Outliv: Ethically Made Bags With A Past And A Mission
I’ve been waiting to introduce you to Outliv for months. Made from upcycled materials, in the centre of my home city, Auckland, Outliv have become a brand I couldn’t live without (especially when travelling).
I first came across Outliv at a market in Auckland. At first thought, when another ethical bag company pointed me in their direction (collaboration over competition- I love this community!), I was hesitant. I’d seen so many upcycled bag companies pop up with horrible designs that grew the stigma of ‘hippy dippy’ eco fashion, and looked nothing but ugly. You know when someone tells you they make bags made from recycled clothes, and they show you a bag that looks like a t-shirt was stapled together? Uh-huh.
But as I walked up to the Outliv stand, I was absolutely surprised and encouraged.
Outliv hold design and aesthetics at the forefront of their brand. I believe a successful brand cannot be built upon sustainable values, but forget about design and beauty. Sustainable fashion describes something worn hundreds of times; it’s a timeless item that exists for years and even generations, making the wearer feel more beautiful every time it’s worn.
Outliv are exactly that. Outliv believe that fabric should ‘out live’ us all.
“We are proud to be a brand with strong values and are committed to recycling, supporting a local community of talent and inspiring positive change in the fashion industry. We are also socially responsible and give back to our environment.”- Outliv.
I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in the Outliv studio, to design a bag custom made to suit me! I swam through vintage shirts and dresses to find my favourite fabrics, scavenged through a pile of jeans and jackets to pick my preferred denims, and got a little giddy over the newest designs Outliv launched only a few months ago. I also picked out my favourite recycled wooden handles, made by a pro who makes skateboards with the same recycled wood. Cool or what?
It was amazing to be able to see the entire process behind the creation of an Outliv bag. Not many have the honour.
I saw the original design sketches, was explained the process Amy goes through to design the pieces and communicate them to the seamstress, and witnessed the amount of work that goes into finding the right materials for each bag. Because they use upcycled materials to make the bags, no one bag is the same. You can imagine the amount of hours Amy spends trawling through second-hand shops for the right garments, making sure each recycled garment is the right quality and size to create an Outliv bag.
To put the icing on the cake, Outliv donate a percentage of profits from every bag sold, to a charity or organisation that helps to give back to our environment. At the moment, Outliv give back to Sea Cleaners who remove rubbish from the sea, harbours, and the oceans.
I’ve been using my Outliv trio throughout my travels in Australia, and I’m questioning what I would have done without them. The clutch currently protects my phone in my handbag, or comes out as the perfect size to house my phone, cards, lipstick, pen, and mini notebook. The sunglasses case isn’t rigid, so it doesn’t take up heaps of room, but is durable enough to protect my sunnies. And of course, the Tas bag is a dream boat for taking to the beach, out to fashion shows, or even for a wee hike (photos below).
I’m incrediblly proud to rock Outliv wherever I go, and I’m becoming more and more attached to the thick and durable aesthetics of the denim. I know these pieces will out live me, and if they don’t Outliv will repurpose it, and offer me 50% off my next one!
As a rule, I only work with brands I love, use, and can whole heartedly back. This is a sponsored blog (I can't pay my electricity bill with free products), but 100% my own words, photos, and opinion.