Meet Outland Denim x Karen Walker
Meghan Markle has long used her public appearances to draw attention to socially- and environmentally-conscious brands. The list includes Veja, Everlane, Mayamiko, Brother Vellies, Room 502 and Stella McCartney, as well as Australian denim brand Outland Denim. Markle wore a pair of the label’s black jeans during her royal tour of Australia last year and again for this year’s Wimbledon appearance.
The brand was created by James Bartle in 2011 after he travelled to Asia with charity organization Destiny Rescue and came face-to-face with survivors of human trafficking. Bartle started the brand to help these women to be gainfully employed, learn new skills and have the opportunity to change the course of their life. Now, the label has announced the launch of a limited edition capsule collection with New Zealand-based brand Karen Walker.
The six piece collection includes a pair of jeans (available in two washes), a skirt, a jacket (in two colours) and a T-shirt. Each of the pieces is made using organic dyes and sustainably sourced and produced premium organic cotton.
Speaking to WWD, Bartle said, “There is an empowering energy in Karen Walker’s designs. Our staff is incredibly proud of this collection, as it provided many opportunities to learn new techniques and up-skill. In our production and finishing facilities there is a buzz in the air, having completed it.” He also told the site that he has “been longtime fans of not only the label’s design lens but also their ongoing commitment to prioritizing transparency and ethical practices over products.”
Karen Walker was equally as enamoured with the Australian brand, saying, “In the three years Outland has been making their incredible denim they’ve taken over 100 people on a journey with them from a place of vulnerability to a place of empowerment. This is what Outland Denim’s all about to me and I’m honoured to be able to be part of that ongoing journey.”
According to a post on Walker’s Instagram, since Markle wore the jeans in Australia, “Outland were able to employ a further 46 women in their Cambodia-based production house.” The designer added, “That’s 46 women gaining fair employment and training and having access to education and personal development initiatives to improve their families’ futures.”
The capsule collection is now available to purchase via both brands’ individual websites.