OCC Apparel is a brand with ethical manufacturing and long-term global strategy sewn into every process and decision it makes. Founded in 2004 by Nick Barclay in Australia, OCC Apparel has grown from strength to strength since inception. As consumers’ demand for ethically sourced clothing and apparel has become front and center, many companies and brands are looking for the exact ethical apparel products, services and advice OCC Apparel offers.
As a result, when an ethically minded company, organization, university, fashion brand requires ethically accredited t-shirts, hoodies or caps, they consistently turn to OCC Apparel for their needs.
“Ethical fashion styles, highest screenprinting quality, transparent supply chains, reduction of plastic waste and fair living wages for workers worldwide has been a dedicated focus and the founding DNA of OCC Apparel for over 18 years now,” says Nick Barclay, founder and CEO of OCC Apparel.
“The demand has increased consistently over the previous decade and will only grow stronger the further our OCC Apparel green star brand spreads its wings to other countries around the world.”
A lifelong ethical apparel journey
Nick Barclay is an accomplished operator in the world of ethical apparel, and has always had a deep interest in the manufacturing of durable and sustainable clothing. Almost 20 years ago, Barclay was working in New York as a retail sales associate for Patagonia. The seed of organic cotton was planted in his mind, and it took very little time for his business idea to blossom and be harvested into a profit-making business.
“I was working for Patagonia in the United States. They had a wholesale organic cotton blanks t-shirt and tote bag division at the time called ‘Beneficial Ts’,” says Barclay.
“When I returned home to Australia there were no organic cotton apparel wholesale options so I started importing Patagonia Beneficial Ts and sold them at organic farmers markets. From there more and more businesses and brands not only wanted the blank organic garments. They wanted different styles, more colors, different fabric compositions. They wanted their brand label sewn or heat pressed in the neck, they wanted screen printing, DTG (direct to garment) decoration all along with expert apparel advice, speed to deliver and competitive price. OCC Apparel was born.”
In little time, Barclay developed the OCC Apparel brand from its humble origins into the recognized green star apparel brand it is today. He recognized the need for truly customizable, blank apparel that could be branded later on and has partnered with a global network of ethical suppliers and brands that is unique to the OCC Apparel business.
18 years on since his first organic cotton t-shirt sale at a farmers market, Barclay has built OCC Apparel into a compelling, honest and globally scalable brand that is destined to be the largest wholesale ethical apparel franchise business in the world.
Ethically accredited apparel is in high demand
Ethics are the top concern with almost any product category now, and is especially the case with clothing. Not-for-profit organizations, corporate businesses, universities, entertainment, fashion brands and locally made artisan businesses are the leading business types searching for and demanding ethically manufactured apparel.
Today’s front-end consumers, especially those in a younger demographic, are acutely aware of the damage fast fashion has done to the planet. They are environmentally educated, socially conscious and aware, willing to make the change and are actively searching for accredited apparel alternatives.
This attitude is filtering up into the uppermost layers of business, who need to react to the changing attitudes of customers along with protecting their brand. Fair and liveable workers’ wages in the apparel industry are a hot topic too, and one that OCC Apparel has completely endorsed and supported via its long-term supplier partnership with the Continental Clothing Company and its Fair Share branded range.
OCC Apparel put in place a program alongside its partners, to give its Indian factory garment workers a living wage, with the first stage of the wage increase having come into effect from 2016 onwards. Consumers are happy to pay a small premium on their clothing if it means that money goes directly to the workers who made it.
The Earth Positive range is made completely of organic cotton, and is fully accredited by Fair Wear and the production of these products is carbon-neutral. It doesn’t stop there; OCC Apparel has a 360-degree view of ethics, and it is deeply embedded into everything the brand does and the world-class leading ethical apparel brands it offers within its business which includes: Earth Positive, Salvage, Fair Share, Continental Clothing, AS Colour, Certton Australia, Stanley Stella, Vapor Apparel and Royal Apparel.
It wasn’t too long ago when the average consumer’s concern with the source and environmental impact of their products was an afterthought. The world is a different place compared to just ten years ago, and people’s scope of what contributes to climate change and unethical business practices has significantly widened. In every sphere of their lives, young people want their products and services to have ethics at the forefront.
Many companies have long-standing apparel suppliers who are resistant to change, but for those who do not offer ethical garments, it’s only a matter of time until they are forced to reconsider the source of their apparel. That’s why right now is the perfect time to become an OCC Apparel master franchisee.
The global demand for ethical garments is rapidly rising and acute business leaders have the opportunity to quickly establish themselves as the market leader for ethical apparel in their country by registering and securing the OCC Apparel master franchise rights.
At a Glance OCC Apparel
Number of franchised outlets: 5
Location of units: Sydney, Gold Coast, Dunedin, Auckland (2022), Wellington (2023)
Investment range: $44,000 – $126,000
Minimum required capital: $44,000
Contact: Nick Barclay, CEO and managing director, firstname.lastname@example.org.