Leftover fabric finds a new use instead of ending up in landfill

In the past three years, a New York-based nonprofit called FABSCRAP has helped prevent almost a half million pounds of leftover fabric from ending up in landfills.

FABSCRAP collects and recycles unwanted fabrics from designers such as Marc Jacobs, Oscar De La Renta, Express, J. Crew and more.

Camille Tagle, the co-founder and director of reuse, has a background in fashion design and saw firsthand the amount of waste generated during the clothing creation process.

"I just felt so passionate about wanting to make a change and do something that could also benefit student designers, entrepreneurs—people who were wanting to afford these fabrics and work with them," Tagle said. "I figured if there was a way to get those fabrics that were originally headed towards landfill into the hands of these creatives that could use it—that could be good for everyone."

Once FABSCRAP receives and sorts the fabrics, some materials get down-cycled for use as carpet padding or furniture lining, while the rest is available for purchase online or in store at thrift store prices. 

In addition to a FABSCRAP storefront in Chelsea, a warehouse in the Brooklyn Army Terminal houses the scraps.

Between a small staff and volunteers, the company recycles 12,000 pounds of fabric and other material per month to help landfill waste, Tagle said.


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