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“I’ve always lived in jeans. If you were going to produce anything, why wouldn’t you produce the most staple part of a person’s wardrobe? Jeans aren’t a throw-away item, but something you keep for years.”
Outland Denim began its jean-making journey when founder James Bartle had a fortuitous encounter with an anti-trafficking group, and then traveled to Asia and saw first hand how human traffickers prey on vulnerable young girls in order to service the sex industry.
After learning that once a girl has been rescued and rehabilitated, sustainable career path is vital for securing her future, James created the “Denim Project”, which would enable those girls who demonstrated an interest in sewing to put their new skills to use.
So began the steep learning curve that is picking up a highly specialized craft from scratch, from experiments in pattern making, sourcing raw materials and stone washing in a cement mixer, to setting up a manufacturing process that began with pedal press sewing machines and hot-coal irons in remote Cambodian villages.
Today they have created a clean, bright training and production facility in Cambodia from where they manage manufacturing operations and oversee the holistic care of the staff through wage and personal development initiatives.
Outland denim team is committed to sourcing the most ethically and environmentally sound raw materials, from up cycled pocket linings to recycled packaging, and endeavor to verify entire supply chain in alignment with the world’s best practices.
While the flagship store is embedded in hinterland homeland in Australia, with a shared ethos of consuming less, less often, and buying better quality, the customers are part of the global movement toward a fashion industry that promotes human dignity and leaves a positive imprint on the earth.