garment district
by Stephen Garner

garment districtNew York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Garment District Alliance, has announced an unprecedented $51.3 million package to help stabilize and strengthen New York City’s garment manufacturing industry.

The package includes investments in technology, business technical assistance and workforce development, which will be available to factories across the five boroughs. Relocation and expansion support will be available for companies that are interested in moving from the Garment District.

“Since taking office, we’ve invested in every piece of the fashion industry, from a new academic building at FIT, to marketing assistance, to renovating space in City-owned buildings for manufacturers,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “I’m committed not just to the stability of garment manufacturing, but to its growth. There’s a market and a demand for clothes that are Made in New York, and we’re taking bold steps to help firms move to the new space we’ve developed so they can grow and thrive. I’m thankful to the CFDA and Garment District Alliance for their support in contributing to the evolution and future of this incredible industry.”

“The CFDA is supportive of the City’s investment in the garment manufacturing industry and will join efforts to strengthen the sector for the future,” commented Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA. “We see this as an opportunity to make the ecosystem of production more city-wide at a time when the fashion industry is in need of a capital investment.”

“The Garment District Alliance is pleased to partner with NYCEDC and the CFDA to bring this package of meaningful supports to garment manufacturers.  The future of the apparel industry is dependent upon the sustainability of the fashion ecosystem, and we believe this initiative will help to stabilize the apparel manufacturing sector that has been in decline for many years,” added Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “This program addresses the many challenges facing manufacturers by offering investment in technology and human capital, as well as options for affordable and modern factory spaces.  We congratulate the de Blasio Administration for initiating this process.”

This robust package was developed by the City following substantial outreach to garment manufacturers, designers, suppliers and industry leaders to better understand the challenges that are crippling the industry today. Developed through one-on-one interviews, focus groups and site visits to Sunset Park, the package is a holistic response to the industry’s wide-ranging needs and will stabilize and strengthen this critical and historic NYC sector through a decade’s worth of investments. The City is continuing its outreach efforts to further refine the package in consultation with industry stakeholders, including through online and in-person surveys. NYCEDC is actively encouraging stakeholders to complete an online survey, which can be found here.

The $51 million support package for the garment manufacturing industry builds upon the City’s $15 million investment to create the Made in NY: Fashion initiative, which provides funding for fashion education, production, financing and retail programming.

The CFDA and NYCEDC’s Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, which provides funding for new machinery and technology, will build on the success of its first four years and increase grant funding for factories throughout the five boroughs. NYCEDC will procure a third-party operator in the coming months to implement the package of services.