Janelle Abbott (JRAT) was born into the fashion industry—her parents owned a clothing manufacturing company where they produced Tencel garments in Seattle for over 20 years. Early exposure to the BTS of garment production gave Janelle a sense of reverence for the labor involved in creating clothing. She received a BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 2012. By the early 2010’s, the boutique nature of her parents business was no longer the industry norm; fast fashion had taken hold of the consumer market, subjugating millions of sewers and factory workers, world-wide, to unethical, slave-like conditions in order to keep the cost of manufacturing minuscule, the price of garments artificially low, and the profits for CEOs and share-holders astronomical. In the face of the unethical, exploitive, and anti-ecological agenda of corporate fashion, Janelle decided to carve her own path within the industry—one committed to upcycling, sustainability, hand craft, and the zero waste design methodology.

Zero waste patterns are like puzzles: all the pattern pieces fit together so that nothing is wasted, whereas traditional methods discard 15% of textiles. Parsons professor, Timo Rissanen employed Janelle to sew white t-shirts in Helsinki’s Amos Anderson Museum as a part of “15%” in 2012. Her performance brought awareness to the wasteful and inhumane nature of modern fashion production.

Through her work, Janelle seeks to reclaiming as much as possible from the trash heap of hyper consumerism in order to reduce the weight that modern life is impinging on our fragile and precious planet. Reclaimed, found, second-hand, and donated goods are the foundation of the clothing, furniture, sculpture, and tapestries that she creates. Aside from being environmentally positive, used materials also hold sentimental, emotional, and historical value—these narratives of past lives live on through her work in whispers and echos. Densely pleated, boldly clashing, and unexpectedly rhythmic, Janelle’s work is scrappy, unapologetic, and a testament to just how much time and energy it takes for real humans to manufacture and produce every consumer product we engage with.


Shoutout LA | 8/2021 | Meet Janelle Abbott | Artist & Designer

No Kill Magazine | 4/2021 | Our Favorite Fashion Influencers

No Kill Magazine | 4/2021 | Serious Style Inspo: Wardrobe Therapy

No Kill Magazine | 4/2021 | Interview | Leah Flannery

City Arts and Lectures | 4/29/2020 | Interview | Avery Trufelman

Re:Fashion | 1/13/2020 | Interview | Johanna Schwab

Crosscut | 12/17/2019 | Wardrobe Therapy | Margo Vansynghel

GOODWILL | 11/2019 | Glitter Gala Finale | Jared Ribic

GOODWILL | 10/2019 | Meet the Upcycle Designers | Katherine Boury

Teen Vogue | 8/22/2019 | Generation Next | Tahirah Hairson

Fashionista | 8/22/2019 | Generation Next | Maria Bobila

Yahoo! Lifestyle | 8/22/2019 | Generation Next | Tahirah Hairson

Panicking Daily | 6/26/2019 | Wardrobe Therapy Rewview | Edie Everette

Arts Zone | 5/31/2019 | JRAT Interview | Heather Garcia

Spectator | 5/2019 | Brutal, Right? Release | Debbie Dickinson

Document Journal | 4/1/19 | Wardrobe Therapy Interview | Sara Radin

Slog | 2/11/19 | Desperately Seeking Shavasana Review | Chase Burns