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Archive for July, 2009

pictures and sound

Posted by ben | July 30th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized


Last week at Outdoor Retailer, my good friend Luke Reynolds and his band Pictures and Sound helped the Conservation Alliance celebrate their 20th Anniversary with an outdoor concert at Café Molise. Luke poured good energy into the performance and was joined by Gabe Nelson of Cake on the bass and the energetic Pete McNeal on the drums. Pete has recorded and toured with a long list of artists, most recently with Norah Jones. The set included some improvised jams and covers that had the crowd dancing, and Luke closed with a solo set that included a tribute to our friends Jonny, Micah, and Wade who were recently lost in an avalanche while attempting a new climbing route in China.

It was a fitting celebration for the Conservation Alliance and its grantees, as they have had an amazing year with many huge victories, most notably the signing of the Ominibus Public Land Management Act which protected three million acres of wilderness and over a thousand miles of rivers across the US, and the expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve in Canada’s Northwest Territories by 7 million acres.

benmoon2Over the past several years, Luke has collaborated with organizations such as Farm Aid, VH1 Save The Music, and Rock The Vote, in addition to having worked on multiple greening initiatives within the music industry.  He has been a part of the Nau family ever since he and Emilie Lee created a short film about his songwriting in the early days of The Collective called “Finding Balance”. I met Luke around that time while he was in Utah writing songs for the Pictures And Sound album. We hit it off immediately during a trail run and realized we shared an appreciation for the outdoors, good music, and avocados.

I often get asked why I photograph music and it’s not a simple answer, but if you were able to watch Luke bringing a song from a one line scribbled note to a full three minute track (he plays over a dozen instruments) in a matter of hours you would understand! The creative charge I get from seeing a musician work is immeasurable. Luke is currently collaborating on a host of projects all slated for release next year, keep an ear out for new material here.

Nau is going global

Posted by Gordon | July 28th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

lizardlounge2While Nau is only officially on its first lap with its refined distribution plan to add select outdoor, fashion and eco-friendly retail partners to the network of places to buy Nau product, the retail community has already welcomed us with open arms.  Fresh off an inspiring week at Outdoor Retailer and getting prepared for the Project fashion tradeshow at the beginning of September, it is comforting to see demand for Nau’s blend of beauty, performance and sustainability prove popular beyond the direct to consumer only model.

Even in these challenging economic times and following a successful 12 key retailer test in Fall 2008/Spring 2009, Nau will be offered in more than 60 specialty retailers and counting this coming September in most major cities and resort markets in the U.S. as well as select retailers in Japan and Europe.  We could not be more pleased with reception from the various retail communities and are looking forward to spreading the word about the product, brand and company philosophy.

Thanks to all the retailers that are embracing our efforts to spread the message of positive change and stay tuned for the list of retailers near you to shop locally and enjoy the Fall 2009 Nau product in 3D.  (coming August 18)

paint chips and climate control

Posted by admin | July 24th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

photo by Marmel Radziner Prefab

As a first time homeowner I have been deep in a paint chip frenzy. The future colors of my abode has suddenly become a major concern of mine. Is my kitchen a spanish red or more of a chili pepper red? Which color defines me as a person and reflects my personal style best?

I had originally decided to paint the outside of my house lagoon; a phenomenal shade from our Spring 10 line. If I could marry a color it would be this one. It’s like prussian blue and cerulean had a baby and named it lagoon. A more perfect shade has never existed as far as I am concerned.

But then I read an article that changed my perception of color entirely.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently said that whitening the world’s roofs and roads would have the same effect on global warming as removing all the world’s cars for 11 years. White roofs can also cut air conditioning costs by 20 percent, according to California’s Energy Commissioner. Even though this sounds too good to be true, recent research has discovered that this “whitewashing” may have more impact than originally thought. It amazes me that the simple act of painting your roof white could create such positive results. Maybe I am going about this color thing all wrong. To think that color can have such a huge influence on climate control is absolutely incredible. Looks like I will be painting my roof a lovely satin white this summer. I will keep you posted.

a masterpiece on wheels

Posted by Josie | July 21st, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

globebikesPortlanders are totally obsessed with bikes. We drool over the creative features of other bikes while dreaming of our next one.  We triple lock our bike sheds and hope we remember to lock the front door. It is no surprise that Portland recently spawned a new bike brand called “Globe” that will please everyone from the PDX fixie riders to the high-heel wearing businesswoman in Holland.

Looking through the Globe site I felt like Santa read my mind and came early this year.  The bikes have chainguards to keep the grease off my pants, fenders for the rain, built in lights that are impossible to forget at home and a kickstand to keep it upright in front of the burrito stand. Some even have a rack that I can use to pile on my fruit from the farmers market along with the vintage lamp I picked up at the yard sale on my way home. Each bike is more than just a pretty colored frame… the grips,  saddle, rims & fenders make the bike look like a piece of contemporary art.

I’m now officially obsessed with this particular bike. Oh yes, it will be mine.

lessons from an optimist- Grant For Change

Posted by Gordon | July 20th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

actlocalI am lucky enough to be on my way to a week at the Outdoor Industry tradeshow to spend time with some of the most inspiring leaders and athletes in the outdoor world.

While I am gone, the best advice I can give to believe the world will be a better place is to spend some time browsing the amazing work and accomplishments of the nominees we have received so far for our Nau annual Grant For Change program. Special people doing exceptional work to create positive change.

Make sure you vote and if you have a friend or colleague that is making a difference, get them in the mix with a nomination!

I spy from the design eye ….#1……

Posted by Peter | July 16th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

Well it’s my first blog writing EVER and I have to admit I am a bit nervous sharing in word form how the designs for Nau come to life, but I guess there’s no time like the present, and who knows, I might just become a prolific writer that can’t shut up about all my thoughts.  We’ll see about that….. but for now, and for Nau….. I wanted to share a bit of my perspective on Nau’s design as it unfolds each season, and in particular, the spring 2011 season I am starting.

peterWhat does “starting” mean you ask?  Well… in my role as Design Director, it means… gathering my thoughts by spending time in the outdoors,  hiking, climbing, skateboarding, sketching,  going to galleries, listening to music, biking , sewing , digging in the garden, basically , just sopping up life around me with all my senses.  This is the flavor I try to put into the designs we have at Nau, they reflect the life around us, and the quest to move seamlessly and comfortably throughout ones day.

For example, the other day while riding my bike to work I found myself lost in design thought.(this happens every time I ride) This form of transportation creates a beautiful lens to view design from, and creates a great platform for inspiration; a more comfortable sleeve, that just right pocket, a hood or no hood, what about the collar…… I become lost in function, and the texture of the city around me. Recently, this led to an amazing woman’s skirt for spring, and I had to stop and sketch it out………. I’ll keep you posted on its development, and all the things that influence our design.   Cheers,………

the dutch commute

Posted by Alex | July 13th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

dutchcommuteEarly yesterday morning, as I sat on the banks of a canal in Amsterdam assembling the boxed-up pieces of my bicycle, I realized I had completely underestimated what I was getting into.

Rachael and I had come to Holland to ride around the most bike-friendly country on the planet, and see how our hometown of Portland, Oregon compared. Rachael, whose family is Dutch, had tried her best to prepare me for what to expect, but coming from the most progressive cycling city in the US I figured I knew a lot about how substantial a role cycling could play in a community. Yet once there, pedal wrench in hand and eyes wide at the scene around me, I was beginning to understand that I had a lot to learn about just how deep cycling goes here.

Even to one familiar with the Dutch reputation for bike infrastructure, arriving on the streets of Amsterdam for the first time is astonishing. Bike racks, bike signals, and bike paths run along nearly every street, until many begin to look less like automobile throughways than bike routes with a car lane. Everywhere, the sturdy steel Dutch bikes-known as Nederlansefiets, with upright seats and step-through frames-stand chained to the railings, perched on bridges over the canals, and leaned up against shop windows. This I had expected. But ten thousand bikes stacked two-high in a parking lot spanning an entire city block? That put the term “bike-friendly” in perspective.

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where your packages come from…

Posted by Gordon | July 13th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

theo-penguin-colorIt was truly a pleasure last week when I was once again reminded of the special nature of our not-for-profit partner, Search in Chicago. This is an amazing organization that provides beautiful homes, quality life training and experiences for adults with developmental disabilities. They are also our partners that co-created Planet Access and Search for Adventure, the pick and pack operation that ships all of our product that then in turn funds an adventure travel and vacation program for these same adults.

I could spend a few paragraphs on all they do with these programs but probably best to provide the link for you to read for yourself.

That said, I had a chance to tour their latest masterpiece…a 36,000 SqFt life experience and arts center. This facility really epitomizes what Search is about…taking the practical needs of their members and satisfying those needs in ways that far exceed any possible expectation. Instead of generic classrooms in a sterile facility, they designed a magical New Orleans streetscape to provide a dynamic and real world environment in which their population can be truly inspired. Classrooms were more like workshops and as you walked through this beautiful facility, you quickly understand the point…you were a guest in a vibrant community.

Keep an eye out for gallery openings and possibly a t-shirt program promoting the terrific art coming out of their new arts studio (like the image above) and arrange for a tour if you find yourselves in the western suburbs of Chicago!

stoke missions

Posted by David | July 10th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

I was recently asked by a fellow travel-buff when and where my next “stoke mission” was.  Because of the type of traveling we have both done, I quickly responded that I didn’t have the time to take a trip anytime soon.  But then I got to thinking–a stoke mission doesn’t need to be a 2 month trip rambling around South America….does it?treasure_map

I am a firm believer that we need to do things in our lives to “stoke ourselves out”.  As Gordon mentioned recently, a trip unplugged from everything over the 4th of July was just what he needed.  Maybe these trips don’t need to be far away or for an extended period of time (although I usually prefer them that way)?  I feel like sometimes they’re just outside the door or right around the corner. Maybe it’s because I’m still fairly new to this city, but sometimes the best days are to just go outside and wander–visit a nearby park, play in an empty playground, drive to a part of the city that I’ve never been.

Don’t get me wrong… I’d take another surf trip down to Costa Rica in a heartbeat-that is a serious stoke mission.  But sometimes a trip like that just isn’t practical (it’s almost the rainy season down there anyway, isn’t it?).  If you’ve got any stoke missions on the horizon, or have any good ideas, let us know…we’d love to hear about them.

The $10,000 Grant for Change is Here

Posted by The Team at Nau | July 7th, 2009 | Filed under Compassionate Capitalism, Design, Positive Change, Who We Are


Today marks the launch of our first annual Grant for Change, a $10,000 grant designed to support those who instigate lasting, positive change in their communities.

It’s a project we’ve been working on for months, trudging feverishly through hours of meetings, debates, and revelations. It’s been a collective effort, with late nights, scattered moments, no blood or tears but definitely some sweat (though that could be from our recent heat wave, too).

And we’re finally ready to share it with you. This is exciting.

We’ll shift the focus of the grant each year, but this year, we’re dedicating it to those who move in the spirit of the Nau Collective, accepting nominations for

ATHLETES who are challenging assumptions about what it means to move through the world.

ARTISTS, designers or other creatives who are moved to design better solutions to the world’s greatest problems.

ACTIVISTS who are seeding positive change in their communities, and moving others to do the same.

You can learn more about the details of the grant – what it’s about, who it’s for, how it works, and why we’re doing it – on our website.

It’s inspiring stuff. There are amazing efforts in positive change happening all over the country. While working on this grant, we’ve met remarkable people with tireless commitment to causes as varied as climate change, transportation, urban agriculture, and clothing design.

The grant is nomination-based, and voter-driven, which means we’ll need your help to get it off the ground. Maybe this means you nominate yourself, or maybe it means you nominate your friends, or maybe it means you just spread the word and vote. When you check out our site to learn more, we hope something in there will trigger you to get involved.

Nominations for the grant are open ‘til August 17th, the voting ‘til August 31st.

And once you’re in, don’t hold back. The more nominees we get, the more stories of change we get to tell.

Nominate. Learn. Vote. This is the Grant for Change. Have at it. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do.