FABRIC is a fashion incubator co-founded in 2016 by former brand owners, Angela Johnson and Sherri Barry, to support apparel entrepreneurs and fashion startups making niche, sewn products domestically.
As the regularity of online shopping grows and shapes consumer demand, and online tools enable entrepreneurs to sell niche sewn products direct-to-consumer, the need for local resources to create those products has exploded. FABRIC provides the resources, skill and guidance essential in every step of the development and manufacturing process and puts control and creativity back into the hands of the brand owner.
FABRIC provides education/consulting, design development, no-minimum manufacturing, branding, marketing, business assistance, office/studio space, event space, sourcing, an industry directory, and more, all under one roof, and at below market rates. FABRIC’s unique public-social-cooperative-enterprise model is made possible by a collaboration between a non-profit, community, city, and for-profit, and has helped to launch and support hundreds of brands in just a few short years.
FABRIC’s award-winning concept and robust offerings are unique to the country and only made possible by an innovative approach in which the brand owner is provided with tools and knowledge to manage the development and manufacturing process. This empowering, education-based, hands-on approach saves the brand thousands of dollars and helps to avoid many of the issues and obstacles common to overseas manufacturing. Through this proprietary model, FABRIC is leading the way in making re-shoring manufacturing a sustainable solution for a modern problem.
In mid-March of 2020, when the pandemic hit and PPE shortages made headlines, FABRIC received countless requests to provide PPE items to healthcare facilities and first responders and was committed to help the local community respond to the crisis.
With the fundamentals in place to deliver, FABRIC assembled a team, hired an FDA consultant, sourced and secured reusable medical-grade materials, acquired additional equipment and staff, implemented lean manufacturing practices, worked with doctors on design features, and began to create safe, effective, FDA-approved, reusable, level 2 and 3 isolation gowns with custom specifications for each hospital organization. These gowns are a sustainable and affordable alternative to disposable PPE. They can be washed 100 times making the per-use price lower than a disposable gown, including the price-per-wash, and they are supplied to the healthcare facility directly from the manufacturer and not from a wholesale supplier.
Like offshore apparel manufacturing, disposable PPE was clearly a tired solution for a modern problem. What doctors, nurses, first responders and healthcare workers needed was not just more PPE, but better, modern, sustainable PPE that was made domestically. Reusa, the PPE division of FABRIC, was born.