In 2019, we began working with FABSCRAP, a Brooklyn-based non-profit to recycle fabric waste from our knitting, sample, and pattern-making rooms. In November 2021, Fabscrap’s Philadelphia location opened in South Philadelphia’s Bok Building, a technical high school repurposed into a multi-use co-working studio and office space, using the previously announced working capital grant from URBN. In calendar year 2021, URBN recycled 5,858 lbs. or three tons of pre-consumer cutting waste from our apparel and home business lines, the equivalent of 43 tons of CO2.
Each year, over 6.3 million tons of textiles are wasted during the design and production process to make clothing. FABSCRAP is dedicated to countering the fashion industry’s commercial textile waste problem, diverting as much unused material as possible from being landfilled or incinerated, while simultaneously creating an accessible materials resource for creative communities. To date, FABSCRAP has diverted over 700,000 lbs of textiles from the landfill.
Fabric scraps are separated into two groups, one for resale and the other for recycling. Recycled scraps contain proprietary patterns or logos and are shredded to create insulation, carpet padding, furniture lining, moving blankets, etc. Students, artists, crafters, quilters, sewers, teachers, and of course, other designers can purchase any material collected that is not proprietary.