Reduce, reuse, resell: A Sunnyvale nonprofit offers surplus fabric and craft supplies at affordable prices

The average American discards 82 pounds of fabric annually, contributing to a global textile waste of 92 million tons. A nonprofit in Sunnyvale aims to reduce this waste while supporting local crafters.

Located at 1240 Birchwood Drive, FabMo volunteers gather surplus fabric, leathers, tiles, carpets, and more, selling them at affordable prices. Their efforts help divert approximately 70 tons of materials from landfills each year. Most of their stock comes from weekly donations by San Francisco Design Center showrooms, with additional contributions from community members eager to see their materials repurposed creatively.

Hannah Cranch, a Palo Alto resident and former school teacher, co-founded the organization. Her initial efforts involved collecting and distributing discarded fabrics to fellow teachers for classroom projects. The positive reception spurred her to establish a sustainable resource accessible to locals, including aspiring textile and fiber artists or teachers seeking craft supplies. Her husband, Jonathan, who passed away in 2022, played a pivotal role in helping FabMo obtain nonprofit status in 2010, attracting numerous volunteers. The organization initially operated in warehouses in Palo Alto and Mountain View before relocating to Birchwood.

“It’s a fantastic social atmosphere to volunteer in,” expressed Holly Welstein, a dedicated volunteer. “I find it rewarding when newcomers are amazed and say, ‘All of this was going to be discarded?’ That’s the typical reaction you get.”

Those interested can schedule an appointment online to visit the Sunnyvale facility or order materials for pickup through their online store. The nonprofit also organizes meet-ups and workshops in the South Bay, providing opportunities for local residents to acquire new skills and connect with fellow creators.

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