This week, and just in time for National Manufacturing Day, Manufacture New York (MNY), a fashion incubator and factory for independent designers, has moved from a pilot space in New York City’s Garment District into a massive 140,000-square-foot facility in Brooklyn’s Liberty View Industrial Plaza. The new complex will provide research, design, development, and manufacturing resources for New York’s emerging designers and apparel manufacturers.
MNY recently won a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The group, which is spearheading a resurgence of apparel manufacturing in the U.S., is one of only 50 winners out of 800 applications nationwide to earn a grant as part of the Obama administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund competition. MNY is the only New York City-based incubator to win the SBA award.
Bob Bland, CEO, Manufacture New York explained this movement to IndustryWeek last year.
In the last two decades, the U.S. has lost 90% of its apparel manufacturing jobs. The post-recession picture hasn't been very encouraging either, with emerging designers lacking the infrastructure, resources, and industry support needed to make substantial gains in domestic production.
The smartest way forward for apparel manufacturing may be one that runs counter to the conventional wisdom. Essentially, the time has come for a return to 'Made in USA.'
In the last decade, a number of industry veterans grew tired of designing quality merchandise extolling the virtues of New York City, only to have it produced in China. A consensus began to emerge of completely Made-in-USA labels that could utilize local sourcing from the Garment District and all five boroughs of the city.
Check out IndustryWeek's complete coverage of Manufacturing Day 2014.