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Meghan Markle Makes Front Page News (And Creates New Jobs) With Her Jeans

Given the fascination with everything pertaining to the Duchess of Sussex, it’s no surprise that “the Meghan Markle Effect” has made an impact noticed throughout the world. This time, the American actress-turned-royal has made quite a splash with her choice in clothing — so much so that one brand is reporting their increase in sales and web traffic has allowed them to reinvest in their own company’s growth.

On a recent (and highly publicized) trip to Australia, Markle wore one pair of black skinny jeans for several events and on travel days. Outland Denim, the brand behind the popular pair of pants, uses natural vegetable dyes and organic cotton to create their jeans. Even better, the company has made it their mission to empower disadvantaged women in Cambodia — many of whom were formerly exploited or enslaved through the sex trafficking trade — through their training and employment.

Markle’s devotion to their denim has proved priceless for Outland. While there are nearly 1,240,000,000 pairs of denim jeans sold worldwide every year, Outland Denim has reported that their website traffic has grown by a staggering 948% (though some reports specify web traffic growth as high as 3000%) in the week-and-a-half period since the Duchess of Sussex’s Australia trip photos exploded onto the internet. The style of black skinny jeans worn by Markle, the “Harriet,” sold out within 24 to 48 hours and sales went through the roof — by 640%, to be exact.

In general, e-commerce is a realm with tremendous growth potential. In the U.S., e-commerce revenue is currently estimated at $423.3 billion and is on the rise. But there’s no denying that Meghan Markle’s choice in trousers have allowed Outland Denim to grow even more quickly than expected. Due to the increase in demand, the company is expanding — which will allow them to help even more women by increasing their job openings. According to statements made by Outland Denim, they’ll be able to add 15 to 30 new seamstresses to their production team.

As the founder and CEO of Outland Denim, James Bartle, told PEOPLE: “Employment with Outland means protection from poverty and all the vulnerabilities associated with that, including human trafficking, forced labor, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and working in environments opposed to human flourishing… Simply being unable to feed, house, clothe and educate your children is something we take for granted but means the world to these women.”

Although Meghan Markle has certainly displayed her superior fashion sense and doesn’t shy away from luxury goods, she’s also made a point of promoting sustainable brands in the past. She’s worn Rothy flats, which are made from recycled plastic water bottles, as well as sustainable pieces by Stella McCartney, Veja, and Reformation. These brands have also experienced “the Meghan Effect,” reporting increased public awareness and product sell-outs.

For businesses like Bartle’s, that can make a huge impact. As he told the Guardian, “With Meghan’s choices getting that level of exposure, and the sales that seem to follow, ethical and sustainable may no longer be a nice idea for idealists or a niche, but a viable and very exciting fashion proposition that can potentially change the lives of a lot of underprivileged people for the better.”


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