Rebecca Lee Funk + Claire Schlemme, Activists & Co-Founders
After my usual scroll through of The Huff Post, I discovered a feminist, text-based clothing line that donates profit to Planned Parenthood. I began to obsess over their black bomber jacket, which reads “Proud Member of Pantsuit Nation” but unfortunately, it was sold out. Not only did I cry like a child, I emailed The Outrage and begged them to produce just ONE more. Much to my surprise, I received and email right away from co-founders, Claire and Rebecca, granting me my wish. I was already in love with the brand but now I was in love with the ladies who run the whole sha-bang! We chatted back and fourth through email and built a relationship based on feminism and equality. We are SO excited to feature these lovely ladies today—not only because they are awesome, but because they will have a pop-up shop at tomorrow’s Women’s March on Washington. Stop by, meet these ladies IRL and purchase some amazing gear for great causes.
1. Ladies, you seem like you had a limitless imagination while growing up together. What did dream of doing or being as an adult?
It's easier to answer what we didn't dream about doing! As a fifth-grader, I (Claire) thought I'd be a pastry chef and Rebecca wanted to run cash registers (lucky!). One of the things that drives us and our friends to be vocal feminists is that we were raised in this atmosphere of "girls can do anything boys can do" and suddenly you're in the adult world, looking around, thinking "wait, what happened? I thought this was all fixed and it's so not."
2. You started The Outrage together. Was there an "ah-ha" moment when you realized to needed to hit play on this?
Absolutely! We actually had TWO "ah-ha" moments, one right after the other, for the venture idea and then for the name. We were planning to design and order some feminist shirts for ourselves and thought if we want these, maybe other people to do. Rebecca and I spent a part of almost every conversation talking about something that we read about or saw that outraged us. So it was natural to call it "The Outrage."
3. Why did you choose to sell clothing/ accessories in particular and why is it important to you to give at least15% of these profits back to women's organizations?
We love the idea of wearing your values. This can be both indirect (choosing ethically sourced clothing) or direct (having a design that projects your values). We wanted to combine these two in our shop. Our aim is to blend design and activism in an online (and sometimes brick and mortar!) marketplace. We are both committed to the second bottom line and believe that every business should be doing social good while making profits. It also doubles our impact - a shirt can both promote a cause (through being worn) and support a related cause (through the donation).
4. Your latest collection is for The Women's March on Washington. Why do you feel like it is important for us all to march?
This march promises to be one for the history books and we are so excited to be witnessing this event. It's been proven again and again that an equal society benefits everyone and the call for equality is louder when our voices join together. In this particular moment, it's critically important to illustrate that women's rights must, and will, be defended.
5. What is next for The Outrage?
So many things! We have some awesome artisan partnerships and collaborations with organizations in the pipeline. Our pop-up was such a great success and we'd love to open up temporary spaces in other cities. It was so gratifying to have people delighted by the experience of stepping into a physical space that was filled with feminist gear. We're excited to help carry the momentum of this movement forward!
Interview by Emily