- Words by Ecocious Founder, Ariana Whittingham (Interview summary from of our podcast with James Bartle, read our last article featuring Outland Denim here)
Many of you have been lucky enough to witness me raving about this brand first hand (click here - to read our previous feature on Outland Denim) and some of you might recognise them from our editorial Campaign published in Moss Magazine: Moss Magazine latest issue
But, for those that might just be hearing this name for the first time, remember it. This brand is about to take the entire industry by storm.
Whilst they are already acknowledged as a Certified B Corp and have been celebrated by the likes of: Vogue, Russh, Elle, WWD, Financial times - to list a few. James and the Outland Denim team have only just begun...
What makes OUTLAND DENIM so special?
They have been working passionately for the last 12 years, determined to develop a new system for the production of "clean" denim.
Since setting up their own entire operation, the past 5 years has been spent testing both social outcomes and environmental impact their innovative manufacturing method is able to create.
Now that they have successfully proved their innovation genuinely works, they are showing the industry how we can do things, much better.
When you understand the direct impact that "standard" denim (aka dirty denim) has on the environment, as well as the grave social injustice that is often left unsaid you can see why this is such an immense feat for James & the team.
What is their mission?
When James says "you activate a cycle of freedom with every purchase" what he means is buying from and supporting Outland Denim doesn't end with the purchase. When you support outland denim you are genuinely saving lives.
The company has built humanitarian work directly into their supply chain and acts as a beacon of hope - one that the entire fashion industry should look to and preferably follow suit so that James and the Outland Denim team can expand their reach of impact further than the thousand of lives they have saved to this date.
The most remarkable contribution Outland Denim has created for us is unlimited opportunity for change, when Outland Denim expands and has influence on the industry as a whole (which it already is) the possibilities for social change is endless, growth being directly exponential to lifting humanity in the process. Outland denim is shining example for Australian Designers and Australian clothing brands to copy - considered to be both sustainable and ethical Australian clothing brand!
Ariana had the pleasure of catching up in-person with James at Outland Denim HQ in Tambourine Mountain the other day & took this opportunity to sit down and ask James the questions we really should know....
Sustainability expert Ariana Whittingham catches up with James Bartle: Founder & CEO of OUTLAND DENIM to chat about how we can collectively change the world through fashion, and in Outland Denims case, denim.
Outland Denim have engineered a new way to make jeans which tackles two global issues in one:
1. Social injustice
2. Environmental degradation.
Looking back on the work Outland Denim has successfully proved to the market is quite remarkable. Not only have they completely re engineered the manufacturing process for the entire life cycle of denim - from fibre to end of life, which shows the industry a better way, a more sustainable option for producing denim...! (this deserves a moment all of its own) but thats only the half of it...
AND, simultaneously nurturing women and girls rescued from trafficking into employment to test their innovative social business model. To uplift humanity in the process, the business model structure supports their employees completely. Outside of work they are provided education, accessible healthcare and tools to safely reinstating them into society. Outland Denims recent impact report shows by gifting these girls and women their personal power back, education and financial empowerment has successfully improved the quality of life for these "victims" who are now planning for their own future.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an excellent source for circular economy statistics and fashion sustainability news, check out their up to date & transparent information here: ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/resources/
The 4 social pillars Outland Denim tested:
- Opportunity for People
- A living Wage (with over 50% of employees receiving a salary increase due to skill progression/ promotion)
- Skills Acquisition
- Complimentary Education
Business/ Entrepreneur inspiration:
- James shares stories, perspective and learnings from experiences you and I could only imagine.
- We ask James his routine and the mindset he has developed in order to show up as his best self, everyday.
- We touch on business advice, strategies and resilience tips from over a decade of experience in building a successful fashion company.
Where to find, support and follow Outland Denim!
A message from Ecocious founder, Ariana Whittingham:
Most Australian clothing brands don't want you to know how their garments are made, which makes finding transparent sustainable clothing brands really difficult - especially amongst the sea of greenwashing* and market mis information.
We love to celebrate passionate, sustainable brands, like Outland Denim, who are transparent with their supply chain. Brands that are actively working for a bigger purpose than just profit, uplifting all involved in the process and most importantly have considered a circular business model.
Ecocious is your one-stop-shop to help you discover amazing, independent, sustainable/ethical brands that are doing phenomenal things for the world.
*greenwashing = marketing as "eco friendly products" or sustainably/ ethically made when they are in fact detrimental to the environment.
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