Last year we did something kind of unconventional, with powerful results.
After years of perfecting our unique impact-led business model and product, proving that purchasing Outland products would have a positive lasting impact on individuals and communities, it was time to grow our business and our impact.
We could seek investment through traditional routes, or we could go down the road-less-travelled; Equity Crowdfunding. True to our character, we did the latter.
Equity crowdfunding gave you, our community, the opportunity to become an Outland Denim shareholder for as little as $250. We always strive to be ‘The People’s Brand’. We all want to support brands who take responsibility for their impact and do good in the world, and we believe this route puts that power directly in your, the people’s, hands. A brand truly by the people for the people.
The fashion industry is worth $3 trillion per annum. Instead of allowing mindless consumption to be the thing that destroys us, we’ve built this business to harness consumer behaviors and use the power of people to become the solution.
What we wouldn’t see coming, was COVID. We launched our campaign only days before WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Not great timing. But we’re no stranger to this, afterall Outland Denim was launched in Queensland in the middle of the hottest summer of the past 100 years with only black skinny jeans.
While risky, we decided to push forward with the raise, because we believe with the impact COVID-19 has on already vulnerable people, there has never been a more important time for businesses like ours, those that are at their core designed to help people who need it most.
Just like that harsh Summer 4 years ago you, our community, showed up to back this business, a business that shares in your values. We welcomed almost 1000 new investors from around the world in the fastest equity crowd raise on Australia’s best performing platform, Birchal. The majority of investors were 40 or younger. Approximately 63% female, and 92% Australian residents. 83% of investors named Outland Denim’s social justice values as a reason for investing.
With this support we:
- Welcomed a further 36 staff to our Cambodian team
- Increased our marketing reach and performance by investing in digital
- Bolstered the manufacturing arm of our business to be able to move into and to start producing products for other labels including Spell
- Invested in supply chain management programs as well as programs to support workers and communities in the earliest and most vulnerable stages of the fashion supply chain
- Invested in innovative waste management technology
- Broke into new garment categories giving our community more shopping options
- Expanded our Australian team creating 4 new roles in Digital, Design, Finance, and Customer Support
But most importantly, this investment led directly to true, generational change in the lives of the people who make your clothes. Thanks to you, people within our team who have known unimaginable exploitation and abuse have the opportunity to pursue their career in a safe, supportive environment, while receiving education and holistic support. The best part is that your support has stretched beyond the individual, into their families and on to positively impact whole communities.
Last year we did something kind of unconventional. The results were powerful, but not thanks to us, it’s all thanks to you. We can make all the jeans we like, but without your investment, your purchase, your follow on instagram, absolutely nothing happens.
So as we reflect one year on, we cheers to you, the people of #ThePeoplesBrand.