“When I finished my former sponsorship to start Outerknown, I challenged my partners to create a pioneering new company that made great clothes with a radical commitment to sustainability. Five years later, Outerknown is proving that you don’t have to compromise on sustainability or style.”
With the challenge from Kelly, Outerknown was created, and we started our journey. When we began, our own friends and trusted peers from the clothing industry doubted us. They said consumers didn’t care enough about sustainable style to pay more. It was also challenging to find factories and material suppliers willing to go through the extra steps we required as a startup. We built an entire collection that never saw the light of day because it couldn’t deliver on our vision, but we continued to persevere until we found the right partners who believed in our mission and could deliver on our strict sustainability standards. It’s been five years since we sold our first item of clothing, and we couldn’t be more proud of what we have built and accomplished. We haven’t figured it all out, but we continue to learn every day. We’re quite proud that we’ve pioneered many new ideas at Outerknown while raising the standard for sustainable design in our industry and beyond. We look at our sustainability commitment like the North Star. We will never actually get there, but the North Star is always reminding us what direction we should be going. Our commitment as a brand is to keep learning, exploring, and innovating. With every decision we make, we will always choose the most responsible path.
What we’ve accomplished
Of the fibers we source are organic, recycled, or regenerated. And we won't stop there.
Of our trunks are made with recycled or renewable fibers because there's nothing more epic than a clean ocean.
Through Fair Trade USA, we invest in the livelihoods of over 5K workers who bring our vision to life.
Outerknown was the first brand to pursue Fair Labor Association accreditation before ever shipping a product.
GUARANTEEd for life
To keep worn or torn S.E.A. JEANS out of the landfill, we’ll repair, replace, or recycle them.
Where we are going
A future where clothing contributes to a world where people and planet prosper.
To transform the way we outfit the world by inspiring an industry to reimagine design and embrace circularity.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) holds brands to the highest international labor standards. Outerknown was the first brand to pursue accreditation before selling a stitch of clothing. Founded with strict fair labor standards, we were later approved faster than any other brand in history.
After 28 months of visiting makers around the world, Outerknown was born.
In 2015, professional surfer Kelly Slater and creative director John Moore set out to change the clothing industry. Both surfers wanted to wear clothing that was made better, looked better, and fit better than what they grew up with. Prior to shipping our first product, we spent over two years searching for the right partners that shared our values.
First to launch ECONYL® clothing, turning fishing nets into endlessly regenerative fibers.
“By collecting the fishing nets that are regenerated into ECONYL® products, we lessen our environmental impact while also cleaning up the oceans that we love so much.” –Kelly Slater
Launched an advocacy tee, raising money for an initiative we believe in. This was the first of many.
Our commitment to the ocean runs deep. Our Tides Turn. We Rise. tee launched and sold out on Inauguration Day. All proceeds went to the Ocean Conservancy to protect our blue planet.
Our first Fair Trade Certified™ product went to market. Fair trade changes lives. It’s that simple.
Fair Trade USA ensures safe, healthy, and prosperous working conditions. It's a game-changing way of doing business. Today, three of our partners are Fair Trade Certified™, providing all our trunks, denim, and most of our tees.
Our second advocacy campaign to bring awareness to our ocean plastic problem. A fundraising tee followed by action: a series of beach cleanups with our retailers, and we'll keep 'em going 'til our coast is clear.
Levi’s® Wellthread™ x Outerknown. Rooted in sustainability. Designed to make a difference.
A partnership to drive innovation and explore cleaner manufacturing through limited-edition releases of Levi’s® most iconic designs with an Outerknown twist. We had an epic run across five seasons.
Defending our seas one Oceanworks® button at a time.
Every little detail has an impact, especially the ocean plastic buttons on our S.E.A. LEGS. Look closely and you’ll find the coordinates of where its plastic was harvested.
Denim is a dirty business, so Outerknown made S.E.A JEANS! Beyond an epic look and fit, S.E.A. JEANS are made with organic cotton, Fair Trade Certified™ sewn, and responsibly crafted in the world’s cleanest denim facility. So solid they’re guaranteed for life!
The Blue Book, Outerknown's call to arms, went to print.
To radically change this industry, benefit fibers need to be scaled and more affordable. Organic, recycled, and regenerated fibers should be industry standard. But it'll take collaboration to get there.
Partnered with Breitling to introduce ECONYL® to the luxury watch world.
With our shared dedication to quality that transcends generations, we crafted a heritage timepiece with NATO straps made from regenerated nylon. For every watch sold, we donated $1,000 to Ocean Conservancy.
WE WANT TO KEEP OUR PRODUCTS OUT OF THE LANDFILL AND IN CIRCULATION — FOREVER. GOING BEYOND RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION, EVERYTHING WE MAKE WILL LIVE ON THROUGH REPAIR, RESALE, AND RECYCLING. THROUGH REGENERATIVE DESIGN, MANUFACTURING, AND RECOMMERCE, WE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A WORLD THAT THRIVES, NOT JUST SURVIVES.
OUR APPROACH TO CIRCULARITY
Shed the Bad: Phase out harmful chemistry and materials that shed synthetic microfibers.
Design Smart: Reimagine our supply chain and make products that are easy to disassemble and recycle.
Make it Last: Design timeless, durable styles that can be repaired, reused, and resold.
Take Responsibility: Create collection and take-back programs to extend a product's journey or offer it a new life.
Go Renewable: Encourage partners to transition to renewable energy and source regenerative feedstock.