10,000 Volunteers Fighting the Waste Created by Fast Fashion with Jessica Schreiber (Episode #113)
What fascinates you? If you wonder how your unique skills and interests could combine to put bread on your table, and make the world a little better place, then our guest, Jessica Schreiber, will change your future. She took an observation in her internship, and turned it into an amazing nonprofit in New York City that has 800+ companies as clients, over 10,000 volunteers, and saves NYC tens of millions of dollars every year. It’s a story that any of us could use in our own journeys to discover what we are uniquely built to contribute!
About Our Guest:
Are you… or could you… see a way to use what fascinates you as a vehicle for a wonder-full working life?
Do you know someone who is feeling a bit underwhelmed by their working life and feels like they need more meaning and purpose?
If so, share this episode with people you know who may have untapped potential. It is a great story of discovery and contribution!
Here’s what you need to know: A nonprofit called, FABSCRAP, is fundamentally changing the world of waste management by giving us all a reason to look at textile (fabric) waste as a resource instead of allowing it to clog our landfills. And its founder simply followed her curiosity right into discovering the missed potential in an enormous percentage of the waste stream coming out of NYC… more than 10% is fabric/textile related!
Jessica didn’t set out to change the world. In fact, her story could be any of ours and that’s why we thought it was so important to share and celebrate here on the Goodness Exchange. (Here is a link to the article we wrote about Fabscrap, and you’ll see why this interview needed to happen!)
She simply had a kernel of interest she followed through her education pathway, then landed an internship that connected with that. Then, she kept her eyes open in the internship and discovered an enormous gap in our systems and public policy surrounding textile waste.
And a vision of possibility became clear.
Jessica Schreiber is the Founder and CEO of FABSCRAP, which provides convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from fashion companies and creates opportunities for reuse.
Prior to launching FABSCRAP, she worked in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the NYC Department of Sanitation. She has a Masters degree in Climate and Society from the Climate School at Columbia University and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, Waste360, and Apparel Magazine.
When several fashion brands reached out to her at the Department of Sanitation to ask how they could recycle their excess fabric, Schreiber was inspired to create a solution for fashion’s textile waste problem.
After successfully pitching her idea on Lifetime’s Project Runway: Fashion Startup, she was awarded several investment grants to officially launch FABSCRAP in 2016. The nonprofit has since evolved into an industry-leading community addressing waste.
Schreiber is passionate about changing how the fashion industry handles fabric waste and creating the infrastructure necessary to facilitate long-term sustainability.
21 Billion Pounds of Clothes Go to Landfills Every Year… Now FABSCRAP is On the Case!
We’ve mastered how to make the most of food scraps, but what about textile scraps? Let’s meet the female CEO of FABSCRAP, the company transforming textile waste from the apparel design process into a catalyst for a community of changemakers.Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
- Jessica started working on textile waste on 2011
- Past the point of sale, it’s the public’s responsibility to dispose the waste properly
- New York’s budget for textile waste approximately 60 million
- Textile waste from businesses
- Making the businesses accountable for their wastes
- 6% of New York City’s waste is textile
- Business wastes are not regulated the same as individual waste
- The business model
- Reusing and recycling
- The volunteers
- Students will go to the industry with a whole new perspective
- There’s an opportunity to get involve
- Girl scout volunteers
- How mending/alteration can change how you value your clothing
- Polyester is plastic
- Spandex is not recyclable
- Fabric to fabric recycling
- Law for textile waste management
- Recycling is delaying the inevitable
- Fundraising to expand on west coast