Revalued scraps

United States (New York)

Who says scraps are useless? Since 2016, the NGO FABSCRAP has recycled and resold more than 200 tons of textile waste from New York brands, designers, tailors and other businesses. The founders and waste nerds, Jessica Schreiber and Camille Tagle, wanted to offer a solution to one of the greatest problems of fashion, i.e., that, according to a study by the European Commission, each kilo of incinerated clothing emits 3.169 kg of CO2.

FABSCRAP revalues textile waste by offering a collection service divided into reusable twin colour bags. The black ones are for textile waste with the presence of proprietary patterns or logos. This is sent straight into recycling. The yellow ones are for the rest, which is sent to the Brooklyn headquarters for evaluation by volunteers, and which is resold, recycled or discarded.

When the destination of the fabrics is recycling (from the black bags and scraps of cotton, wool and polyester), they are shredded to create insulation, carpets, linings, blankets, etc. There are fabrics for which, unfortunately, there is no way out. They contain spandex, lycra or elastane, and eventually end up in landfill.

When clothes are selected for reuse, they get resold in the company’s Manhattan stores and online to nearly 12,000 students, designers, artists, and artisans. In addition, in the physical store, small designers who reuse these fabrics (as in the case of the influencer Zero Waste Daniel) are given the opportunity to sell their work.

In 2019, 421 brands such as Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, or Macy’s, took a step towards the circular economy by joining, for a fee, the FABSCRAP service, which provides annual reports detailing the total number of kilos of recycled textiles, their final use, and the amount of CO2 emissions saved.

Through their education and awareness sessions, they hope to bring this sustainable solution closer to all areas of the textile sector.

AtlasAction: Start recycling your textile waste, visit the online store, support the project and, if you are in New York City, become a volunteer.

Submitted by

Caitlin O'Rorke

(12 August 2020)

Project leader

Jessica Schreiber, founder and CEO, and Camille Tagle, co-founder and COO


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