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Jessica Schreiber: Helping Fashion Companies Create Less Waste

Jessica Schreiber: Helping Fashion Companies Create Less Waste


Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Welcome back! Spiffy here, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs working to make this world more equitable. Today I’m super excited to speak with Jessica Schreiber, founder and CEO of FABSCRAP.

Spiffy: It’s wonderful to meet you, Jessica. I’m curious about the challenges FABSCRAP is addressing. What can you tell me?

Jessica: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. FABSCRAP is helping fashion companies create less waste while designing clothing. We work to make sure excess fabric, yarn, leather, and trims are recycled or redistributed to students, artists, and crafters who can use them!!

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Jessica: Climate change really scares me! I think we are using our planet's resources too fast and I want future generations to be able to experience the same (or better!) natural world that I know and love so much.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Jessica: FABSCRAP has saved over 1.5 million pounds of fabric, leather, yarn, and trims from landfill. We are helping the fashion industry reduce its impact on the planet and making it easier for the next generation of designers and artists to use upcycled materials.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your org. What impact does that make?

Jessica: FABSCRAP recently added the 800th fashion company to our service! This shows that the industry is looking for solutions and has an interest in doing better.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Jessica: We not only provide a recycling service and create a sustainable materials resource, but we've also grown a huge community of volunteers who help make our work possible—over 8,000 people have volunteered at FABSCRAP! We give all volunteers some free fabric as a thank-you :)

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jessica—it’s been an honor!

Jessica Schreiber is the founder and CEO of FABSCRAP, which provides a convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from fashion companies and creates opportunities for reuse. Before launching FABSCRAP, she worked in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the New York City Department of Sanitation. She has a master’s 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. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 12, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.