New ‘Nau Collective’ Launches to Bring Together Good Design and Conscious Brands

A new online space for curated, sustainable fashion. 

Nau is known for its simple lines and urban aesthetic. The sustainable Portland-based lifestyle brand represents a design ethos that is different in the world of fast fashion: make products that are meant to last, both in how they are made and in how they look, meant to be multipurpose, and meant to inspire a discussion about conscious consumption.

In that spirit, the brand is now launching the Nau Collective on its revamped website, a curated selection of brands and products that reflect good design for a conscious shopper. With the idea of “design for the conscious life” the collective will offer high-performance goods for a low-impact lifestyle, putting like-minded brands that have responsible design and a refined aesthetic all in one place.

Nau Collective is launching with five partner brands that include select styles from Nudie Jeans, blankets and throws from Pendleton’s Eco-Wise collection and select men’s and women’s footwear from the Timberland Boot Collection. The Collective also features co-branded gear from Klean Kanteen and Snow Peak, with goods like stainless steel reusable water bottles and flasks.

We caught up with General Manager Mark Galbraith to learn more about the Nau Collective and what being conscious means in a world of fast fashion.

What does “conscious shopper” mean to Nau? How does the Nau Collective embody that?

There is a discerning group of people that view themselves as global citizens and take that as a responsibility to make considered, conscious decisions about their life. These people are the early adopters who are having a positive influence in the world. The concept of Nau Collective is to bring like-minded companies together to engage with this progressive audience and bring about positive change. The Collective will expand our community and provide a curated offering of products and ideas for better living.

How much power does the consumer have in making positive change?

I compare consumer decision-making to voting in a democracy. It’s imperative for change. The support we give to companies and corporations by purchasing their products and services is essentially a vote with our dollars. The consumer has the ultimate power to vote for or against the type of companies and corporations we want in our world. The scale of this power is universally impactful, transcending the local, state or national level. The multi-national global corporation is the most powerful entity in the world; it trumps religion, race and national identity as a force for change. We, the consumers, have the choice of who and what we want to support.

In a world of “fast fashion” how are Nau and the other brands in the Nau Collective different?

Underlying the world of “fast fashion” is a dark reality of consume and discard. The effect is the same with a shirt we use for one season and then throw away, or the single use of a plastic cup or fork. The brands in the Nau Collective offer a more sustainable alternative to this trend. We are showing a collection of essential products that share a similar philosophy of clean, classic, long-lasting designs made in the lowest impact manner.

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.