It’s important to note: this back-handed aphorism isn’t one we use cavalierly. In fact, it’s actually an indelible part of our history. Way back before nau was nau, when we were merely a zygote, a Michael Franti t-shirt caught the eye of our founder. In three words, its bold, unapologetic message perfectly captured the idea behind his radically new business model—or more appropriately deemed—his UNbusiness model. His idea: to create a venture that would undo and unravel the damage that traditional businesses have caused the environment and be the first major apparel company built on sustainability.
He borrowed the axiom and distilled it into a single acronym—UTW—which later became the initial name of our fledging company and has since become (and will always be) our modus operandi. So with that said….
It’s no surprise: our resolution is the same resolution we’ve had since we started—to unfuck the world. Some people might think it’s too lofty, a bit audacious, maybe even haughty. But if we stick to miniscule goals and understated intentions then that’s all we’ll ever accomplish. And we’re fairly certain great ideas weren’t built on losing five pounds in a year or drinking one less cup of coffee a day.
Not to demean personal goals, but we tend to believe that people underestimate their own ability to surprise themselves. So they aim low and take it slow hoping that if they make it to the gym three times a week, they’ve reached their yearly potential. But we can do more, so much more.
Just look at some of the Provocateurs we featured last year. Sean Carasso invented a business model to end a war. His nonprofit, Falling Whistles, helps educate the masses and mobilize Peace forces in the Congo—all by selling whistles. Allison Arieff, former editor of Dwell magazine and current blogger for the NY Times is changing the way we think about sustainable design. And Drummond Lawson—part chemist, part wizard—gleans inspiration from natural ecosystems and blends it with science to create cleaning solutions that even mother nature would use.
Of course, they all have one thing in common—they dream big. They don’t just THINK it’s possible to unfuck the world, they KNOW it’s possible. And we do too. We don’t just want to design clothes that work well and feel good and tread lighter on the earth, we want to change the way an industry does business. Yeah, it’s lofty. It’s far-reaching. But we believe it’s possible. And that’s all that matters.
Words by Leighann Franson.