Gear up locally for winter
'Tis the season for gift giving, and treating yourself, of course.
Luckily in Portland, it's easy to outfit yourself from head to toe in locally made goods.
Shopping local is more than just a fuzzy, feel-good mantra — it's a win-win-win. It reduces the carbon footprint of goods and services, keeps money circulating in the local economy and supports homegrown business owners as they rise from upstarts to nationally known brands, as is the case with many Portland companies.
Nau, a sustainable clothing company for men and women that started in Portland 10 years ago, is one of those rising stars.
The brand's sustainably sourced and made jackets, dresses, hats, scarves and handbags are sold by national retailers, including REI, Nordstrom, Zappos and resort-town boutiques.
Sustainability for Nau has meant far more than sourcing locally, says Mark Galbraith, general manager. It's about finding the best materials, with third-party organic traceability, the best factories and labor standards.
"The majority of organic cotton is not grown in the U.S; major textiles are not from the U.S.," he explains. And high-end polyester products don't originate here.
For instance, down comes from Europe or Asia, Merino wool from New Zealand, alpaca wool from Peru, recycled polyester from Japan or Taiwan.
People have embraced sustainability when it comes to their food chain, Galbraith says. But "when it comes to clothing, people haven't quite turned their perceptions that way." He wants Nau to be like Apple, or Tesla, serving as technology that was designed to perform the function of outerwear.
Here are more Oregon-based shops with a sustainable ethos to outfit yourself for the winter. (Hint: Grab those holiday sales while they last.)
• Pendleton Woolen Mills, 220 N.W. Broadway Ave., Portland
What's cozier than a wool cardigan, a flannel zip hoodie, a cashmere turtleneck or a well-made winter beanie? Not much. Here, you can browse among the iconic Eastern Oregon brand's latest premiere items, hand-woven in the United States since 1863.
• Danner Shoe Store, 1022 W. Burnside St., and 12021 N.E. Airport Way, Portland
Much more than men's work boots, this storied brand launched its North Portland factory in the 1940s and made a name as one of the first makers of waterproof hiking boots. Today their men's and women's boots of all styles reach customers worldwide.
• Tanner Goods Flagship Store, 4719 N. Albina Ave., Portland
From oxblood leather belts to buttery soft saddle leather gloves, Tanner Goods prides itself on its durability and craftsmanship. No knockoff handbags here.
• Made Here PDX, 40 N.W. 10th Ave., 4018 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland
It's a fruit cocktail of Portland designers, artists and makers on display here, with a curated collection of silky-soft T-shirts, duffle bags, travel cases and other items made with precision, style and urban flair.
• Crafty Wonderland Shop, 808 S.W. 10th Ave., Portland
An enormous amount of quirky art and handmade goods — including clothing for men, women and kids — are on hand year-round at the downtown shop. It balloons every holiday season with more than 250 vendors at Crafty Wonderland's Holiday Art + Craft Market, set for Dec. 8-10 at the Oregon Convention Center.