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Brief Published: 30 Dec 2014

NYC Embraces Hyper-Local Production

Manufacture NY

New York’s fashion and garment industry is set to receive a boost as two new Brooklyn-based fashion incubators revitalise the city’s once booming manufacturing trade.

Independent fashion innovation incubator Manufacture NY, which mentors and trains the next generation of US apparel designers, recently received a $3.5m investment from the city of New York for an eight-floor manufacturing innovation centre inside the Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Opening in late 2015, the space aims to disrupt apparel supply chains by becoming the first fully integrated facility to house an on-site, small-scale factory. Part accelerator for 50 designers, part development centre to train skilled fashion workers, and part research and development lab – including a ‘wet lab’ for bio-fabrics and bio-leathers – the hub will also create around 300 jobs.

Similarly, the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute Design School received a $1.33m manufacturing boost from the city of New York for its Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA) space, which opened in November. Located in a former factory in South Williamsburg, the space brings fashion and industrial designers together with technologists to promote innovative production methods such as 3D printing while also integrating local manufacturing and an ethical supply chain. The space also houses a retail store where the public can shop collections and meet designers.

Accelerator spaces such as these will significantly affect the fashion industry in the coming years, disrupting the supply chain in favour of hyper-local production that promote new models of sustainability. Further, the encouraged creative collaboration between fashion, science and tech will see innovation in fashion-forward wearables and biotech fabrics.

For more on US manufacturing, see The Value of Made In. For more on sustainable apparel production, see 2014: Ethical Fashion’s Year, Closing the Loop and America’s First Sustainable Sewing Factory