Fresh Start: Fashion Brands Have Found a New Way to Deal with The Waste

Maor Yur
July 28, 2021

Last month, very good news came from the popular brand Urban Outfitters, and it wasn’t news about a big mid-season sale or a special new collection.
According to various websites, Urban Outfitters, Inc. – a leading global lifestyle retailer – has started a partnership with FABSCRAP to support the organization in reducing the fashion industry’s impact on the planet. Urban Outfitters will facilitate FABSCRAP’s expansion into the Mid-Atlantic region by providing a new physical FABSCRAP location in Philadelphia, and a working capital grant.

FABSCRAP is a New York City-based non-profit founded in 2016 by Jessica Schreiber, in order to meet New York city’s commercial textile recycling needs. The company works with various fashion brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Lafayette148, and JCREW, as well as various interior designers and entertainment industries.

Over the past few years, this nonprofit has helped address the problem, working with some 500 brands around New York that are attempting to reduce their textile waste. “We want to change the way fashion deals with waste”, said Schreiber to CNN, “we help them to recover, redistribute and recycle excess textiles”.

Companies that sign up for FABSCRAP’s service are looking to reduce their fabric waste. After signing up, they give the non-profit sample yards of fabric, swatches of fabric, or sample garments. “We are picking up about 8,000 pounds a week”, said Schreiber. “If it didn’t come here, it would likely be going to landfill or incinerated”. Once the fabrics come to FABSCRAP they get sorted for reuse, resale, or recycled.

Urban Outfitters is not the only fashion brand that decided to deal with this crucial problem via a partnership with FABSCRAP. Last month the American luxury department store chain Nordstrom stated that it’s committed to contributing one million dollars in corporate grants to support industry innovation for textile recycling by partnering with FABSCRAP. The luxury department store has also announced it is partnering with ‘Homeboy Recycling’, a Los Angeles-based organization that offers recycling services and gang rehabilitation and re-entry programs.

These moves are not simply nice gestures of goodwill, but rather a genuine internalizing of the problematic reality in which the fashion industry is one of the largest waste-producing industries in the world. According to the report ‘A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future’ by Ellen McArthur Foundation, over 6.3 million tons of textiles are wasted in the course of the design and production process of making clothing. In Kornit Digital we believe in making things better upstream. How can we do that? As a global leader for change, we offer a suite of on-demand digital textile printing technologies that ensure sustainable manufacturing. Our technology frees both manufacturer and consumer from an outdated business model of overproduction. Want to avoid producing more than you need? Control inventory, speed up production, and deliver design diversity on any scale? With our technology, you can take control of your supply chain. This will reduce your carbon footprint, save precious resources and ensure increased profits. To sum it up – you won’t have to seek solutions for unwanted garments because you will not have any!