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Road To Relaunch Part 10 – Open For Business Unusual…Again

Posted by admin | October 21st, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized


We’ve been busy working our you know what’s off so we could relaunch our new website and introduce our Fall 09 line. Well, we’re finally there. We crossed that particular finish line and now we’re back in business (unusual).

Saying we’re happy to be back would be an understatement. We’re ecstatic. If you’re reading this, you’ve undoubtedly contributed to bringing Nau back to life. Whether you have Nau hanging in your closet, or know one of us who works here, or have been engaged with The Thought Kitchen, you know what Nau is doing to try to contribute to positive change. We wouldn’t be here without your support.
Thank you. We are deeply grateful.

As we welcome you back, it seems fitting to draw upon the meaning of Nau itself. In the Maori language it translates to “Welcome. Come in.” And, please let us know what you think.

The Gang At Nau

43 Responses to “Road To Relaunch Part 10 – Open For Business Unusual…Again”

  • October 21, 2008 at 8:33 am | Nick says

    Congratulations! Been waiting for this for a long time – best of luck!

  • October 21, 2008 at 9:10 am | Brooks Jordan says

    Awesome, way to fail . . . and then keep going. It will be a pleasure to watch you evolve and participate as a customer.

  • October 21, 2008 at 9:36 am | Robert Devereux says

    Welcome back. I like the new Web site, it’s a lot better than the old Flash one. The product line is nice, although I hoped some other things from last winter would return, like the Men’s Shroud of Purrin Trench and gloves. Now, if only I hadn’t spent so much on the liquidation sale, I can’t afford a huge order yet, just a modest one.

  • October 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Josie says


    Thanks for the complements. I have good news for you! The Men’s Shroud of Purrin Trench is coming back in Fall 2009. You have one entire year to dream about it, and then it can be yours.

  • October 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Bob Jones says

    Welcome back Hal and co.! Great to see NAU back up and running (I knew you would be as great ideas tend to rise and come back in a different, but often improved form),and you can count on me to spread the word. We’ve since moved from Bozeman to Vermont, so I’ll do my best to pass the new site along – which looks and more importantly, functions great – to any and all I know.
    Bob Jones
    Manchester, Vermont
    PS: Hi to HAL!!!

  • October 21, 2008 at 7:38 pm | Aaron says

    Glad to see you’re back! The new site and products look great.

  • October 21, 2008 at 10:38 pm | Mark Mc says

    Wow, congrats guys! The site looks amazing, and please tell D. Barrett that the hue on that Riding Jacket does really good things for him. Please be sure to include the electric blue in Spring 09! Awesome work by all-

  • October 22, 2008 at 10:40 am | Ian says


    Thanks! Hal, who is sitting beside me, says hello and wants to know when the two of you can go fishing.

    Mark Mc,

    You just returned from fishing. What’s the next step looking like?

  • October 22, 2008 at 10:43 am | Brett says

    Nice job on the new website! Did ZAAZ do the remodel? It makes way more sense from a usability perspective. Congrats and hats off to all your hard work.

  • October 23, 2008 at 7:03 am | kelley says

    Hi, I’ve been anxiously waiting for the opening of your new site. I have to say though, that I can’t believe how expensive everything is. Can anybody really afford those prices? Your site talks a lot about being “off the grid” but you would have to own the grid to afford those prices. I’ll be very surprised if this site lasts over 4 months.

  • October 23, 2008 at 10:05 am | Tien says

    Hi, I’ve been waiting for the relaunch all summer and fall. The clothing line is great and unique as usual but the pricing is outragious. I remember the jackets, shirts, and pants were reasonably price. Now, I can’t imagine buying a jacket at $300 to $400. Anyways, good luck with the line.

  • October 24, 2008 at 12:31 am | Michael says

    Congrats on the new launch! Really think your clothes are great but am disappointed that you didn’t bring back the Men’s Lean Jeans from your line last season – those were such a great fit and reasonably priced compared to other jeans these days. Please bring them back!

  • October 24, 2008 at 10:13 am | Ian says


    We weren’t able to bring back our jeans due to the transition we’ve just been through and how that effected fabric availability. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the jeans will be back for our Fall 09 season. We’ll also be adding an additional style. So, please be patient.

  • October 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm | leek says

    I’m definitely not a high-income person, and I’ve been trying to adhere to the “treasuring” idea (didn’t know it was called that). Buying less – only getting what I truly need, and when I do buy something not settling for the ordinary. So when I heard Nau were coming back, I started saving up, and when the site opened I placed an order. I probably spent more than I should have, but I see this as an investment. Not just in a jacket for myself, but in the future. You see, being green, treating workers well, considering both form and function – all of this could become the new normal. I’m in this world for the long haul, I hope businesses like Nau are too. The only way they can be is if we support them.

  • October 24, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Jimmy says


    how ethnic of you!

  • October 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Ian H says

    if you want to address all dimensions of sustainability as it applies to community, then perhaps begin to draw your attention to people here in the united states. turn to the people in your own backyard who are hurting financially and need work, and give them jobs. wouldn’t it be cool if you could honestly say that your products are manufactured in the USA? I’ve read on your website about you receiving your materials from Teijin, an Asian company. However, could you receive materials from Asia while having them manufactured in the USA? This would help you come closer to you truly meeting your ideals of sustainability. Right now, you have the top 10% of America well accounted for, as your consumer base. However, you might do well to also cater to the middle class by offering jobs – jobs with good pay and benefits – that would help people and the economy here in our own country.

  • October 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm | kelley says

    To Leek:

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, but if you really want to invest in the future then maybe you should actually save your money and not buy $300 shirts.

  • October 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm | George says

    “To Leek:

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, but if you really want to invest in the future then maybe you should actually save your money and not buy $300 shirts. ”


  • October 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm | sc says

    As a conscious consumer, I don’t buy new things for the heck of it. However, the purchase of a nau product represents a higher quality product that will last for many years. Some will out live us. Moreover, Nau is mindful of the environment and has a foundation built on sustainability. Nau 1.0 gave over $220,000 to local, national, and multi-national change agents and the customer chose where those donations went. Nau 2.0 will carry that on as well. Nau is an investment in our communities. Nau is an investment in energy technology. Nau is an investment because you won’t have to buy a new outerwear piece every 3 or 4 years. Even more, Nau inspires future generations to plant seeds that will influence the rest of the world to develop innovation through the triple bottom line.

    Their isn’t anything singular about doing business in the 21st century. Thank you… from Chicago!

  • October 26, 2008 at 8:51 am | pierce says

    Hey guys,

    Congrats on the relaunch! The new site is rocking. Glad to see everything is back up and running. Nice work.

  • October 27, 2008 at 1:21 pm | maxwell says

    There’s a lot of integrity language all over your site, so it will be interesting if/how you answer this question:

    Since charity goes hand in hand with your marketing approach, doesn’t it make you feel a bit lousy that you blew about 22 million on NAU 1.0 and only gave 220,000 to charity? I wonder, how many mouths you could have fed if NAU had spent less on eco snazzy stores.

    Your designs are great, but I beg you, could you do us all a favor and go lighter on the high-minded hubris this time around?

  • October 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Ian H says

    maxwell brought up a very honest point – probably painfully true, for you guys. if you really want to make this a “forum for lively discussions around positive change” then i’d like to hear what you would say to maxwell.

  • October 28, 2008 at 3:02 am | originalgardener says

    it is good to see that you re back! you’re website rocks!

  • October 28, 2008 at 10:49 am | sc says

    I don’t have a solid number of how much capital nau needed to develop sustainable textiles, retail stores, and other business elements. What I do know is many industries and individuals throughout the world are in a better space for it. Nothing is perfect and mistakes take place, that said, failure happens in business, relationships, and life. No one should “feel a bit lousy” about failure. It only makes solid progress for business and individual life founded in authenticity.

    For engagement purpose, could you define high-minded hubris for me? Thanks for the real-time conversation.

  • October 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Ian says


    It does make us feel lousy that we failed the first time around. As Ian H said, it is painful. We think about it every day. What we’ve tried to do is pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and move forward with what we hope will be a successful enterprise. We’ve made some changes this second time around. What we’ll continue to do is try to do be transparent with the how behind our business, why we’ve made the choices we’ve made and how we intend to proceed based on our learning’s. We’ve definitely been humbled.

  • October 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm | maxwell says

    What I meant by high-minded hubris is this:

    And, seriously, I’m not trying to be a blog hater here…

    It just seems a bit lame for a company to preach feel-good sustainability, after blowing millions in VC.

    Think of it this way, we all expect Vince Neil to end up in rehab because what he preaches points directly toward this fate. But if Natalie Merchant ended up in Betty Ford after a coke-fueled rampage, her fans would feel duped and wouldn’t nod “tell it sister” when she tells us to rock the vote or whatever.

    My guess is that companies like Patagonia become sustainably cool because they start small — really small — and subtly earn their eco stripes.

    I’m not telling you to go out of business based on running NAU 1.0 like a Dotbomb, but just go a bit lighter on the holier-than-thou marketing, when you should be feeling a bit more like Jimmy Swaggart then Yvon Chouinard right now.

  • October 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm | leek says

    How many companies even make it a part of their business plan to give part of their profits away like this? Sure, they might support the symphony, but seriously? We jump all over the companies that try to do a good thing and say “you aren’t doing enough” and let other companies that do nothing get away with it because we expect MORE somehow from the eco-aware company? Double standard much?

  • October 28, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Bob Jones says

    Ian, Mark Mc and my boy Hal,

    In answer to your question as to when we might wet a line, you tell Hal to name the time and place and we’ll make it happen. Had my first fish of the Battenkill/Vermont this past Sunday and I’ll have it dialed by the time Hal hits our fair state. Which I hope is soon.

    Peace to all of you. Keep up the good work.

    Bob Jones-
    Manchester, Vermont

  • October 28, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Michael, Calgary AB, Canada says


    Canada is ready for your product! I would be interested in establishing NAU up here in the north!

    Michael, Calgary AB, Canada

  • October 29, 2008 at 8:04 am | Arthur says

    Well, the first time around came and went and I missed it all together but now I hope NAU is here to stay. I hope the business model has changed though. I am excited and look forward to the growth and creativity that you all hold in your hands. I am going shopping!

  • October 29, 2008 at 10:48 am | jan liverance says

    Nice group pic. Looks like the brunette to the far right is wearing the shroud of purrin trench. I’m hoping that you’ll keep this silhouette because it’s both edgy and classic enough to become a wardrobe staple for me, but i’d love it in another color. I’m a bit ‘blacked out’ right now wardrobe wise and i’m noodling around how the brown might work for me. Fingers crossed that you’ll venture into some colorways next season that are still neutral but introduce a touch of blue, dark violet and green.

    I have to say, i like the looks of the knit shirt worn by the blonde, 2nd in from the left. And that deep twilight color – can’t tell if it’s gray or just a great deep violet – is something you might keep in mind for future product.

  • October 31, 2008 at 10:00 am | Skunkabilly says

    Come on people, lighten up.

    Yes, their stuff is expensive, but Nau stuff works for both foul weather and trotting around town, so will come out cheaper than having two jackets. And for those of us who are really cheap, we’ll just gamble and hope what we want is still in stock at the end-of-season sale.

    They’re doing something different here, so there’s a price tag. Waiting sucks, but I can still have my instant gratification at the Taco Bell drive-through and my digital camera LCD :)

    Other than the button-up fly, I’m excited for Nau 2.0. Kudos to Nau for dusting themselves off.

  • November 4, 2008 at 8:02 am | Leslie says

    As the saying goes… You get what you pay for. Also, it’s quality and not quantity.

    1 1/2 years ago, while visiting Portland, I stepped into my first Nau store. Immediately, I was drawn to the beautiful simple colors. I touched the superb fabric and examined the amazing designs and attention to detail. I was excited, finally some clothes made for me. I looked at the price tag and was disappointed because of the expensive price. I left the store without trying anything on and ended up not buying anything. Back home, I thought of their clothes often. One day, I finally splurged and ordered online a pair of pants and a couple of shirts. On my first order, I was pleased to discover that they donated a percentage of their profits to charity. After my new clothes arrived at my doorstep, I was thrilled that they were perfect. To this day, I’ve never found clothes that fit so well. I was instantly hooked. Over the next year, I bought and few more pieces when I could and even got my husband hooked on Nau. We both get compliments on our clothing all the time.

    I was glad that this summer wasn’t the end of Nau and I welcome the new Nau 2.0.

  • November 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Kent Little says

    Gosh, Mark looks so serious……… Somone put hime in the orgasmatron would ya…. Smile baby Smile.

  • November 6, 2008 at 3:56 am | Andrew Paterson says

    Very happy & proud to see you guy’s back and running ! We’ll also do our best to send folks your way as we work towards our common goals.

    Bravo from all of us at Laneo !!

    Andrew Paterson / Founder – President

  • November 6, 2008 at 8:41 am | Margaret says

    Thanks for all of the effort in bringing Nau back. I heard through the grapevine at work that you guys were back online, and had a hard time thinking about anything other than how soon I could visit your site (besides Tuesday’s amazing feat that is). I have a few Nau things, all of which fit impeccably, have held up considerably well with consistent wear, and get repeated compliments each time I wear them. I agree with some others that the prices can be a bit high, but I think the thing to think about is that these are an investment that do not need to be replaced each season, but will last for years to come. I like to think of it as the difference between eating organic vs. Safeway: costs a bit more but well worth it in the long run + I appreciate knowing that part of my money goes to a cause rather than just the bottom line.

  • November 6, 2008 at 10:30 am | Ian says

    Margaret, Andrew, Leslie, Skunkabilly,

    Thank you. Thank you.


    Mark can look serious from time to time but you know he’s not really that way. The man has a wicked and slightly twisted sense of humor.


    the Shroud of Purrin Trench is back. We’ve added a new color (orchid). The knit shirt worn by Josie (2nd from the left) is actually our Chrysallis Dress. Its super cool. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it won’t be back in the line until spring so please be patient. We called that color “soot.” when it comes back in spring we’ll have it in three colors.

  • November 7, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Evi says

    Dear Nau crew,

    I’d like to start by saying congratulations on your relaunch. I was very sad to see such a wonderful clothing line disappear as fast as it came about. What you offer is very needed in todays market and I hope that this time it is here to stay. Your new website is much better without the flash.

    Second I just feel like I need to express this so it doesn’t sit in the back of may head and bug me. I feel a slight sense of irritation that I was one of the unlucky people to order something that didn’t fit me during the week you went bankrupt and it is still hanging in the back of my closet tags and all
    I sent it back before you posted the news and it was returned to me. I paid shipping 3 times on that item, once to me, once to you and then to have it shipped back when you didn’t accept the return. That was over $20 in shipping and now I am stuck with a very beautiful warm coat that will always be too small. I have tried to sell it on ebay and even give it away but the measurements are tiny. This sort of thing normally wouldn’t bother me this much but I am a single work at home mom and I can’t afford $175 for a new one. Your bank people sent me a check for $11 as if that would make up some kind of difference, ha! Maybe a nice cup of green tea and a scone but I still don’t have a cozy fleece and I can’t bring myself to go buy some ecologically yucky one.

    So my point now that I got that off my chest is that I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I know that many people had a hard time dealing with you at the “end” and lost money on you.The letter I got from your lawyer had pretty big figures. I think that it is important that you honor your customers that lost money on you if you ever want them back. Say sorry or thanks or anything to acknowledge them. If you really have the high integrity that you present I think that you need to extend it to all areas of business , especially the human side.

    I am glad to see you are back and I wish you the best of luck.


  • November 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm | JR Moreau says

    Best of luck! Just discovered your company through treehugger.com and I plan on supporting your product line. The US desperately needs more ecologically made (and domestically) clothing and consumer products available. Good job!

  • November 10, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Josie says


    First, I’d like to give you a long over-due apology from everyone at Nau 1.0 and Nau 2.0 for the perfect storm that brought about your situation. I’d also like to thank you for your honest and respectful blog comment. I’m sure it wasn’t easy considering you were out $100 when all was said and done. Having to close down the business was very painful, particularly given the impact it had on employees, business partners and customers. We don’t take it lightly.

    In your case you fall into a small category of customers who purchased something just before we went out of business, and tried sending it back within the valid return policy window. You did everything exactly right. Unfortunately, your timing couldn’t have been worse because Nau went out of business before we got the item back into our office. In an effort to treat all creditors equally, Nau 1.0 couldn’t credit you for the jacket so it was returned to you. At that point you became a creditor. In order to be fair, you were treated like all creditors and received an equal percentage resulting from the proceeds of the liquidation. By now, I’m sure this “legal” part of the process makes sense, but I totally understand that from a personal and financial point of view, it leaves nothing less than a bad taste in your mouth. If I were you, I’d need to get if off my chest too.

    Now that Nau has been resurrected through a partnership with Horny Toad, we’re addressing Nau 1.0 customers one at a time as they come to us. After receiving your email and reading your blog post today we literally sat in a circle here in our office and talked about your situation. We asked ourselves what is fair for you while at the same time being fair to all of the Nau 1.0′s creditors and realistic for Nau given our new circumstances. As you might imagine, this situation is not black or white. We hope you accept our apology for this messy situation since all you wanted was a warm cozy, environmentally friendly fleece jacket. I’ll follow up with an email to you and we’ll try to make this right.

    Lastly, I applaud you for not buying the yucky fleece instead. It speaks loudly about your dedication to making conscious decisions about what you buy, even after your experience with Nau.
    Warmest regards,


  • November 20, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Evi says

    Dear Josie,

    Thank you so much for the really wonderful response to my blog post. I am so pleased that what I wrote provoked conversation which is really the best thing I could ask for. I hoped you would take a moment and think about what peoples perception of your company might be. It feels great to know that you are not just using your ideals as a platform but that you really live by those principles and run your company by them.

    People ask me all the time where my Merino2 base layer came from and I love that I can now say your back in business and send them your way. I’m so glad I wrote my feelings to you, because I did need to get it of my chest and now I will be able to shop with you and feel no irritation for what happened. Now I am left with the warm fuzzy positive feeling I had when I first discovered your company last year.

    Oh I do have one other little request how about some babies and toddlers clothing. I have to order wool baby base layers from Europe and they only come in cream. That’s something that is really missing from the market place eco-savy, stylie outdoor clothes for the babes and tots. How about the purrin petit jacket???

    Thank you again so much for your response. I really honor what you are doing and wish you much abundance for the relaunch. Now I must get back to work so I can buy myself a flourish dress before they are out of stock…

    Best regards,

  • January 13, 2009 at 11:11 pm | Gary says

    Please bring back the grey riding jacket!

  • January 14, 2009 at 9:10 am | Ian Yolles says


    The Riding Jacket has been a huge hit. We re-introduced it this Fall but it sold out online. It will be back in Spring so please be patient.

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