Most of us have lost our connection with how our fabrics and clothing are made, where they come from, and who the makers are.
We are a community-based organisation that supports the use of textiles and clothing that have a small ecological and positive social footprint. We offer our members and customers an opportunity to re-connect with fabric by providing courses and shared working space, and by offering transparently and sustainably made textile products. We also offer a program (project ReThread) that aims to empower refugees in the local community through textiles.
We have a hybrid legal structure; Social Fabric GmbH oversees all of our revenue generating activities, including our classes and our textile product sales. Social Fabric Association is a tax exempt non-profit association that is overseen by a board of directors, and manages all of our work with refugees.
Our Values and Our Mission
Social Fabric started small, but aims to have a big impact. We are a sustainable textile centre in Zürich, where individuals, tailors, designers, and businesses can access knowledge, facilities, equipment, materials, and manufacturing options that have a positive impact. We are doing this because the textile and clothing industries are among the dirtiest and least socially responsible industries in the world. We want to take a community approach to solving this problem by pooling the creativity of our members, in order to develop solutions. We aim to scale this idea by working together with other social enterprises internationally to re-invent the fashion industry supply chain.
Since starting our project, we have received support from a number of other organisations, including WWF, Climate Kic, Impact Hub Zurich, COFRA Foundation, Swiss Life Foundation, Alnatura, and LUSH. We thank our partners for their continued engagement in building a better world.
Lisa Marti completed a Bachelor in social sciences and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Bern. She supports Social Fabric in merchandising sales, crowdfunding and german classes for refugees. She likes to be active for social, intercultural and sustainable issues and to change the world little by little.
Justine Portenier has completed a Bachelor in economy and social sciences at the University of Basel. She supports Social Fabric in sales and crowdfunding, and enjoys working in an intercultural team.
Bijoux Ndinga is a tailor from Congo, and joined the Social Fabric team in September, 2016. She studied couture tailoring, and also has experience in industrial sewing. She very much likes to work on clothes.
Sekou Cisse is a tailor from Ivory Coast, and joined the Social Fabric team in October, 2016. He has a lot of experience in making men's shirts, and has a good eye for colour. He likes to learn new skills, and especially enjoys to sew product series.
Carola Ruckdeschel studied theater costume design and has worked for many years as a tailor and designer. She has worked for well-known brands such as Prada and Armani. She is interested in the craft of tailoring, and in creative design.
Helka Mäki studied dressmaking for two years, and then became qualified as a textile handicraft and computer skills teacher. She manages Project ReThread, and especially likes creative projects.
Heather Kirk is a Canadian who has a background in ecological research. She wanted to increase the impact of her day-to-day work, and so she developed the idea of Social Fabric as a vehicle to bring people together to create new ideas. She is interested in innovation and social impact.
Megan McGill has a strong interest in the circular economy of textiles. She completed her MBA at HSG St. Gallen, and manages projects at the C&A Foundation.
Melanie Gajowski worked in finance for many years, before making a transition to the impact domain. She currently works as an Innovation Manager at WWF.