About Arizona Apparel Foundation

F.A.B.R.I.C. Building in Tempe, Arizona

The Mission of Arizona Apparel Foundation

is to provide the knowledge and resources 

needed to foster Arizona’s fashion industry.

In 2016, the City of Tempe generously granted a community building to Arizona Apparel Foundation (AAF) as part of an economic development initiative to generate growth of the local fashion manufacturing industry. This renovated fashion incubator is now called F.A.B.R.I.C. “F.A.B.R.I.C.” stands for Fashion and Business Resource and Innovation Center. The term “fashion incubator” describes our main activities of education, support, research, and growth of viable fashion design businesses.

Arizona Apparel Foundation (AAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping local fashion design brands navigate obstacles to success by providing the resources they need to start, grow, and thrive in Arizona. The ultimate goals are to encourage local brands to manufacture in Arizona and to attract out-of-state brands looking for resource alternatives. Manufacturing apparel locally keeps money in the state, creates jobs, and ushers in a creative, new, sustainable, and in-demand industry.

Until the opening of Arizona Fashion Source, the manufacturing business operating at F.A.B.R.I.C., fashion students in Arizona had few opportunities for work in apparel manufacturing, and were often forced to leave Arizona for industry careers elsewhere. Labelhorde, the second main licensed business at F.A.B.R.I.C., teaches new designers critical industry skills so that their manufacturing projects are successful. This is currently the only apparel manufacturer in Arizona offering specialized services for early career designers with no minimum orders. Arizona Fashion Source, Labelhorde, and other local partners are committed to investing in the development of fashion entrepreneurs who will generate significant economic development here in Tempe, AZ.

Arizona Apparel Foundation has made a commitment to invest in the F.A.B.R.I.C. building, and to provide a variety of valuable community services such as classes on commercial sewing and pattern making, screen printing, modeling, and fashion design camps for youth. We are also contributing to the City’s veterans services by training a certain number of veterans for fashion related careers. 

Currently, Arizona Apparel Foundation is launching a six month designer scholarship program for local designers. All of the mentors, equipment, tools and services needed to launch a successful apparel brand are available at F.A.B.R.I.C. We hope to be awarded grant funding to make this program more beneficial to additional designer scholarship participants in the future.

In the short time since our grand opening, Arizona Apparel Foundation has been working closely with city officials to create more partnerships, opportunities, and outlets for local fashion designers. Most recently, Arizona Apparel Foundation and the City of Tempe have teamed up to bring free quarterly lectures to Tempe’s Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRiC), an interactive demonstration of fashion technology at the STEM program’s community event series, “Geeks Night Out”, and events in the City of Tempe that promote the arts.

The foundation is dependent on public, private and government support to sponsor its mission through donations, fundraisers, sponsorships, volunteers, grants, partnerships, city and state governments, educational institutions and community support. Fortunately, Arizona Apparel Foundation has a strong army of dedicated volunteers and partners who are ready, willing, and able to help us achieve our goals. Thanks to all of the businesses, organizations, the City of Tempe, and over 300 local volunteers who have contributed to our immediate successes, and who are helping to create an exciting new fashion industry in Tempe, Arizona!