FabricAID provides affordable clothing to marginalised communities, contributes innovative solutions to Lebanon’s landfill crisis and creates much-needed jobs for refugees.

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Throughout Lebanon
  • Alfanar Investee Since: 2018
  • Total Alfanar Investment: £81,850
  • Social Impact: 9,148 individuals have benefited from FabricAID to date.
  • Website: https://www.fabricaid.me/
  • SDGs:

    

The Challenge

Low-income and refugee communities in Lebanon lack access to high-quality, affordable clothing. Rather than being recycled, most second-hand clothing ends up with NGOs not specialised to distribute them, and any clothing items which are believed unsuitable for immediate resale due to damage are dumped in landfill.  Notably, of the clothes given to these NGOs, many are also never redistributed due to the lack of resources and Lebanon has been importing second-hand clothing from abroad due to this market inefficiency.

The Organisation

Established in 2016, FabricAID simultaneously seeks to tackle Lebanon’s landfill crisis, create jobs for refugees, and to provide high-quality second-hand clothing to low-income communities. By collecting second-hand clothes from NGOs and the wider public, then sorting, repairing and selling these clothes at pop-up shops in underprivileged and refugee communities, FabricAID is making affordable clothing widely available.  FabricAID’s sorting facility is fully staffed by refugees, adding an additional layer of social impact to its innovative model.

What has Been Achieved with Alfanar’s Support

Alfanar’s pilot investment is focused on improving operational efficiency. Our funding will enable the purchase of a pick-up truck to increase the volume of clothes collected, an industrial washing machine, a baling machine and a shredder, allowing FabricAID to sort more clothes for sale at their pop-up shops.  Alfanar’s investment will support FabricAID improve its revenue by increasing its points of sale across Lebanon.

The investment has also focussed on improving the income, and thus the sustainability, of FabricAID, and has explored new potential ways to generate income. This has included growing the number of partnerships that FabricAID operates, for instance with the Red Cross, in order to gather even larger quantities of clothing. There has also been exploration of resale of damaged items, and those unsuitable for refugees, through the RemAID programme. This programme sells damaged goods for reuse in the making of upholstery padding in collaboration with the Orphan Welfare society, and those items unsuitable for refugees are processed into unique vintage fashion items by the ESMOD Fashion School and the NGO Sawa for Development and Aid, to be sold at fashion shows to middle-class customers.

Alfanars' Investment: Looking Ahead

FabricAID is currently in the process of establishing and opening a range of permanent shops to allow for a more consistent ability to sell in specific localities. They plan to open a further two shops in underprivileged areas, as well as a second-hand store targeting middle and higher-income communities with a focus on resale of more valuable or custom items.