Brand Profile: Nau

Nothing puts sustainable fashion to the test like the elements. It’s one thing to make clothing that looks trendy, especially in the seasons where we don’t need to wear much of it anyways. But what about function? When it’s below freezing, with wind and snow, can we take a chance on the alternative, or should we just stick with what we know?

One of my favorite brands that Lux & Eco carries is Nau. Known mostly for its winter wear, namely jackets for men and women, Nau has meticulously researched, crafted, tested, and backed a product that performs on par with the competition (think: Columbia, North Face, and generic versions of these sold in discount and department stores) – and in most cases, even better. What more, it looks classy, not just durable (read: bulky, practical). It’s high fashion meets high function, developed by a dedicated team. Nau is so passionate about their product – and about sustainable business and sustainable luxury – it wouldn’t put out a collection that wasn’t thoroughly tested. There’s a reason Nau is proud to put it’s name on these beautiful jackets. Actually there’s a few reasons why.

1) The fabric. On top of organic cotton and natural wool, Nau uses the most high-tech and renewable fibers to keep its consumers warm and dry. A laminate, developed in collaboration with a small-scale, locally owned mill in Italy, is added to wool to make it water-proof. 95% of the polyester used has been recycled from used bottles and industrial waste collected in landfills. Tencel gives the jackets a soft, breathable texture that most would never even associate with a winter jacket; this fabric is made from eucalyptus pulp in an eco-friendly, closed-loop production system. While Nau fully admits to using goose down, it also acknowledges that it only uses suppliers who can source back down to the farm level; when this is not possible, Nau turns to Cocona – a fabric created using carbon, coconut husks, and blended polyester. The chemical reaction produces a solid alternative to goose down and Nau hopes to continue developing cocona in lieu of it, for ethical considerations. Finally, MicroModal is created from sustainably grown beech wood trees in a closed-loop, low energy process and gives the jackets an unbeatable lightness. Nau refuses to manufacture anything unless it can stand behind it and claim it is as ethically, sustainably, and responsibly made as possible.

No matter what we’re designing, the goal is always the same: to minimize the environmental impact that our products have while making sure that function and design strike an undeniable balance.” Nau design principle

2) Its Partners. Nau donates 2% of every sale to the following causes:

  • Ashoka
  • People for Bikes
  • Breakthrough Institute
  • Ecotrust
  • Mercy Corps

Each organization focuses on strengthening communities by reconnecting them with the environment, and exemplifying how this connection leads to innovation, peace, and prosperity. You can support these causes as well when you purchase a Nau jacket this winter, available exclusively through Lux & Eco. Here are just a few of this season’s bestsellers, but visit the site to see the entire collection and help spread the word – not that sustainability can be or should be luxurious, but that sustainable practices define luxury.

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Allison Beauregard

Allison is a New York City based writer with a focus on sustainability. Her work demonstrates how it is possible to have the “things” that make us happy without compromising the resources that provide these goods. With this vision, Allison sees a future where environmental degradation is reversed and the quality of human life is equally distributed. She is the Category Editor of The Franklin Report and was among the top 5 contributors for Elephant Journal in October 2014.

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