Sustainable Retail- NAU Shopfronts

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Could we see more of these stores in the future? Nau is a clothing company in Portland, Oregon that takes the concept of sustainability to heart. Going back to Philip Delamore’s talk in week 1 of how wasteful today’s fashion and retail industry is, Nau’s solution is quite a refreshing change and may help solve the waste problem in said industries.


Nau Webfronts blurs the line between digital shopping and the retail store experience. Creative director Hal Arneson believes in the company’s mission statement of sustainability and his team created the Webfronts experience. Customers can try on clothing before using an in-site kiosk to digitally order the item to their home. This approach addresses Delamore’s notions of how retail stores today focus on ordering a bunch of items and hoping all will be sold (which they won’t).

The process involves customers scanning product cards that corresponds to an item which brings up the item’s details. This experience allows the customer to be more pro-active and be initiative, they are doing the orders themselves and thus, the item will be delivered by demand. Admittedly I would want to try this system out just for the experience- something different as well as being sustainable. If this system would be adopted by more retail chains, perhaps it will reduce retail waste in the long run as we return to the past process of ‘production by demand’.


Sherin, A.  2008, “SustainAble: a handbook of materials and applications for graphic designers and their clients’, Rockport Publishers, Inc., Beverly, Massachussetts


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