BFTW 2019 Community: Outland Denim
Outland Denim is a socially minded denim label that creates premium basics while giving training and employment opportunities to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. You might better recognise them as being the Australian denim company of choice for the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle when she was on her royal tour in Australia in 2018 with Prince Harry.
1. What makes your company Best For The World?
Outland Denim crafts premium denim jeans designed to bring the worlds of our seamstresses and our customers closer together. We offer sustainable employment and training opportunities to women who have experienced exploitation while sourcing only the finest sustainable raw materials from around the world in an effort to pull our environmental weight. We have proven that a sustainable career path and holistic approach to supporting our staff is the key to true social change on an individual, family and community level. We aim to execute everything that we do, from production to marketing and customer service, with intention, consideration and purpose for people and the planet.
2. What makes you stand out from other companies?
The world of denim is awash with good sustainability intentions, and we are really no exception — on an environmental level, we strive to do everything we can to protect ecosystems and replenish whatever we take. We are a constant work in progress.
The real Outland Denim difference is our purpose, which is to bring people out of poverty and situations of precarity, and into the “land of plenty”. We deeply desire that our staff across the world have not only enough money to live good lives on, but that they derive a sense of meaning and purpose from working with us and creating an exceptionally good product for people to wear and enjoy.
We intend to be like an extended family where everyone benefits mutually. Our staff in Cambodia contribute their skills and time and talents, and we in turn offer them the opportunity to work for a globally connected brand, earn living wages, enjoy the added benefits of education and care that we offer, and go home at the end of the day deeply satisfied that their work matters. The same goes for our amazing Australian staff. Our production is entirely in-house, which gives us full control not only of our product quality, but also the way in which our goods are produced, by whom and under what conditions, which is really unique in the world of fashion manufacturing.
3. How do you plan to celebrate?
We look forward to shouting the news from the (social media) rooftops on September 4th, and hosting a small sample sale celebration evening for our friends, family, and supporters. We are all about bringing community together to share in the wins!
4. Part of being “Best for the World” is striving to always use your business as a force for good. What initiatives do you have planned for the coming year to continue to be Best for the World?
In partnership with universities, governments and institutions around the world, our current research and development projects begin in the areas of water purification, carbon footprint reduction, and zero-waste production, and extends to the intricate tracking of social and environmental impact with the use of big data. These are some big projects, which keeps us on our toes, so we are sure to keep the B Corp community posted!
5. What advice do you have for other B Corps and purpose-led businesses that want to improve their impact?
Dive into the design stage of your product. Is it designed with longevity in mind? Where are the materials coming from? What are your suppliers doing to mitigate social exploitation and environmental harm? Sustainability starts with good, intentional design.