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Rivet 50 Radio: James Bartle

Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to the sustainability scores of their favorite brands—and it’s likely why ethical denim brand Outland Denim has seen an outpouring of support in recent months. The brand recently raised $867,919 through an equity crowdfunding campaign.

In a podcast interview prior to the closing of the campaign, founder James Bartle said the move helps consumers feel like part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

“When people buy jeans from our brand, they’re not only buying a beautiful product that they can love for years. They’re also buying this impact,” he said, referring to the positive effect the brand has on the community in Cambodia, where Outland Denim’s manufacturing facilities reside.

Bartle launched his brand as a way to equip women at risk for sex trafficking with wage and personal development initiatives. It has since won awards for its humanitarian efforts, and is gaining momentum in the U.S., with products now sold in Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

It also plans to double down on sustainability initiatives and partner with other brands to fulfill their manufacturing needs. In this sense, Bartle is setting a new framework to turn fashion into a force for good.

“The majority of people are good, and the majority of people don’t want to exploit the planet or the people,” he said. “So we’ve got a great opportunity to be able to be a part of that journey and make it easier.”

Click here to listen to the full conversation with Bartle.

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This podcast episode is made possible by Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit company funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers, and whose mission is to increase the demand and profitability of cotton. Discover What Cotton Can Do.