By: Eline Steurs & Jessica Fillak
Meet Anglela Luna and Loulwa Al Saad, founders of ADIFF—a brand redefining functional fashion.
ADIFF grew out of Founder Angela Luna’s award-winning senior thesis at Parsons School of Design in which she explored how fashion could address the refugee crisis. Luna’s thesis featured a series of garments designed to help those fleeing to Europe from Syria, including jackets that double as tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks, as well as jackets equipped for carrying children, flotation, and [in]visibility.
Luna describes the style of ADIFF as “the embodiment of functionality and style and the intersection of urban and outdoors,”. This mélange, creates, what ADIFF refers to as, “outleisure,” a style similar to athleisure, but with a focus on outdoor functionality. The unique combination, as well as the gender-neutral garments, give ADIFF its signature streetwear look.
In 2016, Luna was able to test her garments in Greece while participating in a distribution trip with Carry the Future, a US based nonprofit that distributes items for newborns and mothers. The trip lasted just over one week, visiting camps across Athens and Lesvos, where Luna introduced the collection of garments to refugees in camps and conducted user testing to see which items were the most useful.
Upon returning from the trip, Luna launched the [in]visible jacket, which explicitly was needed in the refugee camp setting. This jacket launched as a buy-one-give-one, where every purchase would sponsor the donation of a jacket to refugees in camps in Syria. This trip also set the framework and established the necessary connections for ADIFF to later open a sewing facility in Athens, Greece that would employ resettled refugees.
Luna and Al Saad remain committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Climate Action, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Responsible Consumption and Production. Their efforts are not just limited to these three, though, stating,
“We strongly feel that everyone should see these goals as important and work towards as many as they can. We all share this earth, so we should all take efforts to protect it. “
In the future, they see ADIFF addressing the goals of Reduced Inequalities and Gender inequality.
“We feel that the actions we are taking now to shed light on the refugee crisis and marginalized communities, while also practicing economic development of refugee communities is laying the framework for us to tackle Goal 10, but a lot more still needs to be done”
The two seem to already have a plan for the work to be done in the future, mentioning a hope to “establish entrepreneurship initiatives in the coming years within the camps themselves for men AND women, which would also allow us to invest heavier into Goal 5.”
In the meantime, ADIFF aims to "lead the way to a better fashion system, one that takes people, planet, and product seriously. We should be lifting up the people within our supply chain, while preserving the environment, and only creating products that innovate. We see ourselves become the leaders in circular fashion, assisting and encouraging larger brands to reformat their existing design and production systems to better suit the evolving needs of the industry.”
As ADIFF continues to blur the lines between fashion and utility, we are reminded of the innovative ways to ensure a more connected and compassionate future. We will continue to support ADIFF's artistry at The Canvas Williamsburg, The Canvas Antwerp, and our online shop.