Environmental activist, entrepreneur, non-for-profit founder, model, engineer - Montana Lower wears a lot of hats (and denim). Lower was first introduced to Outland Denim as a model in 2017, before in 2018, taking her skills as an environmental engineer to our facilities in Cambodia, where she connected with the Outland Denim team, and worked with us to reduce the environmental impact of your jeans.
So while High Hopes, the limited-edition Outland Denim x Montana Lower capsule makes its way into the world today, it feels like a collaboration 4 years in the making.
It’s through our shared belief in hopeful activism that these garments were born, made, and delivered to you. Because though there is a lot of work to do, there is hope to be had too. Did you know that your clothing will pass through an estimated 100 hands before it gets to you? Imagine if we rethought how we did ‘fashion’, one of the most exploitative industries in the world, to enrich the lives of those 100 people and the planet they live on?
Each garment in this 70’s inspired edit was made to provide opportunity and support to women in need, with organic cotton, zero harmful chemicals, 100% vegan materials, and innovative water and energy reducing technology. So that you can wear with pride, knowing that to wear ‘High Hopes’ is an act of hopeful activism in itself. Each denim piece is delivered alongside a set of original ‘High Hopes’ embroidered patches designed to be fixed to the garment by you for that final finishing touch. Bespoke denim heroes, united in hope.
From her brand new slice-of-heaven Tasmanian home, Montana shared with us her experience working with our team in Cambodia and the process behind bringing this 7-piece capsule to life.
What is the inspiration behind “High Hopes?”
I've always been inspired by the 70’s; not only for the aesthetic, but for the free thinking and radical action that set the tone for women and the environment. Of course, we have come a long way since then, but I see this capsule as an homage to the innovation and creativity boom of that era. And of course, my biggest inspiration for 'High Hopes' are the women who made it.
What does 'High Hopes' mean to you?
It means finding ways to stay positive no matter what is happening in the world - whether it's connecting to the earth, seeking support in community or looking within. We have to keep trying and hoping for a better tomorrow.
What originally drew you to Outland Denim, and what was it like collaborating on this capsule?
I started working with Outland around 4 years ago and in that time have been two pivotal moments of my career - the first was seeing first hand the devastation created by the fashion industry. On one of my trips to Cambodia we found an abandoned factory with offcuts & waste as far as the eye could see. I looked around and saw many recognisable labels and in shock I asked 'how they could be allowed to do this?!' The answer I found was that it was industry standard. I shared my experience online and people were outraged. At the time, sustainable/ethical fashion was only newly talked about, but I think more recently, the community has started to grasp why it was so important to invest in companies doing the right thing.
From here, I went to visit Outland Denim’s Cambodian Production facility, and it couldn't have been more opposite to what I had seen anywhere else. Nothing will ever compare to meeting the women who make Outland Denim’s clothes. Hearing first hand their stories of growth and empowerment still brings tears to my eyes. Their strength and courage sparked a fire in my belly that still burns so brightly and in a big way is the backbone of everything Outland creates.
What was it like working on this capsule while on the road? You must have had some pretty picturesque 'offices' along the way! :)
haha no single day is the same, that's for sure! I find it really productive to be 'offline' out of reception without all of the stimulation and inundation of outside opinions. On the other hand, things happen very slowly when you're on the go unsure of where you're going to be the next day. This capsule was created all over the east coast of Australia in our bus 'mooncake' and it feels surreal that we will be releasing it from our first little cottage home in Tasmania.
What are you most proud of in this collaboration?
I'm really proud of the values it stands for and how it supports our world. By now I've been able to view Outland from every angle, first as a customer, then model, then engineer, to now designing a collection and they have blown me away at every turn. The transparency provided with people & the planet at the core of every decision paves the way of what really should be the standard and of course I am beaming to be able to create with a team like that. Also everything fits like a dream and is actually comfortable!
How do you hope people feel wearing the High Hopes capsule?
I hope they feel inspired. Reminiscent. Free. Overall I just hope they feel gooooood.
What is your favourite piece from the collection and how do you look forward to styling it?
It's honestly hard to say. I'm still pinching myself seeing it in real life and soon to be all over the world. Of course I love the jeans as I see them as a wardrobe staple, but the shorts version is just as cute. And the overalls are the comfiest i've worn. I'm looking forward to wearing them all either with some vintage cowboy boots or barefoot in a field looking at the sunset.
Designed for positive impact, made for a better tomorrow.