It's nice being back for week, checking in on stores, talking to customers. We learn something with every meeting and every visit.We're off to Las Vegas after a week in Portland headed for the Gourmet Housewares Show. We'll be showcasing our range of products in our new eco-friendly, FSC-certified custom-made booth.Our final day here, we were dismayed to learn today that Nau, a brand we rooted and cheered for over the last nineteen months is shutting down its operations. Nau was formed in Portland, but had a reach that far extended this city. We admired their unconventional and conscientious approach to the fashion business, busting the paradigms of the fashion/performance apparel industry.For us, the clothing didn't quite work.. We liked what they were trying to do. we shared a kinship with them, their roots and their sense of purpose.I am sure there are numerous factors that forced Nau to make this tough decision. Too aggressive a growth plan, too many costs, designs not quite right, or a flawed retail strategy. But they went for it. And for that, we stand and applaud. Because we stand in firm belief that a company can and should be responsible to the world at large. For the sake of our planet and our well-being.The company's announcement today.
In the current highly risk-averse capital market, we simply could not raise the necessary funds to continue to move forward. We believe this is not so much a reflection of the viability of our business, but the result of an unfortunate confluence of events. Just as we could not have predicted the sudden groundswell of environmental consciousness that blossomed at the time we launched our business, we did not foresee the current crisis in the capital markets. At this time, investors are loath to invest in anything; especially, it appears, a company like Nau that has the audacity to challenge conventional paradigms of what a business should be.
We are, of course, eternally thankful to a large community of people, including the investors who got us this far—those who saw our potential and gave their support when the risk was greatest. We would also like to express our most sincere gratitude to our customers as well as our partner non-profit organizations, our business associates, our friends in the media as well as the countless others who have cheered us and challenged us along the way. It has been an honor working with and serving all of you. Your unflagging support and enthusiasm has inspired us to work diligently on your behalf and we regret we will not be able to serve you in the future.
In the end, we are proud of what we have accomplished as a company. After less than one year of business, we donated over $223,000 through our customer-directed giving program, Partners for Change. We feel this model, were it widely adopted, could have staggering potential to influence the common good. We are thrilled to have watched the community of individuals who have strongly identified with Nau’s mission and who have shared their thoughts and feelings with us online and in person, in our local markets and around the globe. We also salute the larger community of artists, athletes, and activists whose passions have inspired us to do what we do and who have welcomed us as a part of a much greater movement devoted to positive change.
Nau set out to show the world that business can be a force for positive social and environmental change. Although our current financial obstacles have proven to be insurmountable, it does not mean the ideas associated with Nau are unattainable. Nau was merely one attempt to express a larger idea that was around before us and will survive long after. It remains as urgent as ever for businesses to take the lead in creating a sustainable future for humans and the planet. We, as individuals and as members of a grander collective of the change-minded, look forward to continuing that journey.
The Team At Nau"