Business Editor Gary McDonald
September 17, 2021 1:00 AM
BELFAST clothing designer who has donated nearly 100,000 clothes to homeless people in 36 countries is investing an additional £ 600,000 and creating 11 jobs to further develop its exports.
OutsideIn, created in 2016 by David Johnston, designs a range of clothing inspired by a unique “Wear One, Share One” concept where, for each item purchased, it provides an additional item to a homeless person across the world.
His charitable initiative has already seen OutsideIn donate approximately 98,500 products to people in need in more than 200 cities in 36 countries.
Invest NI has already backed the company, helping it grow from a team of two to 12, and comes up with £ 72,000, bringing its full support to job creation, website development and business consulting. marketing and consulting at £ 210,000.
David Johnston said, “When the pandemic kept us from doing many of our in-person events, Invest NI helped us focus on the digital landscape and now helps us hire the best candidates to help us do it with success.
“As a company that recognizes that homelessness is a global problem requiring a global solution, we have been very grateful for the critical role Invest NI has played in helping our products reach 36 countries and more, including including the United States, Canada and across Europe.
“This latest support has further created opportunities for us to work with a variety of global charities that are integral to realizing our ‘Wear One, Share One’ concept.
He added, “To continue our growth and continue advancing our mission of becoming a globally recognized apparel company that gives back to those in need, we now need to double our workforce with 11 new employees, and have recently tripled our space. office in Work west to do so.
“Our new employees will focus on securing new international business, expanding our product offering and finding innovative solutions to end homelessness for good.”
Susan O’Kane, Eastern Regional Director of Invest NI, said: “We have been delighted to support the growth of OutsideIn over the past four years. With his social messaging and innovative concepts, he has built strong avenues for selling products outside of Northern Ireland and he hasn’t let Covid hamper his growth plans with a new business strategy.
“In addition to the support to double its workforce, the company also benefited from the support of our People Solutions Advisor to obtain important advice on its upcoming recruitment. This will ensure that David and the team have the right structure in place to allow them to focus on growing exports.
“Our team in the US is also helping OutsideIn export to the US market. We look forward to seeing the company flourish in international markets and tackle the problem of homelessness on a more global scale.