The biggest brand names and retailers in New England now have more options for obtaining fabric resources. Thanks to a new FABSCRAP building, clothing sellers and designers have a more sustainable, eco-friendly option. FABSCRAP, a non-profit organization, is all about long-term circular business, sustainability and doing good things for the Earth.

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A fab scrap bag full of textile pieces

FABSCRAP reclaims, reuses and recycles post-consumer fabric waste. Thanks to a new facility recently opened by the non-profit organization in South Philadelphia, many huge retailers in New England will have access to this material. FABSCRAP has set up shop in the historic BOK building in South Philly, with the aim of engaging local artists and community members in the neighborhood.

Related: Osprey uses recycled plastic fabric for durable bags

A pile of black trash bags and a yellow trash bag stands out among them

This is destined to become the signature fabric waste recycling service for FABSCRAP. It will engage with companies in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Jersey to serve as a resource for sustainable materials for designers, clothing makers, artists and others.

Multicolor fabrics and textiles in trash bins

FABSCRAP will provide textile recycling services and provide materials to any businesses and individuals who want to use it. FABSCRAP has also partnered with Nordstrom to create a partner portal that allows all brand partners to access diversion data and environmental impact data. This portal will increase supply chain visibility to promote more responsible decision making.

Fabric rolls leaning against a white wall

Part of FABSCRAP’s goal is to increase transparency and awareness about commercial waste. So far, the organization has saved almost one million pounds of fabric from landfills. As far as CO2 goes, that’s the equivalent of planting 110,000 trees.

A woman wearing a black mask sorting through textile on a table

The pioneering system of recycling and reusing fabric waste and making it more accessible could change the fashion industry. Every year, more than six million tons of textiles are thrown into the scrap heap and end up in the trash. Swatches, samples, mock-ups, scraps, excess yarn and trim and more materials all end up being thrown away. FABSCRAP saves these materials so they can be used again. These fabrics have not been used or worn. And FABSCRAP knows there is no reason for it be thrown away.


Photography by Erica Schroeder