optimistic that as we grow as a company, we will be able to grow this program as well," said Ian Yolles, Nau's Head of Marketing.
Nau, as a company, is relieved and delighted to have reached this point. It owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to its hardworking staff, both past and present, and to its many partners, whose patience and support have sustained the spirit of Nau throughout this challenging period of transition. According to Ian Yolles, the future of Nau is bright: "We anticipate this will be but the first in a long line of successful product launches. With our retooled business plan, Horny Toad's support, and our commitment to social and environmental justice, we believe the sky's the limit. This time, it's for keeps."
Nau, Inc., headquartered in Portland, OR, is a technical and lifestyle outdoor apparel company dedicated to making unique, stylish and highly functional clothing in the most environmentally and socially responsible manner possible. The first iteration of Nau, founded in 2005, closed its doors in May of 2008 due to turbulence in the financial markets. Shortly thereafter, the company's remaining assets were purchased by the clothing company Horny Toad and a new version of Nau was relaunched in August of 2008. Nau continues to be led by a seasoned team with deep experience in the outdoor, fitness and retail fashion industries with brands such as Patagonia, Nike, Nordstrom's and The Body Shop. Nau, Inc. operates an ecommerce site at http://www.nau.com and a blog for like-minded individuals interested in sharing ideas about positive change, the Thought Kitchen http://blog.nau.com/.
About Horny Toad
Based in Santa Barbara, a Frisbee's throw from the beach, Horny Toad makes active lifestyle apparel for all genders. "Every day is an adventure" is the fuel for unique clothing designs and a darn good way of life that includes taking fun seriously. Toad culture thrives on community involvement, sustainability and looking for new ways to improve how business gets done. To learn more visit www.hornytoad.com or call 800-865-TOAD
About Lizard Lounge
Lizard Lounge is a retail venue operated by Horny Toad. Lizard is called Lounge because 'store' was so wrong. A retail lounge and social hub located in the Portland's Pearl District – a place for the hunters and gatherers of today to kick back and enjoy shopping- and life-off-line. This unique multi-use space houses a cool mixture of men's and women's clothing, denim, sunglasses, bags and shoes along with live music, local artists, free wireless, an iMac bar and ping pong. Come in, hang out, have some coffee, look around. 1323 NW Irving Street. 503.416.7476. Check out www.lizardloungepdx.com