Problem: The impact of dumping clothing in landfill sites is catastrophic. Natural fibres such as cotton or silk produce greenhouse gases upon degradation, while synthetic fibres such as polyester are non-biodegradable, leading to similar impacts on the environment as plastics. Chemicals from dyes can have severe impacts on soil and water sources from run-off.
Solution: FabricAID collects, sorts, and redistributes clothes to disadvantaged communities at micro-prices.
Goals and objectives: The goal is to deliver good quality clothing into the hands of people who need them, while also reducing fabric waste.
Implementation: Fabric Aid was founded by young entrepreneurs Omar Itani, Hussam Hanouni and Lynn Abi Aad in 2017.
Clothes are graded, sorted into around 50 categories, selecting only clothes in good condition, cleaned in the warehouse and redistributed to disadvantaged communities at US$0.3 – US$2 per item AT FabricAID pop-up markets and FabricAID permanent shops. Clothing that is not fit for re-sale is sold in bulk to existing second-hand stores for much lower prices.
FabricAID’s sorting facility is fully staffed by refugees, adding an additional layer of social impact to its innovative model.
In addition, the FabricAid collects new and gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories through its network of smart clothing collection bins located all over Lebanon, and garments that cannot be reused are shredded for pillows, chairs, couches, mattresses, and bean bags. In collaboration with the Orphan Welfare society, it also works with students from ESMOD Fashion School to create fashionable clothes and with woman refugee tailors from NGO Sawa for Development and Aid, who tailor the fabric into clothes for its own up-cycled fashion brand, RemAID.
Achievements: By 2019, the organization has upcycled 31800 kilograms of clothing and sold more than 28280 items among more than 5570 people, mostly refugees or disadvantaged communities with little income.
Fabric Aid won first runner up prize for the social entrepreneurship track at the 11th edition of the Arab Startup competition held in Oman, on April 19, 2018.
In September 2019, Omar Itani won the Young Champions of the Earth Prize for his pioneering work to establish the region’s first upcycling and clothing redistribution hub.
Address: Beirut, Nicolas Turk str., Resiviglio Building 4th floor
Phone: +961 (76) 900230