Design Label ADIFF Reimagines Fashion With Upcycling In New ‘Fashion Cookbook’

Good News Notes:

Design label ADIFF is cooking up innovative solutions to fashion’s waste problem.

The woman-founded label’s new book, “The Open Source Fashion Cookbook,” offers recipes and tips for DIY sustainable designs. The recipes provide directions for creating everything from a shirt dress comprised of button-downs to a hat made from an umbrella.

The amount of clothing Americans throw away every year has doubled in the last 20 years — from 7 million to 14 million tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

ADIFF co-founder Angela Luna believes that fashion should be socially responsible. In 2016, Luna, then a senior at Parsons School of Design, told Here & Now about a coat she created that turns into a tent for unhoused people. The garment is now a centerpiece at ADIFF.

“I originally started ADIFF with this general idea that fashion can do more,” she says. “Since 2016, my goal has just been evolving that idea and transitioning that from just, you know, a jacket that can turn into a tent into really questioning the entire fashion industry as a whole and how we can actually put solutions into practice.”

During the nationwide protests against police brutality last summer, Luna reflected on the roles of fashion plays in the world, especially within systemic racism, and how to make sustainable fashion more accessible. Instead of eating at restaurants during the pandemic, she realized cooking at home was healthier and more affordable — and fashion could be the same way.

Fast fashion — quickly and cheaply produced items that mimic the latest runway styles — is “bad for the planet, bad for people, bad for everything,” she says. People often discard fast fashion pieces after only a handful of wears.

People who want to learn to cook look up recipes online, and Luna thought that idea could apply to fashion to help educate people on how to better care for clothing and create pieces themselves.

ADIFF asked designers to contribute to the book and most of them were receptive, says co-founder Loulwa Al Saad.

“We envision this as a comprehensive industrial shift,” she says, “so it can’t all just end with us.”

The ADIFF team wanted to create garnets that people could make from items in their homes instead of relying on traditional fashion supply stores, Luna says.

One garment featured in the book is a chest harness with a waterproof hood made from a shower curtain. Materials such as t-shirts, jeans, blankets, bed sheets and broken umbrellas are also utilized throughout the book….”

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