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|Monday, January 01, 2007|
Portland clothing company Nau plans to build its future on social responsibility.
By Oakley Brooks
In late 2004, the handful of people starting outdoor clothing company Nau faced a tossup. Founder Eric Reynolds, who started the legendary Marmot outdoor brand, wanted the company located in Boulder, Colo., where he lived. CEO Chris Van Dyke, a former Nike exec, wanted it in his hometown of Portland. Van Dyke won out because he stood firm on two things: He wasn’t moving to Boulder, and as he puts it, “this is an Oregon company.”
Nau (pronounced “now”) is a bold venture looking to set a new standard for corporate citizenship in the high-profile apparel industry — an effort so concerted that even the Nau clothing color palette is chosen for longevity to prevent wastefulness. For that, “this is a better place,” Van Dyke says, sitting in Nau’s headquarters in Portland’s Pearl District. “There’s a thoughtfulness here. And as a brand, being from Oregon is a huge plus.” Indeed, the company’s image and the look of its clothing seems to be springing from the sophisticated-yet-outdoorsy culture that has come to define Portland. (It also hasn’t hurt that there’s plenty of creative apparel minds around town.) “The identity of the place is really something to be celebrated,” says Ian Yolles, Nau’s vice president of marketing.
IF A STARTUP’S FUTURE SUCCESS were based solely on a management team’s experience, Nau would seem headed for the stratosphere. Soon after Reynolds (who’s since left Nau) talked to Van Dyke about the company idea in mid-2004, Van Dyke assembled a seasoned group of eight interested folks drawn from his days as a top marketing executive at Nike and Patagonia.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MARK BLAINE | OB BLOGGER
The publisher of the Emerald Media Group moves on, leaving a cutting edge media group that depends on business acumen for its survival.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
The “polar vortex” of 2014 seems to have finally thawed and we believe this change in weather will bring more sunshine to the U.S. economy as well.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
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Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest means enjoying our wonderful surroundings, while remaining aware of the multiple types of natural disaster threats that we face: winter storms, windstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.“
Oregon State University's hospitality degree program invests in next-generation leaders.
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Samuel Hernandez, an Associate at Barran Liebman, is the recipient of a 2014 Oregon State Bar Litigation Section Rising Litigator Award.