App/tech business of the week – The Fabric Social

17/07/2015 - 09:28


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The Fabric Social’s goal is to lift the burden of poverty from women and their families in war-torn areas.

MAKING IT COUNT: The Fabric Social co-founders Fiona McAlpine (left), Sharna de Lacy and Katie Rose.

What? ~ The Fabric Social’s goal is to lift the burden of poverty from women and their families in war-torn areas. The social enterprise currently supports small hand-loomed fabric production in Assam, India, with iPad technology and an online shop. 

Once a woman has finished weaving a length of fabric, she can input the information (metre, thread count etc) into the app and this information is sent to the online store. The Fabric Social then knows how much clothing it can make available online. The weavers control how much money they make and can manage and scale their own production.

Where ? ~ An app was developed for the women weavers, with donated iPads. Consumers can search and buy products at

Who ? ~ Co-founders Katie Rose, Fiona McAlpine and Sharna de Lacy are three Australian women with extensive experience in international development, having worked as human rights lawyers and community development workers in many conflict and developing countries.

Quotations ~ Women are the gatekeepers of the community. We want to replicate and scale our model to more communities in the north-east of India and expand to combat the disadvantage of women around the world who are isolated by war

Katie Rose

$ ~ The company raised $18,000 last year to fund its pilot project in Assam, through a mixture of crowdfunding and competition money. This was sufficient for the first year. The company is seeking to raise $120,000 in impact investment funding so it can replicate and scale the for-profit model. The company has more than doubled the daily income of the women weavers so far in the three weeks the store has been open.

Size market ~ The ethical fashion market represents 1 per cent (or $7bn) of the  global fashion  market, and is the fastest growing niche. 

The Fabric Social launched on April 24 2015 and is ranked #4  by launch date on the BNiQ Startups List.


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