Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater’s Outerknown Releases List Of Factories

Kelly Slater’s Outerknown Releases List Of Factories


style // Jul 28, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the age of information fatigue, it’d be easy to forget that Outerknown is only one year old. But here we are, at the company’s first birthday. And in true Outerknown style, to mark the occasion we’ve been handed a list of places where the company has its clothes made. As a WWD article reveals:

“The Los Angeles-based men’s clothing brand, which was started by pro surfer Kelly Slater and is backed by Kering, has released the names of eight companies that manufacture its $95 recycled nylon swim trunks, $128 pocket T-shirts, $165 organic cotton twill chinos and other items around the world. The suppliers include Bergman Rivera and World Textile Sourcing in Peru, Chen Feng Apparel and Chuang Sheng Knitting in China, Hong Ho Mexico in Mexico, Smart Shirts Limited in Sri Lanka, South Island Garments in Malaysia and SoCal Garment in Vernon, California.”

Kelly GQ 2

Photo: GQ

“It really starts with Kelly,” Shelly Gottschamer, Outerknown’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer, told WWD. “Kelly asked: ‘What am I wearing and where does it come from?’”

The whole idea behind the disclosure is to benefit both Outerknown’s customers and competitors. “For starters, it’s a marketing opportunity,” says the WWD article. “A “shop factory” link directs visitors on the (Outerknown) site to the pieces made by each supplier that are for sale.” And on the flip, there’s the hope that the company’s rivals will move towards using the same environmentally-friendly manufacturers.

Kelly Slater 5

Photo: Mr Porter

It’s a selfless move – one that was pioneered by Patagonia back in 1996 – that really does prove a company’s whole sustainability story (ideals? I thought this about selling shirts?).

Interestingly, Gottschamer also revealed that Outerknown’s product runs are quite small – less than 300 units of each style.

When Outerknown first launched, it promised of a surf version of ACNE or APC. Remember the GQ shoot with Kelly? Or, the Mr Porter editorial? The fruits here at Stab were excited. But as they continue to evolve their eco-friendly game, we hope that Kelly and biz partner, John Moore, don’t let Outerknown’s look get too folky or boho on us. The balance of a sophisticated aesthetic, with materials that don’t kill the whales, is always possible… right?

Untitled 3

Photo: Mr Porter


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