Sustainable clothing group Outland Denim, buoyed by a buyout of Melbourne-based Nobody Denim, has launched a crowdfunding campaign that aims to drive a new phase of global growth for the brands.
Outland Denim, a company founded and led by James Bartle with its base in the Gold Coast hinterland area of Tamborine Mountain, is seeking expressions of interest from investors on the Birchal platform after the company successfully raised $2.1 million in two rounds between 2020 and 2021.
The initial rounds brought 1,800 investors on board for Outland, which Bartle established more than a decade ago with a mission to create sustainable fashion and provide employment to women vulnerable to exploitation in South-East Asia.
Outland currently has a manufacturing facility in Cambodia that employs local women, and the previous capital raises were applied to streamlining production processes at the facility, while incorporating specialised technology and enhancing back-end systems.
Nobody Denim was established in 1999 by John and Nick Condilis but the company has faced challenges recently following reports in August by the Australian Financial Review that its Melbourne manufacturing partner Denim 108 had closed down. The facility was the local manufacturing arm for Nobody which produces denim fashion using up to 90 per cent recycled cotton material.
The company made a low-key announcement of its sale to Outland Denim on its website, declaring that it has ‘joined the Outland Denim family’ to create a new ‘Australian-owned house of denim and sustainable fashion house’.
Nobody Denim brings to the expanded Outland Denim group more than 60,000 customers and revenue of $5.6 million, based on FY23 figures.
While Outland Denim has not revealed any revenue data, Bartle says the previous capital raises by the company have allowed the company to grow its third-party manufacturing services by more than 400 per cent.
“This diversified revenue stream has helped fortify our operations, generating in excess of an additional $1 million in annual revenue and driven positive social and environmental outcomes,” Bartle says.
“In addition, we have made substantial progress in developing our proprietary textile waste solution.
“Our state-of-the-art facility boasts technologies for conserving water, energy and chemical usage, attributes that attract other global brands. This is the cornerstone for third-party manufacturing partnerships with esteemed brands like Aje and Spell.”
In addition to the two denim brands, the expanded group comprises Outland’s manufacturing arm Maeka Standard and the Huskland textile waste solution which Bartle says has the potential to ‘revolutionise’ the fashion industry.
The company says Huskland is close to establishing its inaugural plant to tackle the critical issue of 200,000 tonnes of textiles ending up in Australian landfill every year.
“Celebrated worldwide for its premium denim, the acquisition of Nobody represents a monumental leap for our mission as we expand our reach to empower more individuals and transform communities,” Bartle says.
“Outland and Nobody Denim is stocked in David Jones, The Iconic, and cumulatively in over 170 retail doors across Australia.”
Outland Denim also has recently launched into the US with Bartle revealing that the brand has secured its first two major retailers there.
“With these early indicators of international success for Outland Denim, we have our sights set on international expansion for Nobody Denim as well,” he says.
Bartle founded Outland Denim after returning from a trip to South-East Asia and seeing first-hand the exploitation of women. He set out to create a business that would help stamp out the practice, with the company’s factory in Cambodia committed to paying all seamstresses a living wage.
Bartle says the company is aiming to accelerate global expansion and market share in the sector, which in turn will help employ more vulnerable women in the region.
“Outland Denim is more than a brand; it's an ecosystem of brands dedicated to creating positive social and environmental change,” Bartle says.
“Our model, designed to empower lives and protect the planet with every product we produce, is proven and unlike any other.
“Socially, our model provides a pathway to freedom for our team, many of whom have faced exploitation. We're transforming lives through ethical employment.”
Expressions of interest for the Outland Denim crowdfunding campaign are open until 13 November 2023.
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