FabMo relocated and the new facility is bigger and better than ever. If you aren’t familiar with this wonderful nonprofit, they travel around the bay area, mostly to over 50 design centers in San Francisco, and gather designer samples, like fabric that would be used as curtains or upholstery, and carpet samples, tiles, wallpaper, all kinds of home decor items that would normally be thrown in the garbage at the end of each season, and they bring it all to their new facility in Mountain View and allow the DIY community to have anything they want. Yes, they ask for a donation and they offer donation suggestons. They’re allowing us to have the chance to take home things that the general public would never get their hands on, much less get to use in their craft projects. Silicon Valley is a very creative community and FabMo has a huge following. The organization is entirely volunteer and there is no payroll at all. The biggest expense is rent, and as you know, rent in Mountain View is substantial. Jonathan Cranch, one of the co-founders of FabMo told me that he just signed a 5 year lease, joined the Chamber of Commerce and has big plans for the future.
If you’re new to the area and want to get to know the most creative people in Mountain View, I definitely recommend volunteering at FabMo. The volunteers process over 70 tons of materials each year at FabMo! It is unbelievable how much fabric they are saving from landfill. And it’s not just “fabric,” it’s really high end, high quality, fancy stuff. Sometimes it still has a price tag from the design house that it came from and Jonathan told me that one time he saw something that was $968.00 a yard and it had a 10 yard minimum.
FabMo will be expanding into Santa Cruz, Vallejo, Brentwood, Napa and Tracy. If the DIY community in any of those areas would like to nominate a “key person” who can help nail down an exact location for the distribution events in those communities, please contact Jonathan Cranch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mountain View FabMo ‘distribution events’ are every month. You need to be on their mailing list and you will be sent an invitation. Everyone signs up for a specific appointment. Don’t worry at all about all the good stuff being gone by the time you get in. There are volunteers who constantly bring out fresh new product the entire time. Everyone gets plenty!
There are also special events, other than the regular distribution events. Please check their website for the dates.
FabMo is very active in the Maker Faire, and local craft fairs. They've been part of Earth Day activities in Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Fremont. This year they'll be at the Mountain View Earth Day celebration.
They also participate in the Sustainable Living department of the San Mateo County Fair and sponsor a repurposing competition. The local education community is always thinking up easy projects for children that involve FabMo items, projects that focus on creativity and repurposing. There are tons of possibilities that don’t require sewing, and FabMo volunteers would be happy to show you some samples if you ask for ideas.
So sign up for their email newsletters, watch for the email that invites you to the next distribution event and sign up for your appointment. Bring your own bag and give a generous donation as you leave. There is nothing else like this happening anywhere in the country and other communities are asking FabMo for advice. Just imagine how much product could be saved from landfill if this happened all over the United States. I love Mountain View!