Fabscrap, which has diverted 655,710 pounds of fabric from landfills since its launch in 2016, was not profitable for the first time in 2020 due to the pandemic’s economic impact and disruption of business, the company said in its annual report.
Income in 2020 was $677,960, while expenses totaled $742,599. Fabscap said its fee-for-service model holds businesses responsible for their textile waste and helps fund the infrastructure needed to recycle and redistribute it.
While fabric sales made up the same share of income as in 2019, there was a “significant change in source,” the company said. Income from service fees fell 12 percent to $163,611.
“We weren’t quite able to make up the difference with the federally provided PPP and EIDL loans we received,” Brooklyn-based Fabscrap said. “Critical to our survival were generous grants from Ashoka, Walmart, CFDA/Vogue, and Ana and Alex Bogusky.”
In the previous year, its online store sold 13 percent of its fabric, while in 2020, in the shift to digital, it was responsible for 45 percent of sales to $326,677. The company reached 89 percent of its fundraising goal of $50,000.
The report noted that even with reduced hours in 2020, personnel was the largest expense, as the team doubled to 10 from five staff members. Facilities and equipment made up the same share of expenses as in 2019, “as we continued to make on-time rent payments throughout the pandemic,” the company said.
“The pause in operations reduced our processing and transportation costs,” Fabscrap said. “We reduced our administrative and marketing budgets to preserve cash flow.”
Fabscrap has grown to provide service to 503 businesses in the fashion, interior and entertainment industries. It collects and recycles textile waste, including small sewing scraps, headers, larger cuttings and full rolls of fabric. Recycling partners signed up for service receive a set of Fabscrap bags. The service allows partners the option of communicating whether their textile waste is proprietary or non-proprietary, using Fabscrap’s black or brown bags.
In 2020, the company moved into a second, private warehouse and hired sorters in response to a growing stream of proprietary material. It now provides Certificates of Destruction, verifying the material has been received and shredded. With this investment in the proprietary part of its service, Fabscrap was able to double the amount of Black Bag material sorted over previous years.
In 2020, Fabscrap redistributed 44,037 pounds of fabric to sewers, crafters, and makers across the United States, representing 66 percent of all textile waste received.