Fabscrap is expanding its system of reclaiming, reusing, and recycling pre-consumer fabric waste to the city of Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region, including Washington DC, Baltimore, and Southern New Jersey.

The non-profit works with the fashion, interior design, and entertainment industries to recycle and reuse fabric waste.

Its expansion will see the opening of a new location in South Philadelphia’s historic BOK Building on 15 November, which Fabscrap says marks a significant shift towards long-term circularity and sustainability for businesses, designers, and artists throughout the area.

As part of the move, Fabscrap has announced partnerships with fashion retailers Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Nordstrom. It says the collaboration will provide innovative industry investment and support in reducing the fashion industry’s impact on the planet.

“The expansion to Philadelphia with the support of Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom is a fantastic example of how leading brands can invest in sustainable innovations to make a resource more available in their industry,” says Jessica Schreiber, CEO of Fabscrap. “These vanguard steps forward create a new standard for companies to see themselves as stewards of the planet, taking responsibility for their impact and working to reduce it.”

Specifically, Fabscrap says the support from Urban Outfitters will allow it to more than double its service area, providing textile recycling to more companies and offering affordable, sustainable materials to many more students, artists, and creators.

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Urban Outfitters will provide a working capital grant to secure the new facility and provide general operating funds for the first two years of Fabscrap’s Philadelphia location. As part of the partnership, Urban Outfitters will have the inaugural seat on the non-profit’s Industry Advisory Council.

To support industry innovation, the partnership with Nordstrom, meanwhile, includes a grant to fund the development of a new Fabscrap Partner Portal, which will launch in tandem with the Philadelphia opening. The Partner Portal is a sustainable tech innovation that allows every brand partner access to their company’s diversion data and environmental impact data, increasing supply chain visibility, and informing more responsible decision-making throughout the supply chain.

Fabscrap Philadelphia

The new Philadelphia location will provide the organisation’s signature fabric waste recycling service for fashion, interior design, and entertainment companies in Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington DC. The new location will expand Fabscrap’s volunteer programme, where individuals or groups can help sort fabric for reuse. It will also be a resource for sustainable materials for the local entrepreneurial community of designers, artists, and creators with a fabric “thrift” retail store where one can shop for reclaimed fabrics, yarns, and trim.

Fabscrap will continue working closely with Philadelphia local design school educators, and offer expanded opportunities to regional businesses for presentations about textile waste and sustainability in the industry.

The non-profit plans to work with local recycling company Retrievr to pick up excess and unwanted commercial textiles. Broadening its existing relationships with Philadelphia’s fashion community, each year Fabscrap will select and showcase a local designer committed to sustainability each year. Grant Blvd has been chosen as the inaugural 2022 Fabscrap Featured Designer in Philadelphia, and a fashion installation of limited edition zero-waste garments created from deadstock fabrics and reimagined textiles will be on display during Fabscrap’s media launch event. Local sustainable organisations also featured at the event will include Philadelphia’s Made Institute, who will be transforming Fabscrap swatches into bespoke fashion design illustrations for guests, and a fashion installation from Drexel University Fashion Design students, featuring apparel created from deadstock fabrics from Fabscrap as part of their sustainable design-zero waste initiative.