Sunday, September 24, 2023

Angelina Jolie’s Atelier Jolie Will Support Refugees and Circular Fashion


Angelina Jolie tackles textile waste and humanitarian issues with her new circular fashion label, Atelier Jolie.

“I’m starting something new today — a collective where everyone can create,” Angelina Jolie wrote in an Instagram post yesterday. “Atelier Jolie is a place for creative people to collaborate with a skilled and diverse family of expert tailors, pattern makers, and artisans from around the world.”  

The 47-year-old actor and former United Nations goodwill ambassador and special envoy says the new label is inspired by her “appreciation and deep respect” for the many tailors and makers she’s worked with over the years. With an emphasis on building a circular fashion industry, Jolie says the label will “make use of high-quality vintage material and headstock fabric already available.”

According to the official Atelier Jolie Instagram account, the label’s first designs are expected to launch this fall. “Atelier Jolie wants to join others in their effort to democratize the fashion industry, allowing customers to have access to a collective of emerging designers and master artisans,” the label said in a statement.

Efforts will also include providing online resources for finding garment makers and for finding deadstock or vintage materials. The label says its aim is to help producers, particular refugees, create one-of-a-kind pieces “that embody personal creative and purpose.” 

According to Atelier Jolie’s trademark filings, the label could expand to include jewelry, custom handbags, and even home goods such as linens for bed and bath.

The label is expected to reflect Jolie’s own aesthetic — a preference that leans toward quiet luxury’s minimalistic monochrome style. Jolie has been among the Hollywood celebrities re-wearing items from her wardrobe on the red carpet. She’s also lent her past looks to her daughters Shiloh and Zahara who took to the Eternals red carpet 2021 premiere in archival pieces from Jolie’s closet.

The new label puts an emphasis on repair as much as it does on re-wearing items. “You will be able to repair or upcycle pieces from your closet you wish to revive, perfecting fit, breathing new life into what could have been thrown away, and creating quality heirloom garments with personal meaning,” the label said in a statement.

Atelier Jolie’s launch comes on the heels of the 2022 Kearney Circular Fashion Index, which showed stagnancy across average scores. According to the report, the average score for all brands was unchanged from 2021 and shockingly low — 22.97 out of a possible 10 points.

That’s despite an increase in efforts across the luxury sector. Danish label Ganni made its first appearance on the Index after its recent commitments to circularity and decreasing its carbon footprint. The recently certified B Corp label has phased our virgin leather and committed to novel sustainable materials to help reduce its footprint.

Improving circularity by keeping items out of landfills has never been more critical. The Atelier Jolie launch also follows a dire climate warning issued yesterday by leading climate experts at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). According to that report, the world will surpass the 1.5°C Paris Agreement climate threshold by 2027. Climate scientists say that temperature rise will result in more catastrophic natural disasters including flooding, fires, and droughts.

While the WMO says the temperature increase won’t be permanent, it is sounding the alarm that “we will breach the 1.5C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency,” according to Professor Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the WMO.

Jolie says the purpose-driven brand will tap into the abilities of “refugees and other talented, under-appreciated groups, with positions of dignity based on skill.” These groups are some of the most at risk of the impacts of climate change. Jolie has been an outspoken critic of government inaction on human rights issues, particularly as it relates to asylum seekers. That number is expected to increase as a result of climate crises. There could be 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050, according to recent estimates.

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