Outerknown Apparel; Epic Essentials with an Epic Mission
While “sustainability” is just a marketing buzzword for many companies, it’s something else for Outerknown Apparel: a reason for existence. Helmed by surf legend Kelly Slater, this pioneering company is setting new standards for sustainability, and it isn’t done yet.
A Rad(ical) Vision
After a 23-year sponsorship with Quicksilver, Slate was ready for something different. He enlisted the help of his friend and fellow surfer John Moore to start Outerknown, a new surf lifestyle and eco fashion label. While their goal of transforming the clothing industry was an ambitious one, anyone familiar with Slater’s surf legacy knows he’s not one to shy away from a challenge.
Slater and Moore spent years scouring the globe for the right partners to help them bring their vision to life. The company’s standards were rigorous, to say the least. In fact, Outerknown refused to work with denim until it could find a manufacturer able to meet its environmental specifications. Enter Levi’s and the groundbreaking Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown Collection, which uses industry-leading sustainability production to create cool and comfortable clothing with a conscience. Even something as simple as a tee shirt is an act of innovation for Outerknown: its Wellthread Pocket Tee is made from recycled blue jeans.
Outerknown is so committed to keeping its Fair Trade-certified S.E.A. jeans out of landfills, meanwhile, that it guarantees them — for life.
Sustainable Fashion Meets Surf Chic
The Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown Collection and S.E.A. Jeans are just two examples of the many ways Outerknown is shaking things up in an industry known for its rampant disregard for the planet and its inhabitants. From its ECONYL® clothing, which turns fishing nets into regenerative fibers, to its APEX trunks made from recycled water bottles (and developed and tested for maximum performance by Slater himself), Outerknown is committed to the role of circular fashion in driving a circular economy.
The company’s results speak for themselves: an impressive 90 percent of Outerknown fabrics are organic, recycled or regenerated. Take the rugged, versatile Outerknown Blanket Shirt, for example. Impossibly cozy, it’s not only made with 100 percent organic cotton heavyweight twill, but even the buttons are made from nuts.
The first brand ever to seek out Fair Labor Association accreditation before so much as shipping a product, Outerknown hasn’t stopped evolving since its 2015 founding. And while promoting the carefree coastal lifestyle through surf imagery is a marketing strategy for many brands looking to connect with consumers, caring is an integral part of the Outerknown ethos.
In short, Outerknown does more than just talk the talk or even walk the walk; it surfs the surf — and recognizes the paramount importance of protecting the oceans in which to do so.
Interested in eco-conscious fashion? Check out our recently updated review of Arvin Goods. Arvin Goods socially responsible and stylish basics are made using recycled materials, zero chemicals, and positive water saving methods.