Home > COVID-19 > The Scrap Exchange Supports Vulnerable Communities with Mask Initiatives

During the Stay at Home period, while their physical stores were closed, the Scrap Exchange pivoted to create an online store. In response to the demand for face coverings, the Scrap Exchange provided jobs for some furloughed employees by sewing masks for businesses and sold them via their new online store.(www.scrapexchange.org).  The Scrap Exchange also created several opportunities online to engage customers in this work. Early in the pandemic, customers were given the opportunity to donate PPP to teachers and essential workers.
In July, the Scrap Exchange joined the City of Durham’s Recovery and Renewal Taskforce as they launched the “Durham has you Covered” website to ensure that everyone gained access to mask makers. As the nonprofit delegate for the city’s effort, folks can donate financially, order affordable & reusable masks, or join the effort by donating materials. When purchasing a mask, customers can choose to buy one/donate one (to be distributed to a person in need).
In conjunction with Durham’s Mask Action team, the Scrap Exchange just fulfilled an order for 10,000 kid-sized masks to be distributed to Durham’s most vulnerable children. The Scrap Exchange’s staff and volunteers worked tirelessly on this effort!
The Scrap Exchange will continue to sew face coverings as long as there is a need. Since the masks are reusable, it is expected that, at some point, the demand will slow down. However, once schools go back to in-person and less people choose to work at home, we may see another uptic in orders. Encouraging folks to use reusable masks instead of disposable ones is another way the Scrap Exchange upholds their mission to encourage reuse.
The Scrap Exchange invites the community to help with this initiative by donating and by shopping their two reuse shops. Community financial support helps to offset the cost of making masks. The Scrap Exchange is employing local sewists to make the masks and want to make sure they are paid a fair wage. The Scrap Exchange has two retail stores, Scrap Thrift and the Reuse Arts Shop which are both open 11-4 Tuesday-Saturday. By shopping at these stores, the community is funding their mission to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse.
In September, the Scrap Exchange announced their newest mask initiative. Expanding on their popular Durham Mask, the non-profit will be offering a #Social Justice and #KeepitLocal face covering line this fall created by local sewists and featuring exclusively Durham’s own Spoonflower fabric. This line will offer folks the opportunity to accessorize their required face coverings while also bringing attention to social justice, Durham, & NC pride. A percentage of sales will go to initiatives focused on social justice and/or the promotion of local BIPOC artists. This line will be launched in conjunction with the newest Cameron gallery show. The Scrap Exchange is hosting “Truth to Power 8”, a Social Justice Art Exhibit, from September 2nd through October 10th, 2020 in their Cameron Art Gallery. The mask line will be available for purchase in the Artist Marketplace, adjacent to the gallery. Both spaces are open 11-4 Tuesday-Saturday.