A powerful undying love for Outland Denim and a general ambivalence about the British monarchy, a short story titled ‘2 Things Meghan Markle and I Have In Common.’
Taking a moment for some fashion-centric levity during one of the most tumultuous (and necessary) times the world has faced in some 100 years. Jeans are obviously an extremely lighthearted topic but, right now, we’re looking at everything we do through a political lens, so bear with us.
The ‘mom’ jean’s resurgence in 2014 gave us an ironic celebration of the mundane during a period that was nothing if not chaotic (Ebola, Malaysian airlines flight 370). You don’t need to play pop-psychologist to figure out by everyone subconsciously started turning to a retro generous comfortable fit.
However, if fashion is truly a reflection of the times then here we are. Bootcut jeans are back. We’re 20 years into the new millennium, the world is in a state of total flux, and we’re all still dealing with tyrants, racial injustice, and even the goddamn KKK.
This world ain’t exactly what our hearts expected, for sure.
So, every day we wake up, check the news, we pull on our jeans, and we get to work doing the work. Everything we can do, big or small, to make the world a better place.
And if there’s a small way we can do that by making ethical fashion choices, then now is the time to do it.
And that, friends, is how I finish my very verbose introduction to Outland Denim (or re-introduction for regular readers). A brand brought to the fashion forefront by Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle (an activist and dare-we-say rebel).
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Outland Denim sets the benchmark in fashion activism in 2020.
For the founders, the products, while exceptional quality, are secondary to their mission, which is the rehabilitation of female victims of human trafficking.
Founder James Bartle leads employs a team of seamstresses, all former victims of trafficking, who are now each building a sustainable livelihood on living wages and being provided opportunities to grow their leadership careers within the company.
There’s zero disconnect for the consumer, with the stories of the women they’re helping are literally sewn into the fibers of the jeans.
Writing this, I’m currently wearing the Outland Denim ‘Stevie’ bootleg jean, perfectly form-fitting and comfortable enough to wear while working from home. Which is great in all its blithe glory.
But more importantly, I’m reminded every time I pull them on that they’re sewed by Neary, who has written that she finally feels valued for more than just her work. Outland has helped her build a community.
All this from inside a jeans pocket. This is a simplified version of a terribly complex story, for sure, but it’s there as a reminder of how many items of clothing I own where I don’t know who made them or the conditions they worked in.
As time goes on, we’re going to be sharing more on the impact 2020 has had on our own business operations and consumption habits.
There’s not a person who gets through this year who hasn’t had their beliefs and privileges checked.
But what we appreciate about Outland Denim is they’ve taken a clothing item so ubiquitous and given the average person—who might not know how to make a difference—a great place to start.
Shop some more of our favourite ethical brands below