– When buying a pair of jeans means you can help change the world
The story of Outland Denim is one that I got behind the moment I heard it. The founder of Outland Denim, James Bartle, created the “Denim Project’ when he saw first hand how human traffickers prey on vulnerable young girls in order to service the sex industry.
Bartle learned that in order for a girl that has been rescued and rehabilitated to have a positive future it was vital for her to have a sustainable career path, which is where Outland Denim steps in. The denim is produced in Cambodia where there is a large focus on providing holistic care to staff through personal development initiatives as well as providing a proper wage for all workers.
“Outland Denim’s circular business model allows our seamstresses, staff and customers to participate in creating a better world not only for themselves but for the next generation by stopping the cycle of abuse, exploitation and poverty through opportunity and personal empowerment.”
Outland Denim doesn’t end with its mission to help end human trafficking though, they are also committed to sourcing environmentally sound raw materials as well as providing clothing that is made ethically.
The environmental aspects of creating Denim is something that Outland Denim has clearly put a lot of energy and focus into. I’ll try to quickly summaries the key areas for you.
The denim is sourced from a Turkish mill called Bossa that has been actively involved in environmental and ethical issues since it began in 1951. Outland Denim’s jeans are made from Organic cotton which has been proven to use 20-25% less water than conventional cotton. Bossa is also part of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) where the main aim is to increase the sustainability of cotton production through reducing the negative environmental and social impacts of cotton.
Most dyes are made from synthetics and are toxic to both humans and the environment. If you haven’t checked out the documentary River Blue yet, I highly recommend adding it to your list. Outland uses natural indigo dyes that are derived from the plant species Indigofera. By using natural vegetable dyes it means that workers aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals and the likelihood of water pollution is greatly reduced.
Outland Denim used Print Together for all other their stickers and cloth bags. Print Together is focused on saving the world’s virgin rainforests through using only post-consumer recycled paper in their products. If you are wondering what post-consumer waste products could be turned into print it’s materials such as a juice container or a workbook that has been used for one purpose only. On top of using recycled paper, they also only use natural vegetable dyes on its products to ensure that there is less chemical pollution being created.
If it’s not already clear how meticulous Outland is with its sourcing of all aspects of their denim by these three categories, you can check out their website here for the full rundown from the cotton to the zippers, buttons, rivets and pocket lining.
The level of thought and detail that has gone into Outland Denim’s process of creating a pair of jeans is something that I am both in love and bewildered by. I keep having to stop myself from writing ten pages about this incredible company, providing a high-quality product with a great cause at the heart of it all.
Not only is providing a place to work helping in changing the lives of these girls but with every online sale of jeans, Outland Denim donates $50 to anti-trafficking groups that are on the frontline rescuing and rehabilitating the girls.
I personally know the struggles of trying to find a pair of jeans that fit well in all places and Outland clearly does too, because they offer free shipping AND free return shipping if the pair you purchase doesn’t fit -so it’s 100% risk-free online shopping.
If you want to invest in your own pair, you can do so via their website here. Along with that, follow along Outland Denim’s journey via their socials on Instagram and Facebook.
I don’t know about you, but I’m off to invest in my own pair of Outland Denim.