Meet The Aussie Jean Brand Taking On Human Trafficking – And Winning

March 18, 2021

“I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.”

When Liam Neeson said this line in the 2008 hit film Taken, it went on to become one of the movie’s most famous quotes.

However, the film – which has a narrative around human trafficking – had another, perhaps more significant legacy: the birth of Outland Denim, an Australian brand working to fight the crime.

“[Taken] was our introduction to the issue of human trafficking because we really had no idea,” Outland Denim co-founder Erica Bartle told Yahoo Finance.

The movie sparked an interest in the issue that was galvanized when she and her husband came across an NGO working to address it a few years later. Around 2.5 million people become human trafficking victims every year.

Bartle and her husband James Bartle decided to take action. They scraped together some money and sent James on a field trip to Cambodia and Thailand to better understand the issue. Bartle herself went into research mode, identifying the resources they could use to fight back and the hurdles they would face.

In 2016, six years after they decided to tackle human trafficking, they launched Outland Denim.

The clothing brand is an ethical and sustainable brand that provides training and employment for women who have experienced sex trafficking. It aims to eliminate the crime and has more than 80 employees across Asia and Australia who are paid living wages – a rarity in the $2.5 trillion fashion sector.

Outland Denim also uses up to 86 percent less water, 83 percent less chemicals and 57 percent less energy in its Cambodian wash and finishing facilities by incorporating new technologies.

Today, the brand has fans including Leonardo Dicaprio and Meghan Markle, potentially the most famous woman alive. The company had to take on an additional 46 staff when the Duchess of Sussex wore the black Harriet jeans on tour in Australia, sending royal watchers into a shopping frenzy.

Read the full story by Lucy Dean on Yahoo! Finance.

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