In Episode 3 of the Disruptors for Good podcast I spoke with James Bartle, founder of Outland Denim.
Outland Denim is a social enterprise creating premium denim products that help tackle the worlds human trafficking crisis. Every 30 seconds, someone is sold in the human traffic industry. Once in, it’s nearly impossible to escape.
According to a United Nations report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are mostly women and girls. The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this number may actually be more, because forced labour is less detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation. Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children.
Outland Denim has created an approach of zero exploitation, to help prevent young girls being drafted into sex trade, or as slave labor into the garment industry. This approach is done through a program that Outland created called The Denim Project. This program offers young girls with an interest in sewing to earn fair wages, and to learn and master the crafts of sewing and fashion.
Outland Denim began when James travelled to Asia and saw first hand how human traffickers prey on vulnerable young girls in order to service the sex industry. After learning that once a girl has been rescued and rehabilitated, sustainable career path is vital for securing her future, James created the “Denim Project”, which would enable those girls who demonstrated an interest in sewing to put their new skills to use.