When the Duchess of Sussex stepped off the plane in Dubbo wearing a pair of Gold Coast-designed, ethically sourced jeans, she created a storm for one Australian business.
Instagram Meghan Markle Dubbo
Mount Tamborine couple James and Erica Bartle started Outland Denim in 2011.
The business trains and employs Cambodian women who have been rescued from human trafficking.
They aim to create sustainable and ethical fashion while helping their employees break the cycle of abuse.
Mr Bartle said they felt blessed for the exposure that the Duchess of Sussex had brought them.
“Because they were coming to Australia they were looking for a good Australian denim brand,” he told ABC Gold Coast.
“You can see from the things that Meghan stands for … she’s somebody who cares genuinely about change,” Mr Bartle said.
“I guess she was looking for a brand that stood for something and our brand does.”
Coming to Australia
The 75-strong team knew the Duchess of Sussex was coming to Australia and tried to get her to notice them, but they didn’t think it would happen.
“You always have this little glimmer of hope in the back of your mind,” Mr Bartle said.
“I woke up in Cambodia this morning to see it on the internet.”
“Everybody was just so excited.”
The impact has been immediate.
“Our sales have started to go through the roof,” Mr Bartle said.
“We’ve sold out of certain sizes in certain products on our Australian website this morning.”
He said it was even more important for the Cambodian women who made the product.
“For them to come from what they’ve come from to creating this product for Meghan Markle … that’s just out of this world.”
One for the fashion watchers
The Duchess of Sussex created a similar internet storm on Tuesday, when Australian designer Karen Gee’s website crashed briefly.
Gee’s ‘Blessed’ dress, worth $1,800, was worn by the Duchess on the first day of her Royal visit to Sydney.