This Reuse and Recycle Company Is the Design Industry’s Answer to Zero Waste

Emilee Geist

Established in 2016, Fabscrap, an independent textile waste management company and reseller in Manhattan’s Garment District, helps the design industry—fashion, interiors, product, and costume and set design—deal responsibly with all that waste. In 2019, Fabscrap collected over 8,000 pounds a week of discarded material from over 450 fashion and interior […]

Established in 2016, Fabscrap, an independent textile waste management company and reseller in Manhattan’s Garment District, helps the design industry—fashion, interiors, product, and costume and set design—deal responsibly with all that waste. In 2019, Fabscrap collected over 8,000 pounds a week of discarded material from over 450 fashion and interior brands around the city, bringing the year’s haul to 259,521 pounds total. “If more than 10% of your waste is textiles, you’re legally obliged to recycle,” Jessica Schreiber, the company’s founder and CEO, points out. “But most offices or workrooms have no concept of how much garbage they’re producing, and there’s never time to go through everything during that library cleanse or season change.”

While overseeing textile and e-waste management at New York City’s Department of Sanitation, Schreiber witnessed firsthand how design houses were attempting to reform their process without the necessary outlets to do so. Community-based organizations are geared toward household refuse and arts-and-crafters, but are not equipped to handle commercial waste, while industrial textile recycling plants, which usually require a minimum of 20,000 boxes to process, are intended more for large production facilities. When disposal regulations are not well publicized or are especially difficult to abide by, it can be hard for independent designers and small-batch vendors to know just what to do. As Camille Tagle, Fabscrap’s cofounder and creative director, puts it, “We need to make it super convenient so those systems are in place and become second nature.”

“There was an opportunity to not have these valuable fabrics be a loss,” Schreiber notes. “But I needed someone who knew the struggle of designers and creatives, resourcing and carrying bags of fabric up and down subway stairs.” That’s where Tagle’s background in fashion came in handy. “So many of my colleagues were operating with blinders on. Part of our purpose is to educate people. We make it affordable, so there’s no excuse not to adapt.”

To read the full story, visit https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/this-reuse-and-recycle-company-is-the-design-industrys-answer-to-zero-waste.
Author: Janet Mercel, Architectural Digest
Image: 
Architectural Digest

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