Over the last few years, clothing companies Horny Toad, Nau and Lizard Lounge have redefined corporate philanthropy and the retail experience by helping customers connect social and environmental responsibility to the shopping experience. Last Thursday evening, these three eco-friendly businesses got together for a barbeque to celebrate their success in tough economic times, as well as honor their commitment to the power of business as a force for change. I was thrilled to attend this event, and to receive a check from Nau supporting Mercy Corps’ environmental, social and humanitarian programs.
Through a unique Partners for Change program involving customer choice and participation, Nau gives two percent of every sale to one of five charitable organizations. At the time of each and every purchase, customers are given the opportunity to consider where they would like to help effect change. Additionally, when Nau sells products to retail partners, two percent of those sales are also donated to these community partners in a manner that mirrors the choices their customers make at nau.com.
It was a perfect evening for the event and an ideal location. Nau employee Tyson and his wife Sujata hosted the event in the spectacular garden at their Portland home. After many business challenges between 2005 and 2008, Nau reinvented itself under the ownership of California apparel company Horny Toad. The party’s joyful mood was a celebration of recent success and a reflection on charitable partnerships. Horny Toad CEO Gordon Seabury presented me with a check for $16,797 for Mercy Corps.
Nau also just announced their first annual Grant for Change, a $10,000 grant designed to support those who instigate lasting, positive change in their communities. This year, they are accepting nominations until August 17, 2009 for:
- Athletes who are challenging assumptions about what it means to move through the world.
- Artists, designers or other creatives who are moved to design better solutions to the world’s greatest problems.
- Activists who are seeding positive change in their communities, and moving others to do the same.
Mercy Corps appreciates this donation and is proud to be one of Nau’s Partners in Change.