Born out of a need for better
Who They Are
Inspired by the Maori greeting, “Nau mai! Haere mai!” which means “welcome” in Maori, Nau welcomes everyone to experience high quality and eco-friendly fashion. Inspired by the urban outdoorsman, and founded by clothing experts from all genres, Nau lives by the philosophy that it’s always possible to do better. They are constantly striving for better processes, materials, and design in creating their beautiful pieces. Since starting a decade ago, the company has already made innovative leaps in the realm of sustainability!
Why We Like Them
Nau has a strong commitment to wearing, doing, and being better, starting with their own production. They’ve proven themselves to be trend-setters in the fashion industry, not only in their style and wearability, but in their efforts to use high-quality, sustainable materials in their pieces.
Nau was the first company to remove PFC from their DWR. Put simply, typical waterproofing substances contain harmful chemicals, called Perfluorinated compounds (PFC’s), that end up in our eco-systems. These non-natural substances don’t break down and end up entering the food chain and, though there’s still research to be done, they have been found to be harmful to living organisms. Nau wasn’t okay with that, so they created their own PFC alternative that’s biobased and hydrocarbon polymer-based, in order to reduce their impact on their environment.
PFC free DWR is just the tip of the iceberg for this company. Their use of recycled and renewable materials are present in all of their products. From the lining of their jackets to the insulating fill, Nau’s paid attention to it all. They use ten different materials that are thoroughly and thoughtfully selected based on creation practices, safety, durability, and environmental effects.
In addition to leading the game in textile innovation, Nau gives 2% of every sale to their “Partners for Change.” These three awesome mission based companies: The Conservation Alliance, Mercy Corps, People for Bikes collectively benefit the world. These charities protect wildlands, respond to global crises, and unite people through bike riding.
Recycled PET Fabric
It’s great to turn to recycled instead of virgin resources when producing new items. Recycled down utilizes goose and duck feathers from pre- and post- consumer products. These feathers are usually recovered from duvet covers or pillows, cleaned, sorted, and can be repurposed for insulation in jackets or new bedding. Recycled down removes the need to kill or harm any new birds, while reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Recycled down offers the same warmth that virgin down provides, at a fraction of the cost to the environment.
Raising alpaca to produce alpaca wool is a relatively low-impact type of livestock farming. Alpaca wool can be shorn annually, and it’s easy to clean because of the lack of lanolin, a natural grease that is present in other types of wool. Compared to other livestock, alpaca create less damage to the land they inhabit because their feet are padded and they “trim” the grass instead of pulling it out from the roots. Alpacas are also large animals, producing a large amount of fur per year.
The bluesign Certification is a standard that regulates the environmental and social responsibility of textile manufacturing. bluesign certified textiles must meet guidelines for resource use, air and water emissions, safe labor, safe ingredients, and responsible processes. In order to become certified, every step of the production process is audited, from the chemicals used to the waste produced.
Wool is a natural and renewable resource that can be harvested annually from sheep. Sheep are relatively low impact animals, but can overgraze land if not raised properly. Wool production can also be insecticide and water intensive, but the finished yarn is absorbent and requires little dye during processing and untreated wool is biodegradable. Merino wool is particularly soft and lightweight, due to the thinner wool fibers found on sheep from Australia and New Zealand.
Wool is a natural and renewable resource that can be harvested annually from sheep. Sheep are relatively low impact animals, but can overgraze land if not raised properly. Wool production can also be insecticide and water intensive, but the finished yarn is absorbent and requires little dye during processing. Untreated wool is biodegradable.
This company donates a portion of their time or profits to charitable efforts in their community or abroad.
The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is a global independent certification system that regulates the use of harmful chemicals for yarns, fabrics, and finished textiles. Products with this certification meet rigorous environmentally friendly standards, as well as human-ecological health standards. OEKO-TEX® also creates standards based on the item’s proximity and sensitivity of the skin. For example, OEKO-TEX® holds baby clothing to a higher standard than an outer coat. For a product to earn this certification, all parts of the product must meet the criteria, including parts of clothing such as buttons, linings, threads, etc.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is an international processing standard for organic fibers that covers everything from processing, packaging, and distributing organic fibers. GOTS certified products are labeled organic if they contain 95% or more certified organic fibers, and are labeled as “made with organic” if they contain at least 70% organic fibers. GOTS assures that textiles are produced with socially responsible labor and environmentally conscious manufacturing. Certified textiles must follow guidelines on chemical use, energy and water consumption, safety and living standards for employees, waste produced throughout the manufacture process, and more.
Organic cotton production uses zero chemical pesticides and fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Plus, farming methods for organic cotton have been shown to use up to 20% less water than nonorganic production methods. Choosing organic cotton eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!
Recycled PET utilizes salvaged post-industrial PET scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers. These plastics are dried, crushed, and spun into yarn in order to create recycled PET fabric, or polyester. By providing a use for recycled plastics, companies encourage recycling programs worldwide, while adding new value to discarded items. Currently, over half of virgin PET production goes towards making textiles, so by utilizing recycled PET, post-consumer materials are both diverting waste while taking the place of raw materials. This helps to reduce the demand for the extraction of oil, as well as energy used to produce new synthetic fibers.
This high-yield crop grows quickly and usually doesn’t rely on harsh pesticides and fertilizers, making it a dependable renewable resource. The cannabis plant produces more fiber per acre than common textile crops like cotton and flax, and actually adds nutrients to the soil instead of depleting them! Hemp is strong, breathable, and moisture wicking, and it requires minimal dye during fabric production due to its high absorbency qualities.