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ADIFF makes garments that look cool, do good and support vulnerable communities

Photography By ADIFF
Published 03.02.22

This is Cool is a series from the RIISE team that shares the people, brands, products, ideas and initiatives that are, you guessed it, cool.

I can’t say I’ve ever looked at a tent and thought: “this is something I’d like to wear”. But then I came across the trench by design label ADIFF. One glance at this image of a woman wearing a trench coat – then sleeping under it – had my worldview expanding. 

ADIFF co-founder Angela Luna is the woman responsible for creating a wearable wardrobe item that doubles as a practical outdoor shelter. She’s also had a hand in creating a coat that turns into a sleeping bag and a reversible jacket that is entirely reflective on one side and camouflage green on the other. But being multifunctional isn’t the only reason I think her work is cool.

@adiffnyc

Most of ADIFF’s clothing and accessories are made by refugees from upcycled waste materials. The brand has its own manufacturing facility in Athens, Greece, where it employs resettled refugee tailors from Afghanistan. What’s more, the famous jacket-turned-tent (crafted from recycled PET) was actually designed for people in vulnerable communities: through a buy-one-give-one scheme, every time a jacket is purchased, ADIFF donates one to a displaced person. 

The cascade of goodness continues. ADIFF is a keen collaborator, establishing brand partnerships to take pre- and post-consumer waste and upcycle it in unique collections. It also wants to encourage ordinary people to try their hand at turning existing materials into new items. In 2021, ADIFF released the Open Source Fashion Cookbook, a book filled with “recipes”, tips for DIY sustainable designs and essays from industry experts. It’s basically a tool to empower people to make their own clothing using items readily available at home (and learn a little about the fashion industry at the same time). 

Will I be wearing the two-person tent in my cupboard anytime soon? Probably not. Will I be keeping an eye on ADIFF’s next moves? Absolutely.

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