When Outerknown’s founders, surf king Kelly Slater and menswear veteran John Moore, talk about their product, they invoke brands like Acne Studios and A.P.C. rather than Quiksilver and Billabong. Theirs is an enigma — a surf label with high-fashion bones, a penchant for flipping fishing nets into garments and a transparent, sustainable supply chain.
Take for example the Evolution Shirt Jacket, a timeless piece at home in the city or the sand, accented with clean buttons and pockets, and made through a recycling process that spins nets into nylon yarn. Outerknown’s goal is regeneration, not just recycling, and they partnered with Italian fiber group Aquafil to develop a closed-loop production cycle. The duo have set up a system wherein old nylon yarn (often, the kind used to make fishing nets) can be broken down and reborn as a new garment without losing any quality.
The line currently offers smart takes on men’s classics like chinos, button-downs and relaxed tees, with a plan to delve into women’s clothes soon. The only thing missing is denim — but there’s a reason for that. “We can’t do denim in a way we feel is environmentally friendly at this point,” Slater said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “If you go to the places where they make the denim, the rivers are blue and there’s nothing alive in them.” outerknown.com
Founders: Kelly Slater, John Moore
HQ: Culver City, CA
Notable Investor: Kering, the fashion conglomerate that owns Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney and more