We are inspired by the beauty of a beautifully constructed garment; the simplicity of a perfectly placed pocket or thread accent. It is the meeting point of high-end materials, detailed workmanship, and well thought out design. We prioritise the use of natural fibres or biodegradable materials that have low-impact production methods. We hope this is evident the moment you see any new arrival.
To us, designing thoughtfully means selecting the most sustainable raw materials on the market today, premium elements that will stand the test of time, strong supplier partnerships built on shared values, and continuous refinement and improvement.
1. The Magic of Organic
Use of Organic Cotton to make our denims has been a constant since Outland Denim’s first days due to its social and ecological benefits. Long term use of agrochemicals can dramatically reduce soil health and severely affect workers’ health, which is why organic cotton production eliminates the use of harmful chemicals and GMOs.
It also has benefits in the health and safety of farmers and communities, contributing to a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being (SDG3), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), Climate Action (SDG13), and Life on Land (SDG15).
2. Rigid in Name, Not Benefit
In 2020 we introduced our first Rigid Denim Range. Not including synthetic or elastane fibres improves circularity of the garment and minimises micro‑plastic release when laundered.
Made with a combination of natural fibres, including Organic Cotton, Lyocell, and Recycled Cotton, we love this denim composition for it's beautifully soft feel, how it matures more comfortable over time, and for it's environmental benefits.
This denim's open‑style weave results in a rich colour contrast. It also allows our wash recipe to react to the fabric faster, and a short wash process means less environmental impact.
3. Animal Rights Matter
In 2020, we committed to transitioning all brand patches from leather to vegan friendly jacron paper. Animal rights are something close to the heart of many Outland Denim customers, so we wanted to be able to cater to their values while choosing a supplier that could also live up to our high expectations when it comes to quality.
Made from raw cellulose, jacron offers excellent dimensional stability. Frameless Asia, our suppliers of jacron paper patches, utilize the HIGG index to measure their sustainability practices and have implemented water recycling and waste reduction initiatives within its facilities.
As a Bluesign system partner they are required to meet a high level of safety for both people and the environment, to use resources responsibility and to continuously improve their environmental performance. Their jacron patches are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified to ensure they are tested for harmful substances. Frameless Asia employees are remunerated with a fair wage.
4. Natural Dyes and Human Health
We prioritise the use of natural indigo dyes derived from a plant species called indigofera.
Use of natural vegetable dyes means that workers are not exposed to toxic chemicals and the likelihood or severity of water pollution is reduced, leading to an overall increase in the sustainability of our jeans. It is thought that 20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dyeing and treatment of textiles.
Where available, we use denim dyed using the “Saveblue” process, which has been found by Cukurova University to save 87.5% of water in the dyeing process compared to conventional methods. The use of toxic synthetic indigo dye poses a major threat to environmental and human health in and near manufacturing facilities.
Where vegetable dyes are not available, we ensure any dyes are certified organic or have been tested for harmful chemicals.
5. Circularity and Synthetic Materials
We are continuously testing and trialing alternatives to synthetic materials (materials that give denim that beautiful stretch and move-ability) to improve the circularity of our garments. Significant progress has been made, yet stretch alternatives on the market still don’t meet our product performance standards. Frustrating for many, they are likely to need replacing more frequently. Alternatives can also break down into water streams faster during laundering and are generally carbon-heavy to produce.
While testing these options, we have chosen to utilise both recycled and virgin polyester. We believe virgin polyester performs to a higher standard and also slows the release of microplastics into waterways, as opposed to recycled polyester. Creating longevity and high performance in our denim is a crucial part of sustainability.
In other components of our products such as our pocket bags, we are utilising a recycled polyester which helps add to the strength and durability through our laundering process and onwards into the products life cycle.
Polyester is a component of our raw materials that we will continue to reduce our reliance on as adequate and more sustainable alternatives become accessible. We are actively looking for and researching with mills for solutions in this space. We are also investing heavily into research and development of waste and circularity technology, working to remove textiles from landfill and revolutionize the way we dispose of clothing. Not just for the use of us as a brand, but for the use of the whole fashion industry.
Creating premium denim is only one part of the equation. From tackling textile waste through to supporting cotton farmers, we're involved in a number of community projects. Read more about those here. And if you're thinking this denim business is more complicated than you first thought, we hear you. But this article explains why we do it.