Outland Denim

Deluxe denim looks that hearken back to a bygone era typifies the newly debuted and sustainably made capsule collection by Australian labels Outland Denim and Spell — and the mood is 1970s retro with an undertone of western flair.

The five-piece capsule includes a 100 percent organic cotton chambray shirt with a Western-style seamed yoke and a high-rise wide-leg flare jean featuring center front and back seams, as well as a playsuit, shorts and maxiskirt, all outfitted in denim. The brands said each piece is made with organic cotton, zero harmful chemicals, 100 percent vegan materials, and innovative water and energy-saving technologies.

Outland Denim is known for its empowerment of vulnerable populations through its business model that helps eradicate human trafficking through the brand’s employment at its Cambodia-based manufacturing facilities.

James Bartle, founder of Outland Denim, told WWD, “We can provide the opportunity, the business model, and a great pair of jeans, but without our customers, there is no change; nothing happens. They are the key to true impact. The opportunity through this collaboration to join forces with the global, like-minded and huge Spell community is significant. The positive impact on our team and their families won’t just be a flash in the pan but will continue for years and generations to come.”

Its collaboration with Spell is designed to spread a message of positive change across the fashion industry, as it is made with revolutionizing social standards practiced throughout Outland Denim’s supply chain and only incorporates clean raw materials and methods into its collection.

Bartle said, “We have a lot of respect for what Spell has created in a brand and, as an extension of that, a community where women can connect. Spell has a strong aesthetic and iconic sense of personality, so to see our production house working with the Spell design lens has been a joy to watch. We need to collaborate on solutions if we are going to revolutionize the fashion industry and if we are going to use it to enrich the lives of people and protect the planet.”

The brand has also reached an important milestone in its sustainability endeavors. After a seven-year mission, Outland Denim has achieved full traceability and is one of two global brands capable of fully tracing every single element of the creation of its garments, from seed to finished product.

Outland Denim

Image courtesy of Outland Denim. 

Bartle said supporting its supply chain is an ongoing process, and the brand is proud of the level of traceability it’s achieved thus far, particularly with the support of Bossa Denim, its denim supplier. “We have 100 percent traceability of our denim journey, which is almost completely unheard of. We need to invest in understanding and supporting not just our garment workers, but every single individual that goes into making our clothes.”

And it’s that unbeatable level of commitment to sustainability and human rights that drew Spell in. Elizabeth Abegg, cofounder and chief brand officer at Spell, said, “There is simply no other denim brand doing what they’re doing. They’ve basically created a best practice supply chain from a social and environmental perspective. It was a perfect fit for us to work with a brand whose values mirror ours. I had been following their journey since hearing the founder of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast and sustainability author Clare Press talk to James in 2018. I was intrigued to find a company who had developed a supply chain with such autonomy use that autonomy for good.

“The design and production processes were so aligned. Outland trusted that we knew our community and what they’d want to pair back with their Spell. We trusted their team to decipher and build on that vision,” Abegg said.

Abegg explained that Spell has spent the past three years mapping its supply chain, and that denim has been difficult to source from an ethical standpoint. “Working with Outland, a brand [that] exists to eliminate exploitation, while also using less natural resources and chemicals in its Cambodian facilities, we’ve been introduced to an entirely new standard of supply chain transparency and responsibility. During a time where partnerships are integral to creating real change, we are so proud of this collaboration.”

“Our technical and QA manager, Deborah Pih, couldn’t believe the attention to detail from the Outland team at their Cambodian factory. Denim is a totally different beast to regular woven apparel, with so many areas of expertise and experience required. The fact that so many of these women had been up-skilled from a background without garment tech skills to create the products we were receiving was quite astounding.”

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