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Portland-based Nau is an almost one-year-old outdoor apparel company formed by smart people who came from Marmot, Nike and Patagonia, and VP of product design Mark Galbraith is the super design-centric person who sources Nau’s responsible materials and fabrication. Founder Eric Reynolds based the company on a philosophy called UTW (that would be “Unfuck the World”). So why start a company at all? Well, to exert some control or influence on culture, for one. But Nau’s mission was also to take design as a philosophical basis for changing the way business is done (woohoo!).

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The Nau product is just the physical representation of that philosophy; they established an Ideal Garment Criteria. First they really tried to twist the traditional uses for certified, responsible organic cottons and wools (no hemp-y, crunchy fabrics here), as well as polyester made from post-consumer waste. The clothes themselves are designed with recyclability in mind so they can deconstruct your parka easily. Another material, polylactic acid (PLA), is made from corn.

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