Outland Denim, the Australian denim label known for their revolutionary sustainability standards, have received the highest score possible in Baptist World Aid’s COVID-19 Fashion Report this week. Outland Denim received a result of ‘Actions evidenced across all Commitments’. This is the top of 3 Tiers across which companies have been graded.
Outland Denim was one of only 15% of companies surveyed that provided evidence of a strong and effective worker voice mechanism that has been able to function effectively in the context of COVID-19.The report also found that companies, such as Outland Denim, with strong ethical practices coming into the pandemic were nearly 7 times more likely to provide evidence of all commitments measured within the research.
96 companies, covering 428 brands, were included within the scope of the research. 61 companies included in the research were Australian or New Zealand based. The report focused on the level of support brands committed to providing garment workers as the industry navigates the pandemic.
Brands were assessed based on six criteria: Support workers’ wages by honouring supplier commitments, Identify and support the workers at greatest risk, Listen to the voices and experiences of workers, Ensure workers’ rights and safety are respected, Collaborate with others to protect vulnerable workers, and Build back better for workers and the world.
Outland Denim provided to production staff in Cambodia during the pandemic’s outset face masks, temperature testing, sanitising stations, and health education delivered by the brand’s on-site nurse. In line with local and WHO advice, Outland Denim temporarily closed their production facilities as COVID-19 spread in Cambodia, while providing financial support to workers as well as resilience training and finance education. From April through to August, Outland Denim staggered their team’s return to work to assist with social distancing.
Image Credit: Outland Denim
Further to supporting their own team, Outland Denim took steps to support the earliest and most vulnerable members of their supply chain with the launch of a world-first program named ‘Supply Network Intelligence System’, developed in partnership with Precision Solutions Group (PSG). The program’s pilot phase focused on delivering COVID-19 education, PPE, and care packs to vulnerable communities in Turkey. Furthermore, the enduring program actively seeks out instances of deliberate exploitation, slavery, and unsafe working conditions and puts methods in place to resolve them. The areas targeted include, but are not limited to, organic cotton farms in Turkey from which Outland Denim’s cotton is sourced.
Outland Denim jeans are crafted in the label’s stand-alone production and finishing facilities in Cambodia, which were founded to offer holistic support, training and employment to young women who have experienced exploitation. The company provides a living wage, education and other benefits for its staff.
Image Credit: Outland Denim
In late 2019, Outland Denim opened its first stand-alone Wash and Finishing Facility equipped with state-of-the-art water and energy reducing technology, allowing the brand to have greater control over its environmental impact while pursuing their social mission.The brand was awarded the Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award for Small and Medium Enterprise in 2020, and is Australia's first denim brand to become B Corp Certified. In 2019, Outland Denim was one of only two brands to receive an A+ grade across all 5 criteria assessed as part of Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Report.
The full COVID-19 Fashion Report, published by Baptist World Aid, can be read online here:
About Outland Denim
Outland Denim crafts premium denim jeans designed to bring the worlds of their seamstresses and customers closer together. Outland Denim sources the finest raw materials from around the world to create garments with environmental integrity while offering employment and training opportunities to women rescued from human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Outland Denim is Australia’s first Certified B CorporationⓇ denim brand.
Founder James Bartle was recently named one of Sourcing Journal’s Rivet 50 members for 2019. In 2019, the brand also became a Global Fashion Agenda Associate Partner.
Explore Outland Denim Instagram: @outlanddenim
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Learn more about Baptist World Aid COVID-19 Fashion Report here - www.behindthebarcode.org.au
Words: Outland Denim Press release 28th October 2020