MAGAZINE June 19th, 2021

ADIFF SS22

What are the aesthetic codes and the essential reference points of your brand?

We see our brand at the intersection between streetwear and outdoor apparel - what we like to call “outlesiure.” While most of our pieces are pretty unique, we utilize a lot of reflective material and vibrant life vests, which have become our signature. In general, we allow the form of our garments to follow their function, allowing for heightened utility and simplified style.

Tell us about the collection you are presenting at White (i.e. inspirations, key pieces, materials)

The collection we are presenting at White is our main collection which is made out of upcycled “waste” material including UNHCR tents and life vests that were once lived in and worn by refugees respectively. Our backpacks, cross bodies and tote bags are all minimal, stylish and functional pieces designed for a life on the go. Our accessories and outerwear are meant for daily wear that you’ll be proud to talk about as there is a story tied to each and every piece.
Our trip to Greece was the inspiration behind this collection. We were informed that most of the UNHCR tents that were once lived in by refugees were bulldozed and thrown into landfills, so we ended up collecting some of this material as a donation from a non-profit. Additionally, we also went to a landfill on the island of Lesvos and picked some life vests ourselves. We used this “waste” material and gave it a new life through creating our main collection. There are 13 million tons of textile waste being dumped each year, 95% of which could be reused or recycled, and there’s so much more the fashion industry could be doing to address this crisis, so our goal is to do better and to stop the environmental harm caused by the fashion industry.

Sustainability has become a major issue for the fashion industry (and not only that). What’s the brand attitude in relation to it?

Adiff was founded on the concept that fashion should be responsive to what is going on in the world, and we will always stay true to this concept of addressing key global issues through the vehicle of fashion. We see sustainability as not just concerning the planet, but also people. The United Nations defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” - to us, that means employment that allows for growth and long-term prosperity, in addition to supporting a resilient planet. Adiff’s mission is built upon three key pillars: people, planet, and product. We understand that global displacement and climate change are inherently linked crises, so our products leverage waste as a resource, while our supply chain creates long term employment opportunities for resettled refugees. We also recognize that sustainability is not a commodity that can be bought and sold. In an effort to democratize sustainable fashion (which is traditionally out of budget for so many people), we published our Open Source Fashion Cookbook that provides step-by-step instructions on how to create your own sustainable clothing using items in your home that you may normally discard. 
As we continue to grow, we are planning to collaborate with other brands, using their deadstock and creating new items in order to correct some of the issues of the fashion industry. We envision this industrial shift must be done as a unified approach across all product categories and brand levels, which is why our future focuses so heavily on collaboration and partnerships.

We live in the age of social media, non-stop communication and rapid changes. On what should a brand focus to carve out its own space and draw public attention?

Firstly, a brand should identify its core values and create a unique aesthetic that will speak to its audience. It’s important to be efficient and adapt to our ever-changing environment and consumer needs, however, consistency in your messaging and communication is also essential to be able to have a strong position in the market. An effective customer strategy is very crucial to be able to serve your customers and adapt to rapid changes - developing personal relationships and engaging with them to earn brand loyalty and build a strong customer base. You need to be able to speak the language of the customer and try to anticipate their needs in order to come up with solutions that they are looking for. Last but not least, because of constant technological breakthroughs and the growth of e-commerce, we need to experiment with different innovations. The sky is the limit. Be creative and get out of your comfort zone. Think big and don’t be afraid to take risks as long as it does not come at the expense of what you stand for.

Do you think it is important to stress on workmanship and, broadly speaking, on the production process of the garments? If so, how can this be communicated?

We believe that anyone who wears clothing should understand the process and craft that goes into making their garments. In our most recent project, the Open Source Fashion Cookbook, while we are teaching our customers how to make their own garments, we’re also trying to instill in them a broader understanding of the time and effort necessary to make quality clothing. There is no reason a T-shirt should ever cost $2, once you understand how much time and material it takes to make one yourself. We’re working on this communication strategy now, which we feel falls highly on education and alternative methods of brand engagement, other than traditional shopping. Our Cookbook is an early introduction, but we see this space further developing with additional educational resources, workshops, and interactive collection releases.

 

 

 

 

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