Monday, April 10, 2017

Lots of shelves

My husband flagged a story in Saturday's New York Times about the complicated rules on forgiveness of student loans for people who work in public service.  It grabbed his eye because our daughter-in-law (and her student loans) works for Legal Aid.  When he passed the paper along, I was way more interested in the photo than in the story.

New York Times photo
Here's Jessica Schreiber, who started a nonprofit called Fabscrap, which collects and recycles "pre-consumer textile waste" from designers, garment manufacturers, decorators and others.

I looked up the organization, which is based in New York City, and learned some things I hadn't known.  Such as that in New York, if more than 10% of the waste of a business is textiles, it must recycle.  The waste that Fabscrap collects is sold to designers, students, teachers, artists, sewists and quilters, and I guess anybody else who wants some.  Some are sold online.  Certain materials are shredded for insulation, carpet padding, moving blankets and other industrial products.

Here's the good news for those in the New York area: if you volunteer to help sort the stuff that comes in on the trucks, you can take home anything you want, for free.

But all I could think of when I saw the photo was that Jessica's stash looks kind of lame -- all those shelves, so little fabric!  Any self-respecting quilter of my acquaintance, even me, post-divestiture, could come up with a better-populated backdrop for a fabric-related portrait.


  1. You are so, so right! Any quilter I know could FILL those shelves with fabric left over. At least for the picture, she could have filled and used just one set for a backdrop so her business looked robust! You always find the most interesting things!

  2. Most interesting. Not quite Mother Hubbard's cupboard shelves but not far off either.

  3. She is trying to show that she has everything in order, I think. Whereas quilters would try to show off their stash...

  4. As a consumer, I look at that and decide NOT to make a trip because since she has little stock so there is likely nothing there for me. However, I believe her age group likes to shop barren shelves in a Marie-Kondo-esque minimalism environment. I don't get it, but it is a current retail organizational aesthetic.

    I am lucky to have a similar sort of business at my end of the country. Scrap PDX is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.
    While there is often comparatively little in the way of fabric, there is quite a bit of delightfully random stuff. last time I was in there were two 50 gallon drums of corks from a local restaurant. A tech company had donated some weird plastic-y stuff, plenty of office supplies, crayons, colored pencils, tons of yarn, really just a lot of fun stuff.