A Portand, Oregon startup created by a handful of successful outdoor and apparel executives, Nau opened on of its first stores anywhere in Lincoln Park this year. A business that resulted from a group of friends brainstorming on ways to build a better mousetrap—better for the planet that is—Nau makes clothes that bridge a hitherto insurmountable gap: how do you dress for the great outdoors without looking like a walking fashion disaster. But beyond the sleek urban beauty of Nau’s designs are its business practices: a percent of each sale goes to a charity of the customer’s choice, and all of Nau’s clothes are created with sustainability as a major goal. So that shirt? It’s a blend of recycled polyester and cotton. Those underwear? Made of corn. And so on… One final detail: you go to the store and try on the clothes, then order them from the warehouse, from where they’ll be shipped to your house—and you’ll save ten percent for your convenience. It’s a way for the company to reduce the environmental footprint of its retail practice, to boot.
2118 North Halsted (773)281-1363
Best of Chicago 2007