Some jeans hug curves, other stretch to fit perfectly. For Australian brand Outland Denim, their goodness is stitched into the seams.
Outland Denim, founded by James Bartle in 2011, is a fully sustainable line that uses natural indigo and vegetable dyes, as well as a reduction of water waste. The company also uses a separate organic denim washing facility to insure that discarded water carrying dyes does not contaminate local water sources.
Yet Outland’s focus is not solely on the environment; the brand employees human trafficking victims and domestic abuse survivors in Cambodia. The sewing facility also offers holistic care services for staff members, including therapy.
Founder Bartle was inspired to provide jobs to at-risk women after an experience with a young girl he met during a trip to Asia. Bartle was traveling with a rescue organization for people who had escaped human trafficking. “I had to do something,” Bartle explained. “The research identified that poverty was an enormous contributor to making these women and girls vulnerable. The solution seems to be an economic one and therefore we set out to prove a business model that offered true sustainability and opportunity to those that worked within it.”
Outland Denim expands their mission to create sustainable livelihoods for impoverished women while creating an eco-friendly product. Outland uses organic cotton denim, zippers, and threads all from companies certified by the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Initiative.
“Consumers are becoming more educated on the atrocities committed by denim manufacturing and the global environmental issues created by the industry and therefore are looking for alternative brands that can still deliver the products they have grown to love while offering better manufacturing and production practices,” Bartle said. “We wanted to be that basics brand that fills your wardrobe, and sustainability is on the top list of things that are important to us as a brand.”
Outland Denim recently made their U.S. debut this February at the Liberty Fairs Vegas trade show. Outland Denim mens and womens jeans retail for approximately $200.
For Outland Denim, though, their work is just getting started.