Kelly Slater is likely the best surfer the world has seen. And now he may also soon be the best eco clothing designer too.
Kelly Slater has won the ASP World Tour Championship a record 11 times. He was both the youngest (at 20) and the oldest (at 39) to win the award. He’s gone farther than any other surfing champion and now he plans to use his fame to launch a sustainable clothing line. It’s called Outerknown and it’s his new surfing lifestyle brand. Last year, the pro surfer chose not to renew his sponsorship contract with Quicksilver after over two decades to launch the brand.
Slater partnered with designer and fellow surfer John Moore with the backing of the French company Kering. Kering also owns Volcom, Puma, Gucci, and Stella McCartney. Slater says the brand mixes style, sustainability, and travel. According to the company’s website, they will “lift the lid of the supply chain bringing the consumer along the journey to transparency.”
The Outerknown collection, which will launch in Autumn 2015, will include wardrobe essentials like t-shirts, woven shirts, knits, jackets, and chinos in earth tones. The women’s section will follow high fashion trends.
“There is a huge part of the surfing community that has evolved over the past few years and are looking for something like this. Men and women who have grown up with surf brands, but the key is that they’ve grown up and their interests have evolved. Everyone dreams of a coastal lifestyle — what that surfing lifestyle represents — but they don’t necessarily want to dress head to toe like a surfer,” John Moore said to The Business of Fashion.
“Kering has a whole sustainability team working on it long term and we are able to entrust that to them,” Kelly Slater said. “You have to have certain sized batches. You have to order a certain amount of material. You have to have fire power behind you. We can share the sourcing with their other brands.”
Outerknown isn’t using denim until it can find a sustainable provider.
“The clothing market in general is a dirty business,” Slater, continued in The Business of Fashion. “We aren’t doing denim to start with, because we can’t do denim in a way we feel is environmentally friendly at this point. It uses a lot of water and if you go to the places where they make the denim, the rivers are blue and there’s nothing alive in them.”
It’s about providing for a surfing community that’s all grown up as well as those that just love the lifestyle. Surfers are constantly one on one with nature so sustainability and protecting the planet they love so much is often first and foremost. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what this line has to offer.
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Image: Jim Bahn