The New Fashion Initiative

Jessica Schreiber: The New Fashion Questionnaire

The New Fashion Initiative regularly invites a leading voice in the sustainable and ethical fashion revolution to answer 17 questions about themselves, both personal and professional. It’s our green and socially conscious spin on Vanity Fair‘s beloved Proust Questionnaire. This month, our interviewee is Jessica Schreiber, the Founder of FABSCRAP, which provides convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from businesses in New York City and creates opportunities for reuse. Prior to launching FABSCRAP, she was responsible for New York City’s textile recycling and e-waste recycling contracts and programs as a Senior Manager in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the Department of Sanitation. She has a Master’s degree in Climate and Society from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and has been featured in Forbes, Waste360, and Apparel Magazine’s Top Elite Under 30.

What is your favorite article of clothing?

 A second-hand Eileen Fisher jacket I wore all season long that is the perfect weight for all types of NYC winter weather.

What is the most wonderful thing about the fashion industry right now?

I think the greatest thing I see and feel in the industry is the growing awareness that things need to change. Business as usual and traditional processes aren’t working for the planet, for people, or for quality products, and the commercial recognition of that is important. I say commercial recognition because it’s happening on both sides – both brands and consumers seeking better options. Even if it’s just in conversation right now, words create action. 


What do you think is the most shocking thing about fashion today?

Well, right now it is that so many fashion companies are canceling their orders in poor countries in Southeast Asia. For decades, these companies have stated—loudly–that the reason they source in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, etc. is to help the poorest on this Earth climb up the economic ladder. In fact, the brands—luxury to fast fashion—source in these countries because the profit margins were so much higher—exponentially so—turning company owners and shareholders into billionaires. And now that times are difficult, they have cut and run, leaving the countries—and the people who do all the work that makes their billions—in absolute ruin. CEOs can never trot out that hollow claim again. I hope customers boycott these companies. It’s atrocious, and utterly inhumane, behavior.

“I say commercial recognition because it’s happening on both sides – both brands and consumers seeking better options.”

What do you think is the most shocking thing about fashion today?

How global the process is, and with such little transparency or regulation.

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

Cartagena, Columbia!

What is your favorite indulgence?

 I LOVE a $10/10 minute massage at my local nail salon.

What makes you happiest?

Dinner with my husband. 

Are you more introverted or extroverted?

Introverted, mostly in that I need time alone to recharge.


What do you do first in the morning?

Make a pot of Fortum & Mason Classic Earl Grey. 


What do you do first in the morning? 

Feed my cats, who wake me up for that purpose.


The best professional moment of your life thus What was the happiest moment of this past year?

Opening The FABSCRAP Shop last summer!


Best professional moment of your life thus far?

Anytime we create new jobs and hire new people at FABSCRAP. 


What was the last outfit you wore that made you feel amazing?   

A new pair of Levi’s jeans with no spandex(!) and a long sleeve tee from a taco stand I really loved from my last visit to LA. It felt good to support both a small local business and a big brand adding an option I appreciate.


Favorite movie?

SA League of Their Own. 

How do you recharge?

Giving myself a moment in the morning or finding a “quick win” in my list of to-dos. And making a to-do list, for that matter! Anything I can do to feel more organized makes me feel better.


What three words describe you best?

Eeee, this is hard. I’m a Taurus, and pretty much identity with both the good and bad of that sign.


What makes you laugh the hardest?

Michael Scott


Favorite book?

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill