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Urban Outfitters to address commercial textile waste with FabScrap

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

20 Apr 2021

Urban Outfitters, Inc. are partnering with FabScrap to reduce the fashion industry’s impact on the planet by helping the organisation expand with a working capital grant.

The retail group started working with FabScrap in 2019 as part of its efforts to reduce waste in its supply chain. The non-profit helped Urban Outfitters, Inc. to recycle fabric waste from their knitting, sample, and pattern-making rooms.

More needs to be done added the retailer, as each year more than 6.3 million tons of textiles are wasted during the design and production process to make clothing, according to the ‘A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future’ report from the Ellen McArthur Foundation.

This new partnership will see Urban Outfitters combating commercial textile waste by facilitating FabScrap’s expansion into the Mid-Atlantic region by providing a new physical location in Philadelphia and a working capital grant.

Frank J. Conforti, co-president and chief operating officer, Urban Outfitters, Inc., said in a statement: “We are excited about the partnership with FabScrap as part of the next step in our sustainability journey. Philadelphia is a perfect location to expand due to local demand for service and many relationships with design and art universities and non-profits in the region. We believe this expansion will facilitate an infrastructure solution for FabScrap and our community.”

Headquartered in New York City, FabScrap is a non-profit organisation that has pioneered a system to reuse and recycle fabric waste. It aims to counter the fashion industry’s commercial textile waste problem by diverting as much unused material as possible from being landfilled or incinerated, while simultaneously creating an accessible materials resource for creative communities.

Jessica Schreiber, chief executive of FabScrap, added: “It’s fantastic that Urban Outfitters, Inc. supports the fabric recycling and reuse infrastructure FabScrap is building. This infrastructure is a key component of a more sustainable future for fashion.

“We are leading the change in how the industry handles fabric waste during the design process, though our work relies on companies and individuals within the industry recognising the issue and actively seeking a solution. Urban Outfitters, Inc. is actively contributing to our growth, increasing the accessibility of our services, and accelerating our impact.”