Outland Denim post CV-19 Business Pivot News
Updated: Aug 25
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19, the world’s most sustainable denim brand has successfully pivoted its business model to maximise its positive social, humanitarian and environmental impact.
Outland Denim will be opening the doors to its socially, environmentally and economically sustainable Cambodian production facilities, newly branded under the name Maeka, offering the opportunity for other brands to produce with its facilities. Global fashion label Karen Walker is already on board, with product in development.
Maeka’s operation consists of two facilities. The first is its full scale cut, sew, and finishing production house, and the second is its recently opened state-of-the-art laundry and processing facility, which offers water and energy reducing technologies alongside organic washing processes. Paired together they create a garment manufacturing process like no other in the industry. Measuring the brand's sustainability across three key markers of social, environmental and economic impact, Maeka is poised to scale their impact and help other brands be a part of the solution to some of the industries greatest downfalls.
Shifting seasonal offerings into a yearly 6 capsule cycle, Outland Denim can now expand into new garment categories. This new model will allow Outland Denim to continue wholesale partnerships with stockists such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Australian Equity Crowdfunding Campaign
Despite the adversities of COVID 19 for global business Outland Denim raised over $1.32 million AUD and welcomed 1012 new investors from around the world with its Equity Crowdfunding Campaign which closed Wednesday 13th May 2020. Outland Denim announced that the new investment capital will be used to expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as aid the new pivot into producing garments for other brands under the name ‘Maeka’.
These pivots coincide with the release of the brand’s first annual Sustainability Report, which is set to hold the brand accountable to the social, economic and environmental sustainability that is at the core of its philosophy. The first of these reports includes the following information:
750 people, including staff and household members, have benefited from stable employment with the unique social enterprise business model, and 85% of formerly at-risk staff report a reduced level of risk to exploitation after 6 months of employment at Outland Denim.
Measured by weight, 93% of the raw materials used by Outland Denim in the past 12 months were natural in nature.
Up to 86% less water, 57% less energy, and 83% less chemicals are used in the Outland denim wash and finishing process, Ozone.
94% direct supply chain traceability that has also met strict social and environmental criteria.
The newly launched Amy jean in Former is the most sustainable vintage-wash denim on the market.
250kg of biodegradable cassava bags replaced plastic poly bags for international transport of garments.
Outland Denim has launched an onsite Health Clinic & Education Centre based in their production facilities in Cambodia.
A commitment to transition all leather patches to jacron paper over the next 12 months.
Outland Denim Launches Anti-Workplace-Exploitation Program, Sag Salim
Outland Denim have partnered with Sydney’s Precision Solutions Group (PSG) to drive a new program, Sag Salim (meaning ‘safe and sound’). The program, seeks out instances of exploitation, slavery and poor working conditions in order to report them to the appropriate government authorities or NGOs. So far, the program has reached over 581,000 people, resulting in 24 reports of pay descrimination, 21 reports of lack of safe drinking water, and reports of unsafe working conditions due to a lack of personal protective equipment.
Outland Denim’s primary supplier, Bossa Denim, is already committed to sustainability in all its production practices, and has been a key partner in the pilot stage. Soon, other brands will be able to join Sag Salim, which is launching as a membership program so that it can widen its reach and have a greater positive impact.
“Our customers aren’t just buying a pair of jeans, they are making an investment in positive change. They are taking us up on our promise to create impact on their behalf. And so just like you would report to your shareholders, we have an obligation to report to our customers the incredible impact their purchases have had. We hope that our customers read this report and have hope that despite the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the world, purpose-driven business that puts people and the planet first is the way forward.” said Outland Denim founding CEO James Bartle.
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