Beauty, Performance and Sustainability are the three principles that drive the folk at Nau, the outdoor lifestyle clothing and bag company. You'll notice Price isn't included. Shoehorning that trio of attributes into a product is harder work, than simply squeezing a product to get the cheapest price. So, although Nau might be value for money, the ticket price might cause some potential customers to shy away from experiencing the brand's quality apparel.
In typical creative fashion, Nau have dreamed up a solution: The Changing Room. Buy from eight selected winter garments, (mostly those over $250) and Nau will bill your credit card for just 50% of the cost. Nau reckon you'll be so thrilled after wearing them for 30 days you'll want to keep it (you'll then be billed the remainder). If not so enthralled, simply return the garment for a full refund, and Nau will even pick up the return shipping costs.
This is not a new idea. I remember, as child, my mother forever bringing home unpaid for stuff from the town's shops. "On appro," she called it (On Approval.) The stores knew her personally and trusted her to do the right thing.
Nau are counting on their customers to exhibit the same degree of trust. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal blog, Nau CEO Gordon Seabury, observed that the company's sustainability and recycled material branding attracts a socially-responsible customer base.
Gordon told the Wall Street Journal, "It seemed like a great opportunity to convert customers that are looking at us or have heard about the brand but don't have the ability to touch and feel [the products],"Going on to say, "There's an extremely high level of confidence that they will be satisfied and never want to give the product back."
Nau's product is impeccably designed and constructed, from mostly recycled polyester, organic cotton, wool and down with 2% from every sale going to environmental and social NGOs. The generally subdued colour palette and quality finish should see the garments living a long life. Which is all part of the grand design, for as Nau wrote in the blog at the start of this year, " .... now that people are buying less, they're going to expect more. They're going to be sure that what they do buy is going to serve their needs and last them a long time, and they're going to buy from companies they trust and believe in."
The Changing Room program runs until 31 October 2009 for online purchases only. The products included are easily identified on the website, by their special clothes hanger icons.
More Nau Eco Clothing:
• Nau For Something Completely Different: Nau Bags it
• Nau 1.0 Interview Part 1
• The Nau 1.0 Interview Part 2
• The No Logo concept
• Doors Closing Nau: Iconic Eco-Business Winds Up
• Nau, Outdoor Eco Clothier, Lives to Ride Again
• How Nau? Interview for Nau 2.0 part 1
• How Nau? Interview for Nau 2.0 part 2