RDA #2: Lesson From Participant Observation


  • Upcycling company in Jamaica, Queens
  • Collect anything textile related; garments, fabric scraps, samples, cuttings
  • People fill up FABSCRAP bags, call for them to pick up, then we sort by fiber

My Tasks

  • Sort clothes by fiber and then by category
  • Separate large pieces of fabric by content and color
  • Remove buttons, zippers, pins, etc. from fabric
  • Volunteers were able to keep anything they wanted


Environmental Content

  • Founder Jessica Schreiber started with re-fashioNYC, which is how I found out about them
  • Textiles make up 6% of the city’s annual waste
  • This is a great option for recycling fabric because large industrial fabric recyclers need a large amount of fabric waste that people may not necessarily have
  • Currently, fabrics containing spandex or other elastic materials can’t be recycled, so they try to give those away first.

What I Learned!

  • Different ways fabric can be reused
  • Why it’s important for fabric to be disposed of properly rather than thrown into landfills
  • I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did!

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