We’re SEW grateful and honored that the City of Tempe has always supported the mission and vision of the FABRIC incubator. Their support has allowed us to provide the most important, and extremely scarce resources, like no-minimum manufacturing, that apparel entrepreneurs need, so they can build sustainable businesses domestically. With the city’s support we’ve been able to help over 600 apparel brands and have provided nearly $4,000,000 in free and discounted programs and services to help relieve some of the financial burden for these innovative entrepreneurs.
In 2020, their support also managed to help us reach beyond the fashion industry and contribute to solving the nation’s PPE shortage. To this date, over 600,000 reusable level 2 and 3 isolation gowns have been produced through the efforts made by the FABRIC collective. As life has been slowly returning to “normal”, and the FABRIC runway has transformed from PPE factory, back into an event space, the PPE manufacturing found a new, more manufacturing-friendly, home just a few miles away, in another Tempe location, now called Arizona Fashion Source.
As PPE manufacturing continues in this space under the brand name Reusa, another innovative and scarce resource is being explored and developed here that has the potential to disrupt, reinvent, and drastically improve domestic apparel manufacturing making it more affordable and more accessible to smaller niche brands. On-demand manufacturing is a new technology that is just being explored in the U.S. and is currently being put to the test in this new Tempe facility. This revolutionary alternative to traditional manufacturing is a sustainable solution to the overseas manufacturing minimums that often result in excess unsold inventory for brands. It's happening right here in our own backyard and putting Arizona on the fashion map.
As this story of innovation, sustainability, and economic development unfolds, we’ll continue to share our progress with you. We continue to thank the City of Tempe for its vision and support in these efforts. Check out the exciting video shared by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods at the most recent East Valley Partnership celebration that features this FABRIC milestone!