Despite the fact that Outerknown is yet to offer any women’s wear options, (UPDATE: OK has launched a women’s line! 😀 Check out my initial reaction here.) it is still one of my favorite brands right now. Their vibe, commitment to sustainability and lust-worthy marketing has us browsing and begging for women’s versions of just about everything. Thankfully, buttery soft T-shirts and high quality button-downs look good on basically anyone.
The Outerknown Vibe
First of all, the effortless style and surf vibes infused into every thread of Outerknown are key. Simple lines and fabrics keep their clothing from feeling fussy or like it’s trying too hard. You gravitate towards each item for what it is and the craftsmanship is apparent in the details.
Sustainability, it’s in Their Jeans
Founded by Surf God Kelly Slater and acclaimed designer John Moore, Outerknown was built specifically to break the fast fashion cycle of the apparel industry.
Their commitment is truly end to end sustainability. From organic cotton T-shirts, button-downs and bottoms, to using ECONYL in their casual volley short (which recycles fishing nets and other nylon products into fabric). They have also partnered with Saitex, a sustainable factory in Vietnam, to produce their new line of S.E.A. Jeans.
The S.E.A. Jeans are made from sustainably sourced organic cotton. Guaranteed for life, Outerknown will repair or replace them if they ever bust or wear out. Then when and if you are ever done with them, OK will take them back and up-cycle them to something useful, like housing insulation.
From fiber to the end of their life, Outerknown has worked hard to close the loop on one of the most polluting styles in the plant, blue jeans.
“WE’RE SURFERS WHO GREW UP WITH SURF BRANDS, BUT WE GREW OUT OF LOGOS. AND WE WANT TO WEAR CLOTHING THAT’S MADE BETTER AND LOOKS BETTER.”John Moore, on Outerknown’s Design Approach
Take My Money
Every time I see an Outerknown ad I feel the money in my bank account shudder. The models in their marketing look like some perfectly laid back, stylish, charismatic, surf brand CEO you know you’ve dreamed of being (except you aren’t nearly that smart, or cool or good at surfing).
A huge part of what makes this resonate so well with me, is that they always feel so true to themselves. The guys in their photos DO actually look like regular dudes that surf and like OK in the real world.
They have featured regular people too. For one email specifically they brought their biggest fan to the shop (he owns more Outerknown than anyone else) and gave him a sneak peak of the up coming collection, then called out what his favorite pieces were. What a way to connect with your audience.
“We created Outerknown to smash the formula. To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way.”Kelly Slater