If you haven’t yet been acquainted, let us do the honours: this incredible Australian business was the recipient of the Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award for Small and Medium Enterprise in 2020, is Australia’s first denim brand to become a B Corp Certified business, and in 2019, was one of only two brands to receive an A+ across all 5 criteria assessed as part of Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Report.
So, it’s no surprise to learn that it’s Outland Denim leading the charge when it comes to putting sustainable innovations into practice. Cue, Outland’s latest collection, Peachy Keen: a capsule of clay-dyed denim garments in a washed-out, vintage-looking peach shade. Outland’s best selling pieces from this season (the Zoe Straight Leg Jean, the Grace Mini Skirt and the Dia Short) feature in this capsule, and are all coloured with the peach-coloured pigment that is brought about as a result of a natural textile clay dye.
Let us dye-vulge a little. This particular dyeing method originally dates back to ancient times, pre-dating the use of any synthetic dyes. Originating in Turkey, the clay’s peachy pigment tells its own story of the sunlight, wind, pressure and heat needed to create its pink hue without the use of any chemicals. This process is better for the environment in more ways than one: during the dyeing process, it uses 72% less water, which results in lower carbon emissions.
As for the denim itself, Outland Denim is using 100% certified organic cotton for this capsule, which has also been designed to lessen the amount of micro-plastics released from these garments during the washing process. Oh, and as always, the Peachy Keen collection is brought to life in Outland Denim’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.
But why is the use of natural materials and eco-friendly dyes like Outland Denim’s clay-based dye so important? A quote we first heard from River Blue, a documentary that uncovers the detrimental effects fast fashion has on our environment, sums it up perfectly:
“There is a joke in China that says you can predict the ‘it colour’ of the season, by looking at the colour of the river.”
Toxic chemicals from the fashion industry’s synthetic dyeing process are, more often than not, discarded irresponsibly, and this is having detrimental effects on the waterways surrounding these factories, and ultimately on our planet. Fashion Revolution states that “as much as 200 tonnes of water are used per tonne of fabric in the textile industry, and the majority of this water is returned to nature as toxic waste, containing residual dyes and hazardous chemicals.”
What’s more is heavy metals widely used in textile dyes, including copper, nickel and lead are, are not only harmful to the planets’ ecosystems, but also to humans. If absorbed through the skin, these heavy metals can accumulate in internal organs including the liver and kidneys, and can also affect the nervous system.
Essentially, synthetic dyes used in the conventional fashion industry are unhealthy for both the planet and its people, which is why natural textile dyes such as Outland Denim’s natural clay dye are a better alternative. If you haven’t already, go check out the eco-friendly, naturally-dyed Peachy Keen capsule by Outland Denim – you may just do a whole world of good along the way.